Toronto inventor Ben Gulak persuaded the stars of CBC Television’s Dragons’ Den to hand him $1.25 million for 20 per cent of the Uno on Nov. 10.
Gulak is 19 years old, but the Dragon’s Den wizards seem to feel he’s bound for great things. They were so impressed by his presentation that one of them, Brett Wilson, said, "It’s impossible not to make an offer."
The show’s premise is straightforward: people bring business ideas to the five judges, and if the judges like the ideas, they offer money for partnerships.
Gulak’s Uno, which rides on two side-by-side wheels and uses gyroscopes to maintain balance like the Segway, could be in the hands of millions of users in a few years, the judges thought, and they wanted a piece of that action.
Gulak’s prototype was manufactured for just a few thousands dollars in China and he feels the machine could sell for about $5,000. It’s battery powered and limited to about 20 km/h at the moment, but appears stable and easy to ride.
See Dragons’ Den on the Web. Look for season 3, episode 7 (start time 17:30, end time 24:45).
And here’s what CMG said about the two-wheeled Uno back in April.