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Arlene Dickinson, Dragons’ Den Investor and CEO of Venturepark on reaching hard and high

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Welcome to episode #87 – today’s guest is is widely recognised for her role as a Dragon and Venture Capitalist for 13 seasons on the multi-award-winning TV series, Dragons’ Den. She is the General Partner of District Ventures Capital, a $100M venture capital fund focused on helping market, fund and grow entrepreneurs and their companies, in the food and health space. She’s launched, operated and managed businesses for 35 years. Her strategies and business savviness are highly sought after, and she has helped businesses succeed from early stage startups, to multi billion corporations. She’s also a three-time best-selling author and accomplished public speaker.


To make mention of some of her recognition, voted Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Hall of Fame, the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, as well as PROFIT and Chatelaine’s Top 100 Women Business Owners. She’s a Marketing Hall of Legends inductee and a proud recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Award. She’s even served as an Honourary Captain in the Royal Canadian Navy. On top of that, she’s a mother of four and a grandmother of 5.


Some of the topics we spoke about include:

  • How to navigate the ups and downs
  • Characteristics of a great entrepreneur
  • How to assess risk
  • How to prove or disprove a market need
  • What world class marketing look like
  • What makes a standout pitch and so much more.


So if you’re someone that’s interested in reaching hard and reaching high as an entrepreneur, then this episode is for you.

Now a quick note, if we aren’t connected yet on Instagram, I invite you to follow me on my handle @TheGiantThinker as I share daily posts and stories on helping decision-makers, business owners and leaders get unstuck lightning fast through human-centred design methodologies, creative strategies and personal experiences. Send me a DM I’d love to hear from you! You can find me on my handle @TheGiantThinker.


Alright, let’s dive in.

I present to you … the courageously transparent, kind and thoughtful … Arlene Dickinson!



More on Arlene can be found via the links below:

Subscribe to The Giant Thinkers Podcast on iTunes.



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About Ram Castillo


Ram is an award winning Design Director, Blogger, top ranking Podcaster, Speaker, Instructor and Author of two internationally acclaimed books 'How to get a job as a designer, guaranteed' and 'How to get a mentor as a designer, guaranteed'. He's based in Sydney, Australia and in 2012, started the blog which helps thousands of design students and graduates be employed. Ram has since been featured in Communication Arts, HOW magazine, Herman Miller, deFrost*, and Apple.

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