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Area resident enjoys visit to the Dragon's Den 0

By Angela Brown, Portage Daily Graphic

Katie Hartle, of the Poplar Point area, was recently on the CBC show Dragon's Den to look for support for her on-line friend- connection idea, www.friendmatch.ca. She is seen during a visit to Portage la Prairie.

Katie Hartle, of the Poplar Point area, was recently on the CBC show Dragon's Den to look for support for her on-line friend- connection idea, www.friendmatch.ca. She is seen during a visit to Portage la Prairie.

A Central Plains area resident recently enjoyed some fame when she appeared on the Dragon's Den television show hoping to receive support for her new idea of Friend Match, a website where people can connect and make new friends around the world.

Katie Hartle, who lives near Poplar Point in the Marquette area, was selected to appear on the CBC show the Dragon's Den on March 7 to present her new website: www.friendmatch.ca

"There is a huge on-line match-making and on-line dating industry. So I decided to take it to the next step, which is on-line match making, but for friends instead of dates," she said. "It serves Canada and the United States as well. The idea is maybe you have moved and you don't know anyone. It's a modern way to meet new friends."

She said it could be helpful for people looking for running partners or even new parents seeking others to connect with.

While Hartle said she wasn't successful in receiving funding for her venture, she was happy just to get the exposure.

"I did get a lot of publicity and a lot of traffic from the Dragon's Den," she said.

Her next step is to go to a conference in Los Angeles in June focusing on on-line ventures.

Hartle said Facebook and Match.com representatives will be there, and she plans to attend also to promote her product.

Dragon's Den production-assistant Jane Chupick said when someone is selected to appear on the show it is a good boost to the individual and their product.

"It's definitely great to have your business go on the show," she said. "Obviously, even if you don't get the deal, you are still seen by all of our viewers. Often times, you can get sponsorship or funding from other areas or people who have seen the show, as well as the general public. I'm sure she got quite a few hits for her website after the segment aired."

Presenters on the Dragon's Den are often selected because they have a great idea that they are passionate about.

For Hartle, her site www.friendmatch.ca has now garnered thousands of members.

"It's actually leaking into the U.K. already, so it is growing," Hartle said.

angela.brown@sunmedia.ca


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