One local transportation service has driven itself right into the dragon’s lair.
Driving Miss Daisy, a service that provides transportation to elderly and disabled persons, will be airing on Dragons’ Den tomorrow (Thursday).
The popular Canadian television show brings inventors and entrepreneurs to the stage, where six savvy business moguls – called dragons – decide whether or not to invest.
St. Albertan Bev Halisky, who started Driving Miss Daisy in 2002, was invited by producers of the show to try her hand at getting a deal with one of the dragons.
“It was a great experience, quite an adventure,” she said with a smile. “I’m really glad we did it.”
While the taping happened in May, Halisky was sworn to secrecy until the show aired, which will happen at 8 p.m. on CBC.
Halisky, who is almost 70 years old, started the transportation service as a semi-retirement project. Having previously worked in the medical field as an administrator, she said she saw a growing need among seniors and people with disabilities.
With the support of her late husband, she launched Driving Miss Daisy. The service provides transportation for residents in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec.
The business also performs non-medical services. From attending weddings with clients to helping them pick up groceries, Driving Miss Daisy is more than a taxi service.
“I really saw a need for this,” she explained. “I thought, ‘man these people really need some help. I should start a little business’.”
Into the denWhen Halisky first received a call from her daughter about attending the show, she was skeptical.
“I didn’t really want to do it, to be honest. I really wasn’t sure what kind of pitch we would do and I didn’t really feel like it was necessary,” she said, adding she was looking forward to pulling back and enjoying retirement.
After mulling it over, however, Halisky said she ultimately decided to jump in. Driving into the Toronto studio, Halisky sat quietly in the decaled car – which was hidden under a drape – while her daughter waited to present the business. One by one the dragons filed into the room.
“I could hear them come in and take their seats. You could hear everything,” she shared. "On the television show they look really far away, but they're actually pretty close to you."
The family asked for $100,000 for 10 per cent of the company, to go towards re-branding and advertising. Even though Halisky has to remain mum on the deal, she said it was an exciting experience.
The family will be having a large showing party at a St. Albert residence on Thursday, and Halisky will finally be able to break the nail-biting silence.
“We’ve had to wait for this airing so that we can make some bigger decisions about where we go, with what we’ve got to work with now.”