Mike McQuaid poses with his invention

Kelowna inventor to appear on Dragons’ Den

Mike McQuaid will appear before the Dragons on April 24th with his Umbrella Station

A Kelowna inventor and entrepreneur is taking his product onto a well known national television show.

Mike McQuaid will be pitching his Umbrella Station to the Dragons’ Den after successfully auditioning for the show. His presentation will be filmed on April 24th, and the decision to audition for the Dragons was an easy one. When he first came up with the idea several years ago, McQuaid noted one of the first things people would say to him was that he should put it before the Dragons. So when the show came to Kelowna several weeks ago for auditions, he didn’t hesitate in signing up.

“I wasn’t really nervous,” McQuaid said of his audition. “I wasn’t really expecting to get invited on, they interview 3,000 people and only take a couple hundred. But I’m such a strong believer in the product and what it can do, and I’m so comfortable showing it I wasn’t nervous, I was proud to show it.”

The audition for the show came at an exciting time for McQuaid, as after a year-long delay in production as he waited for some production pieces to come together, he finally began selling the Umbrella Station several weeks ago. In that time he has already shipped a full container to England, and has had several local businesses approach him about putting their logo on the umbrella and then giving it away as a promotional gift.

While McQuaid doesn’t yet know when the episode he will appear in will be aired, he does know nothing but good will come of his pitch to the Dragons, even if they choose not to invest in it.

“The main thing is exposure,” he said. “There’s no other product like this, I’m not competing for shelf space with other products. When I take it to the park or beach and set it up, people go, ‘Wow, I never knew that existed.’ So I’m confident once people see this and what it does, they’ll want to purchase it. So the Dragons’ Den for me is exposure, and it’s also getting some business guidance. I’ve taken this a long way, and I’m a salesman by trade, but I’ve never taken a product to market before. So I’m really looking forward to seeing the Dragons giving me guidance in which direction we should go with this.”

The Umbrella Station, which is made in Kelowna, will be on display at the B.C. Interior Sportsman Show at the Capital News Centre on April 9th and 10th. For more information on the Umbrella Station, visit www.umbrella-station.com or contact McQuaid by email at mike@umbrella-station.com.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Kelowna Rockets look to leave Kamloops Blazers in the smoke

The season home opener takes place Friday night

UBC Okanagan professor tasked with increasing diversity in science

Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science and Technology names new associate chair

West Kelowna begin flushing Lakeview Water System

Water service will not be interrupted but boil water notices will be in effect

Prospera Place gives credit union members a break on parking

Prospera Credit Union members will receive $2 off event parking

Growing Okanagan tech sector hailed in new report

Study shows sector employees 12, 474 workers and is worth $1.67 billion to regional economy

Pavement Patty slows drivers near Rutland Elementary

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Most Read