Guelph city councillor Bob Bell has gone Hollywood.
Or maybe Hollywood North.
Bell hits the little screen Thursday night, as he and business partner Jason Stoter will appear on the hit CBC series Dragon’s Den looking to get a deal for their latest creation, a bicycle stroller their company Wike calls “The Salamander.”
“We’re having a little party over at our place to watch the show tonight. It will be a hoot,” said Bell, the longtime councillor for Ward 1.
“We have two screens set up, one to watch the show and one showing the Google analytics for our web site so we can see how many people are logging on and where they are in the country.
“We’ll have a pool to see who can guess the highest number of people on the site is that we reach. We’re hoping to hit 500.”
The Salamander, five years in the making, is a bicycle/stroller/cargo carrier that retails for US$1,999.
Wike recently moved into a larger production space on Stevenson Street to accommodate demand for the new product.
“Our video on the Salamander went viral on YouTube. It’s had 10 million views worldwide,” he said.
It is not the first time Bell has appeared on Dragon’s Den.
Five years ago he appeared on the program with a different Wike product and was offered a deal, but turned it down.
“The last time we were on our Canadian sales went up 30 per cent,” he said.
“So the advertising element alone is well worth it. The advertising element alone is a prime motivator for going back with the new product.”
He said the company has put a total of 15 hours effort into Thursdays appearance and “from the whole work/economy perspective that’s a fantastic use of time.”
Bell auditioned for this appearance when Dragon’s Den held them at the Delta hotel last year.
The episode was filmed in April and didn’t take long.
“We headed down to Toronto at 5 a.m., started doing interviews at 9 a.m. and were done by noon,” Bell said.
While there are some pre-interviews filmed, the actual sales pitch is done live, with no retakes.
“It’s fun. But at the end of the day, it’s just TV,” Bell said.