Lions’ Den getting ready to roar as Lambton College boosts local entrepreneurial spirit

The organizing committee for the Lions’ Den has announced plans for a Lambton College version of the hit CBC Television series to take place on April 4, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in The Lambton INN. 

Inspired by CBC’s hit TV show “Dragons’ Den” the Lions’ Den will feature selected contestants pitching their new business ideas to a panel of  “Lions”  (local business/investment people) in front of a live audience hosted by John Hollingswoth and Sue Storr, at The Lambton INN for feedback and hopefully negotiation and financial backing.  Organizers hope to feature eight pitches, plus up to two additional Lambton College students, throughout the show.

The goals of The Lions’ Den are to promote the new Sarnia-Lambton Economic Development Strategy, encourage the spirit of entrepreneurism in Sarnia-Lambton, help stimulate new business ideas for Sarnia-Lambton and contribute to the Lambton College student scholarship funds.  Other prizes such as a business account bank package, business mentoring  may be awarded.  Each Lion may invest a minimum of $5,000 to any business proposal he/she deems to have merit.  There is no obligation for any Lion to contribute to any business proposal. Just like the Dragons, the Lions only invest in businesses they deem worthy and similar to the CBC show the Lions may also be critical of a business proposal.

Former Lambton College president Tony Hanlon, who is part of the organizing committee, talks about how the idea for the Lions' Den was conceived.

Potentially, a participant could receive financial backing of $25,000 or more. If a Lion chooses to exceed the minimum $5,000 investment or contribute additional advice or in-kind donation, it is their personal prerogative to do so.

Applications are being accepted effective immediately and up until February 23, 2012, at which point the selection committee will choose a number of applications for auditions.  

Those who are selected will be contacted directly and invited to auditions while the formal line-up will be announced at a later date.  The total cost for the application is the price of the $30 ticket for the event.  More information, tickets and the application package are accessible at online or by calling The Lambton College Foundation office at  (519) 542-7751 ext . 2459.

Sarnia’s own musical magnate, Michele Stokley (pictured) is the first of the Lions to be revealed. Stokley is perhaps best known for role as Bayfest Executive/Artistic Director of Rogers Sarnia Bayfest, which takes place annually to the delight of thousands of concert goers. 

Stay tuned for further announcements regarding other Lions who will be entering the Den.

The Lions’ Den is presented by The Lambton College Foundation with sponsorship by the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership, Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation, the School of Business, Hospitality and Creative Design, Lambton College, TD Canada Trust and The Cooperators – Franco Filia, Agent.

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