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From left, Kevin, Shannon, Andrew and Brittany Veurink make their pitch on the Dragon’s Den.

Online entrepreneurs hope to tame television’s dragons

By Debra DowneySenior Editor

Shannon Veurink won’t reveal whether she was greeted by a bunch of pussy cats or fire-breathing beasts when she and other family members stepped into the Dragon’s Den.

She will, however, say it was “quite the experience.”

“I typically don’t get too nervous, and I felt quite confident until we were waiting to walk out, but then the nerves hit me,” said Shannon. “I’m pretty sure I was shaking like a leaf.”

Shannon Veurink, her husband Kevin, brother-in-law Andrew and sister-in-law Brittany will appear on the Wednesday, March 5 episode of CBC’s popular  reality television show that features entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas to secure investment financing. 

The Veurinks operate RentThisLand.com, a Canada-wide website launched last February that offers a new way for landowners to find the perfect farmer to lease their farmland. 

Shannon, who grew up in Dundas and attended Ancaster High School, said her husband and brother-in-law are cash crop farmers who grow about 3,000 acres of corn, wheat and soybeans a year.

“Over the years, they’ve had nearly 20 land rental relationships and have experienced what it’s like to seek rental land, negotiate leases and carry them through,” said Shannon. 

“Land rental is something the average Joe-public may not ever give thought towards, but it’s actually one of the most pivotal transactions in the agriculture sector.”

While he was up late one night thinking about the hassles associated with land rental, Kevin came up with the idea behind RentThisLand.com. The Veurinks all jumped on board and spent the next year developing a website that answers landowners’ key questions and concerns, and gives farmers access to more opportunities.

Shannon said the response to RentThisLand has been phenomenal and the family hopes the Dragon’s Den experience will spark even more growth for the website by reaching a potential audience of 1.2 million viewers on prime-time TV.

RentThisLand.com’s pitch was taped last year, but entrepreneurs who appear on the show are not at liberty to discuss the experience until after their episode airs. 

 

 


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