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Dragons’ Den positive experience for N.B. entrepreneurs

By Tara Clow Jan 23, 2024 | 2:08 PM

Dragons’ Den wasn’t originally in the plans for the creators of Sum Good electrolyte freezies, based in Moncton.

Co-founder Matt Pennell says the company was founded in 2021, and as they’ve grown, it seemed like a great opportunity.

“We actually never had in our minds that we would do Dragons’ Den because it just wasn’t something we wanted to do. But as we grew as a business and as a partnership, we realized we should put our brand out there, and as a young business, being so vulnerable on national television is a high risk, but it’s a risk we were willing to take to elevate our brand,” Pennell says.

Sum Good is a fruit-first, hydrating freezie, with a unique blend of pressed fruit and electrolytes without any dyes, added sugars, or natural flavouring.

Pennell and Business Partner April Glavine arrived in Toronto a few days before the actual pitch, and they had a lot of time to practice. Pennell says they spent the time in front of a window looking out at the City of Toronto, pitching over and over again to ensure it was perfect.

“On set, we put in around eight or nine hours. We first had to sit in a green room for hours. We continued to practice our pitch, while April did jumping jacks so she could burn off some energy. We got to see a lot of companies who came and went, but we weren’t allowed to talk to them,” Pennell added.

Glavine says watching all of the episodes now, they’re seeing a lot of the products and companies who pitched before them.  But Glavine and Pennell will have to wait until Thursday night to find out what the network chooses to include in the airing of their eight-minute pitch.  That’s also when we’ll find out whether or not the local entrepreneurs struck a deal with the Dragons.


“We think it’s going to be very funny, so I don’t think there will be any disappointment with taking the eight minutes to tune in and watch the Dragons’ Den episode on January 25th.”

Pennell has made many TV appearances before, and he says he is not a nervous person, “I don’t get nervous. I’m usually well-prepared, usually charismatic. But when I stepped out into the Den, and I don’t know if it’s going to be evident or not, but I was nervous.”

But Glavine says they really fed off of each other and the Dragons appreciated that.

Looking back, both Glavine and Pennell agreed it was something they would do again.

“It was definitely worth every single second that we put into it. It really got our brains working. And it really opened our eyes to a lot of things that we know we may have missed. In hindsight, it was good. It was something that we can cherish forever, for sure,” Pennell says.

As to what advice they have to other business owners considering pitching to the Dragons?

“It’s a numbers business and it’s a numbers pitch. So you have to know that inside out. They’re not kidding. They’re going to ask you every number about every lane about every single opportunity and question why you came up with those numbers,” Glavine explained.

You can catch the episode featuring Sum Good on Dragons’ Den on Thursday.