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Locals brave the Dragons Den

Mark Hanson, of Armstrong, pitched a waste compactor to the Dragons.
Image Credit: Modern Waste Products Inc.
October 08, 2013 - 12:54 PM

VERNON - Two North Okanagan men on quests to promote their products can now say they braved dragons along the way.

Mark Hanson of Armstrong and Frank Deiter of Vernon came before the fire-breathing five—a panel of individuals on the CBC-TV show Dragon’s Den—in the spring, but won’t see the taping until Wednesday night when the episode airs.

Hanson, who is the president of Modern Waste Products, asked the Dragons to invest in a revolutionary waste bin called the BinPak Compactor. The BinPak is the same size as a standard bin but holds up to six times the amount of waste. This means fewer trips for disposal trucks, and ultimately, reduced costs for companies and lower carbon emissions, Hanson says.

“We’ve already got customers from Montreal to Vancouver Island, including restaurants, hotels and long term care facilities,” Hanson says.

Despite the intimidating reputation of Kevin O’Leary—the most ruthless Dragon—Hanson says the presentation was actually quite enjoyable. 

“It was nerve-wracking, but once I got there, I felt right at home,” Hanson says. “It’s a great product so it’s easy to talk about. The Dragons were business-like and not condescending.”

He couldn’t believe how quickly time passed in the 40 minute taping and is curious to see what they’ll keep for the 5-6 minute version, which he’ll be tuning in for Wednesday night.

“It was a barrage of questions, but this was something I spent quite a lot of time preparing,” Hanson says.

Deiter, who founded Okanagan Spirits in 2004, brought a culinary concept to the den: the Mobile Juice Factory. The invention gives fruit growers a way to use up surplus apples.

“Every year the Okanagan valley grows nearly one billion apples. Only a fraction of them are fit for sale at the market,” Deiter says. “Thanks to the Mobile Juice Factory, thousands of lower-grade apples are being squeezed into fresh, delicious apple juice.”

A single unit can yield $130,000 in just 45 days of use. While lucrative, the concept was born out of a desire to eliminate food waste.

“I have strong ethics. I am passionate with my conviction to reduce food wastage and to help entrepreneurs,” Deiter says.

The Mobile Juice Factory piggy backs on the local food movement, offering yet another product made close to home.

“People are becoming more interested in knowing about what they are eating and drinking,” Deiter says. “We’re going back to how it was when I grew up.”

Deiter is in Germany right now, sharing his distillery expertise, so he won’t be able to catch the show Wednesday night. He’ll be in touch with family though, and eagerly waiting for the episode to become available online.

You can catch the show Wednesday at 8 p.m.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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