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In Pictures: Couple strikes gold after Dragons' Den pitch

Following an appearance on the hit CBC reality show, sales at Steeped Tea have 'gone through the roof'

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Tonia and Hatem Jahshan run Steeped Tea, an Ancaster, Ont.-based company that sells loose-leaf teas at tea parties hosted by independent consultants.

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The couple stepped in front of the cameras to make a pitch for investor money on CBC’s Dragons’ Den.

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Five minutes into their pitch, the couple had offers from four of the five Dragons – including Kevin O’Leary, who was willing to shell out $300,000 for a 30-per-cent stake in Steeped Tea, writes Marjo Johne in ‘Tea company brewed the perfect pitch for cash.’

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The Jahshans decided to go with Jim Treliving and David Chilton, who each offered $125,000 for 10-per-cent ownership in the business.

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"The Dragons liked our personalities," says Ms. Jahshan. To succeed on the show you should have a great business idea, but should also be likeable.

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Steeped Tea’s successful bid for Dragon financing stands as an example of what can happen when entrepreneurs hit all the right notes in a venture capital pitch – on or off camera.

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"If you want to get on Dragons' Den, you either have to be crazy or you have to be creative, and we chose the creative route," "You have to just stand out to the producers who interview you first," says Tonia Jahshan.

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She adds: “You have to know your numbers. I practised and practised before the pitch. If you stumble and don't know your numbers, they will eat you alive.”

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“You want to keep things light on the show but afterward, you want to hire a good lawyer - these guys are serious investors and you need to hire a serious lawyer,” says Ms. Jahshan.

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With its new business partners – and their money – on board, Steeped Tea is on track to enter the U.S. market by March of 2013. The company did $1.3-million in sales last year. But since their pitch on Dragons’ Den was aired, sales have "gone right through the roof," Mr. Jahshan says.

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