A group of Brant entrepreneurs are telling the Dragon’s Den dragons to Funk-Off.
Paris resident Trevor Fronchak, of the Pierced Parts kiosk in the Lynden Park Mall, faced the dragons on the CBC Television show this past May in an attempt to win support for his new piercing deodorant, Funk-Off.
“When you have body jewelry your body creates sebum and what happens is it gets trapped between the piercing (and skin) and breaks down and it creates a stench,” Fronchak said. “It’s bad. It’s funky. It’s embarrassing for people.”
Back in February, Fronchak’s business partner and Funk-Off creator Dave Buckle was driving around London when he heard the show was holding auditions in the city. He drove straight there without even bringing the product.
After an hour and a half long pitch, Funk Off had a place on the show.
During the show, entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to five multi-millionaires in the hope of gaining the financial support and expertise needed to turn their ideas into fortune and success.
Armed with models, a business plan and his winning personality, Fronchack and his group of business associates descended the stairs into the Dragon’s Den on May 12.
“As soon as we introduced the product it was funny because of the name,” Fronchack said. “We played a game with them to get them to guess the type of product.”
Then the dragons started firing their questions.
“As soon as we started, it all went to hell. They started asking so many questions like how big is your market? Where do you see your product going? How many sales to date?”
After 50 minutes, a decision was made. While Fronchack can’t say what the final result was (that will have to wait until the show airs sometime between September 2012 and April 2013), he says the experience was worth it.
“I had a blast,” he said. “I have no regrets at all. Our main thing is we wanted is to make it to TV, deal or no deal.”
Buckle spent the past year formulating and testing the product, which is made from all-natural ingredients. Funk-Off acts as an antiseptic and anti-bacterial deodorant that can be applied directly to healed piercings. The product keeps the user “funk free” for 24 hours.
“Before (Funk Off), at two in the afternoon I could rub my ear and smell it,” Fronchak said. “Now, I use it every day and there is no smell. It neutralizes it. It also naturally conditions the skin as well as prevents dryness and stickiness.”
Even without the dragons, Funk Off is making a name for itself around the globe. The product, which comes in a colourful, jewelled container shaped like an ear tunnel, can be found on shelves in the United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Canada. The company is also in talks to distribute through U.S. pop culture store Hot Topic.
One thing the makers of Funk Off want to get across is that it’s not only a product for the heavily pierced or tattooed.
“It effects everyone from soccer moms and kids with regular earrings to people with full on body modifications,” Fronchak said.
Visit www.gofunkoff.com for more information.