Juno Award winner Dan Mangan took his Side Door project to the Dragons — and got an offer


B.C. musician Dan Mangan and his enterprise associate, Laura Simpson, appeared on CBC’s Dragon’s Den final week asking for an funding of their home live performance project, Side Door.

And they got it. 

VenturePark CEO Arlene Dickinson provided $500,000 in financing.

“I believe a number of us have watched the [Dragon’s Den] earlier than and imagined ourselves in that place, and Dan and I’ve pitched loads, however being below the TV lights and dealing with six of all of them without delay, sort of drilling you for 45 minutes was fairly the journey,” co-founder Laura Simpson informed On The Coast host Gloria Macarenko. 

Singer-songwriter Dan Mangan co-founded Side Door, a platform to make it simpler for artists to e book exhibits. (Jonah Atkins)

Dickinson’s offer was made in the type of a convertible word, which in accordance to the Business Development Bank of Canada, is a type of financing used for quickly rising, however early stage corporations. It begins as a mortgage however the investor can flip it into fairness, relying on the deal’s phrases.

The idea

Simpson, a music promoter from Halifax, and Mangan, a singer songwriter who lives in Vancouver, seen that artists had been struggling to make a go of their music careers, partly due to the lack of appropriate venues. 

“We had been each experiencing issue discovering exhibits that had been significant and worthwhile for the artist,” Simpson stated.

“What we had been discovering is that these low overhead and excessive engagement, straightforward going DIY venues had been the greatest scenario for everybody.”

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Laura Simpson speaks with Gloria Macarenko about her firm Side Door Access and the funding made by dragon Arlene Dickinson.

After two years of engaged on the project, the pair launched Side Door in 2019, a few yr earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe and pressured occasions to be placed on maintain till gatherings turned secure as soon as once more. 

The concept was to bridge the rift between individuals who have house for artists to carry out and artists who want a venue.

Hosts put up availability on the Side Door platform, together with what the house has to offer, and artists can match with appropriate spots — form of like a courting app, however for performers.

Both the artist and host are paid mechanically by the platform. 

They’ve performed about 1,800 exhibits since launching the firm.

Laura Simpson co-founded Side Door in 2017 with Vancouver artist Dan Mangan. (Brooklyn Currie/CBC)

The pitch

Mangan performed his 2018 music Peaks & Valleys in a front room set throughout the pitch to clarify the idea to the Dragons, who cheered him on with enthusiasm.

From there he defined that though he is been lucky to play on worldwide phases, he began his musical journey taking part in in dwelling rooms and backyards. 

“The problem proper now for artists is unbelievable,” he stated.

“There are literally simply fewer venues to play in than ever earlier than.”

They defined the idea, and defined their transition to on-line exhibits throughout the pandemic, attracting internationally acknowledged artists comparable to Vance Joy — a reputation that appeared to impress the Dragons.

After the different 5 Dragons bowed out, Dickinson made her offer. 

WATCH | See Side Door’s full pitch beneath:

Laura Simpson and Dan Mangan from Halifax pitch their on-line platform that connects musicians with hosts.


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