CBC today announced that renowned Canadian entrepreneur and venture capitalist Arlene Dickinson will return to Dragons’ Den for Season 12 of the series. Hosted by Dianne Buckner, Season 12 will mark the first time there will be six dragons as Dickinson joins Jim Treliving, Joe Mimran, Manjit Minhas, Michael Wekerle and Michele Romanow in the Den. Following entrepreneur auditions across the country, the new season of Dragons’ Den will begin shooting this month at the CBC Broadcasting Centre in Toronto for a fall 2017 launch on CBC.
Known for such notable deals as OMG Candy and Balzac’s Coffee Roasters, Dickinson joined Dragons’ Den in Season 2 in 2007 and left in 2015 after eight seasons to launch District Ventures Capital, a fund aimed at investing in innovative food and health based businesses. Having raised approximately $30 million, Dickinson is ready to put the capital to work.
She also launched District Ventures, Canada’s first accelerator focused on early-stage food and health businesses, and the District Ventures and IBM Innovation Space, a technology hub that connects large enterprise to entrepreneurs.
“I left the Den to fulfill some big dreams,” said Dickinson in a media release. “Over the last two years, my team and I have fulfilled those dreams by raising a fund and launching two accelerators, the sole purpose of which is to help Canadian entrepreneurs. With these organizations, I’m looking forward to playing an even larger role in helping accomplish the show’s goals of inspiring entrepreneurs and building businesses.”
“Not only is Arlene one of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs with a passionate commitment to nurturing small businesses in this country, she is also an audience favourite, said Jennifer Dettman, executive director of unscripted content at CBC. “She is now in an even stronger position to support the development and growth of Canadian entrepreneurs, and we are thrilled to welcome her back to the Den.”
Dickinson is one of Canada’s most renowned marketing communications entrepreneurs. As CEO of Venture Communications, her creative and strategic approach has turned the company into a powerhouse with a blue chip client list. Her success and leadership has been recognized with multiple honours and awards including Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 and the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence as well as PROFIT and Chatelaine’s TOP 100 Women Business Owners. Dickinson is also the best-selling author of two books, Persuasion and All In.
A generous philanthropist, supporter of many important causes and mother of four and grandmother of seven, Dickinson is an Honorary Captain of the Royal Canadian Navy and is the recipient of honorary degrees from Concordia University, Mount Saint Vincent University, Saint Mary’s University and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. She sits on several private and public boards, and is the proud recipient of The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
A CBC original production, Dragons’ Den returns for Season 12 in fall 2017.
Photo: Mario De Ciccio/CBC