Audience to help pick the next Junior Dragon

The Junior Dragons Den competition set for May 1 at the Charles Bailey Theatre will be breathing some fire into entrepreneurial ideas

The Junior Dragons Den competition set for May 1 at the Charles Bailey Theatre will be breathing some fire into entrepreneurial ideas put together by students, and the audience get to help pick the best.

John Reed from Greater Trail Community Futures says the audience has a big voice when it comes to voting for their favourites in the junior and senior categories.

“The audience vote counts for 20 per cent of the final vote,” he said. “It is pretty substantial. They vote with an electronic clicker, so it’s high tech stuff.”

While the audience has the usual amount of family and friends seated to watch the show, Reed says there is extra incentive for members of the community to see what students from the Kootenays have been dreaming up.

“It is tons of fun,” he said. “These students get a chance to win a significant amount of money and the audience learns some new things. It is also interesting to see the students outside of a school setting and in a professional presentation setting.”

All audience members will also be entered into a draw to win two round trip tickets to either Vancouver or Kelowna on Pacific Coastal Airlines, one of the sponsors of the event.

Spectators will also get to see their vote count soon after they cast it. The winners of the entrepreneurial competition will be announced the same night as the presentations after a short break.

“It is very engaging and invariably, people will come to watch their favourites,” said Reed. “We will announce the winner that night after a short recess where the judges convene and tabulate the audience votes. Then we get to hand out the big checks to the winners. They are about three-and-a-half feet by eight feet. A little too big to deposit at the bank.”

This year’s competition hasn’t happened yet, but plans for next year’s competition are already in the works and reps from both Cranbrook and Revelstoke Community Futures offices will be in the audience to get a glimpse of what kind of show could be coming to their areas next spring.

“We are working on moving the competition throughout the Columbia Basin for next year,” said Reed. “We have representatives in Cranbrook and in Revelstoke that are going to be in the audience participating (this year).”

We want to extend the Junior Dragon’s Den. There will be three qualifying competitions. One in Revelstoke, one in Cranbrook, then one here. Then we will have the big show.”

This year’s final show will take place on May 1 with the doors opening at 6:30 p.m. There will be presentations from both the junior and senior finalists before final vote tallying begins.

For more information about the Junior Dragon’s Den competition and show, call Community Futures at 250-364-2595.