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B.C. business owners make ‘mini-gyms’ idea pitch on Dragon’s Den Sept. 28

‘It was extremely intense, but we were well-prepared’: Safe Sweat owner

Some South Surrey business owners will be featured on national TV on Thursday, Sept. 28.

That’s when Safe Sweat owners and co-founders Andrea Kloegman and Emre Ozgur will appear in CBC’s Dragons’ Den, after filming it in Toronto in May of this year.

The business owners opened Safe Sweat, which offers members individual mini-gyms, or FITsuites, to enjoy workouts in private or with their own personal trainer, in August of 2022.

After presenting their business at a health and fitness summit in L.A. earlier this year, they received an email from staff at Dragon’s Den, a CBC reality TV show where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of venture capitalists in the hopes of securing investment financing.

While they aren’t allowed to say what happened at the filming prior to their episode airing, Ozgur could share a little bit before the air date.

“We’re very excited!” he said.

Their business model – individual gyms, or ‘pod’ style fitness suites – seems to evoke one of two responses from people, he noted.

“A lot of people had question marks about our idea then some were like, ‘Oh my God, how come no one has done this before? I love it,’” Ozgur said.

READ ALSO: South Surrey’s Safe Sweat creators headed to CBC’s Dragon’s Den

The airing itself was quite an experience.

CBC had built a replica, or mock FITsuite for the taping of the show, so the panel and audience can visualize what the actual, flagship South Surrey location looks like in person.

“It was extremely intense, but we were well-prepared,” he said.

He and Kloegman have plans to launch additional locations as well as franchise, so they both felt Dragon’s Den would provide massive exposure.

“There’s a lot of pressure – there’s 10 cameras on you, there’s no retakes, you’re just going, going, going.”

They filmed for hours, Ozgur said, adding that it paid to be prepared.

“There wasn’t anything that surprised me. There weren’t any questions we couldn’t answer… if you ever go on (Dragon’s Den), make sure you know every single thing about your business,” because they will ask, he noted.

“We loved it. We loved every single minute of it. This was an incredible opportunity,” Ozgur said.

“The results are exactly what we thought,” he shared.

And, he added, he plans to head back to Dragon’s Den at some point.

“One day in the near future I’ll be back on, but as a Dragon this time.”

Their episode airs at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28 on CBC.

Tricia Weel

About the Author: Tricia Weel

I’ve worked as a journalist in community newspapers from White Rock to Parksville and Qualicum Beach, to Abbotsford and Surrey.
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