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Elliot Kimelman (at right) explaining his pitch to the “dragons” on Dragon’s Den on the November 14 episode

By MYRON LOVE

Elliot Kimelman had a problem. The Gray Academy student was a swimming instructor who was allergic to the chlorine commonly used in pools. He found that the chlorine would cause skin irritation and dryness.
Being a resourceful and entrepreneurial young fellow, he came up with a solution – a product called C-Spray – a product that can be applied to the hair, face, body and bathing suit that neutralizes chlorine.


Now, the fourth year Western University (he is enrolled in the Ivey Business School at the university) student’s fledgling company has received a major boost thanks to Dragons’ Den’s Michelle Romanow.
Kimelman, the son of Dr. Perry and Ruth Kimleman, appeared on the long-running CBC show to pitch his product on the November 14 episode. “I received offers from three of the Dragons,” he says. “It was very exciting. I chose Michelle’s offer. She is a prominent venture capitalist who has a successful track record of investing in start-up companies.”
In the October 29th issue of the News@Ivey, writer Dawn Milne quotes Kimelman as saying that “I used to watch Dragons’ Den religiously as a child and never dreamed I would one day be on the show. This experience has been extremely encouraging for me as an entrepreneur.”
Kimelman notes that he originally developed C-Spray – made from a combination of vitamins and minerals – four years ago while still in high school - as a product for Junior Achievement. “For Junior Achievement, our group had to develop a product along with a marketing plan and branding for the product,” he says. “We worked on C-Spray. At the end of the (school) year, all Junior Achievement companies are dissolved.”


Eighteen months later – at Western University– Kimelman also had to come up with a product and business plan. He was inspired by his experience and he remembered C-Spray. “After our feasibility study, I saw the potential for turning this into a real business.”
Returning to Winnipeg during the summer of 2018, just prior to starting Ivey’s HBA Program, he incorporated a business to sell C-Spray and began to approach aquatic shops and fitness clubs about carrying the product. “I also began selling C-Spray online and through Amazon,” he says. “I got really good feedback.”
Last March, Kimelman auditioned C-Spray for Dragons’ Den. “The CBC producers for Dragons’ Den go across Canada each spring looking for candidate for the show,” Kimelman explains. “I heard about the open audition and went down to the CBC studio in Toronto. I brought with me models in bathing suits and props that I planned to use on the show. The producers liked the staging, the product and everything about it.”
His family, including his grandmother, Edith Kimelman, also flew in for the taping.


“A couple of weeks later, I got the call to pitch C-Spray on the show. We did the filming in May. I was sworn to secrecy about the results.”
Kimelman reports that since his appearance on Dragons’ Den, interest in C-Spray has increased dramatically. “It’s really exciting,” he comments. “There are a lot of people who suffer from an allergy to chlorine. We saw a huge spike in demand right after the show.
“C-Spray has tons of potential.”
Kimelman graduates in the spring, after which he can devote himself full time to growing his business.
“We are still in the early stages,” he says of C-Spray. “In the spring, we will be exploring more distribution channels.”


Kimelman notes that he also has an idea for a second business venture, but says that it is still too early to talk about it.
Also, as per News@Ivey, Kimelman says that what he has learned from his experience with C-Spray is that you don’t need to invent a cutting-edge technology or first-of-its kind product – and that confidence matters.
“Don’t be afraid to take risks,” he told writer Dawn Milne. “I’ve learned that in business, confidence is everything. You can have the best product and the best pitch, but if you don’t have an air of confidence, no one is going to trust you with their money.”

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