Local company to be featured on Dragon’s Den

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“Everybody moves,” said Molly Duignan, producer of hit television show Dragon’s Den. “Everybody knows how annoying it is to buy boxes or find boxes, they can break and then what do you do with the boxes after? It’s just one of those things.”

However, Doug Burgoyne created a company called Frogbox in 2008 which aims to make moving a little simpler and a lot greener.

“A lot of people think, ‘we’re moving, so we need a mover,’” said Mike Arnold, franchisee of Frogbox in Kitchener-Waterloo. “But there’s not a lot of people that know they don’t have to run around and do dumpster diving for cardboard boxes, [but] can rent these eco-friendly bins and have them brought to [their] home.”

The Frogbox was first up and running in Vancouver, and since its 2008 opening, has now opened 23 franchises across North America, and opened in the Kitchener-Waterloo area last May. However, after his first three openings, Burgoyne appeared on Dragon’s Den in order to try and gain more funding for his franchises.

“Doug stared the business to make it into a franchise,” Arnold said. “He came up with Frogbox because the moving industry has a little bit of a bad reputation. A lot of times there are sketchy movers —there’s also a lot of reputable movers out there [as well], but he felt that the moving industry was one that we could go into and be successful at delivering a high level of incredible customer service.”

When Burgoyne applied to Dragon’s Den, Duignan noted that his business already had three locations and was growing fast. “We’ve had other green ideas that could relate but nothing like this,” Duignan said. “It makes so much sense and it was just one of those ‘ah ha’ choices.

“I don’t think we realized how big the potential was. So many people can relate to it, and that’s important with Dragon’s Den. And the fact that you have a franchisee in K-W, it’s indicative of this is a business that lots of people can do, it makes sense.”

The only downside for other green companies looking to make a statement is that they will be much less likely to make an appearance like Burgoyne on Dragon’s Den.

“We’re looking for fresh ideas,” Duignan explained, “And a challenge with the show — and it’s been on for so long — is anyone else who comes to us with a green moving box rental business is probably never going to get on our show again because we’ve already showcased that. We’re looking for things that we haven’t showcased.”

The main idea behind Frogbox is the idea that the bins used to help with the move are re-usable. As Arnold explained, there’s a cost per bin but Frogbox uses comparable prie to cardboard. This was done intentionally because if Frogbox made their prices much higher due to being environmentally friendly, people would be less likely to use their service.

“A lot of people,” Arnold said, “Not so much your generation but the older people, they’ll only pay a certain degree for eco reasons and they won’t pay double just because it’s environmentally friendly.”

“Our biggest challenge,” he continued, “Is trying to create the awareness that the service is available. Anyone who uses the service loves it, it’s a brand new service that did not exist. So I think our challenge is increasing the awareness that our services exist.”

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