Sam Koffski saddles a Workhorse deal with Dragons' Den investor

Sam Koffski shows off a prototype of his Workhorse II, which attracted the investment attention of one of the Dragon’s Den millionaires Wednesday night on CBC. - Peter W. Rusland
Sam Koffski shows off a prototype of his Workhorse II, which attracted the investment attention of one of the Dragon’s Den millionaires Wednesday night on CBC.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland

Dragons'-Den millionaire Arlene Dickinson called the Cowichan Legion Wednesday with good wishes for Workhorse II inventor Sam Koffski.

Her call followed Dickinson investing $75,000 in Koffski's adjustable, use-anywhere sawhorse/workbench brackets that could hit hardware stores — beside lumber displayed for Workhorse legs — by Christmas.

"I'm on cloud nine," Koffski, 82, said after Wednesday's national airing of CBC's popular Dragons' Den — where he stated he's from Duncan, B.C.

That's also when Koffski and son, Sid, pitched the Den's five shrewd dragons about breathing cash into his invention.

He struck a deal with Venture-capitalist Dickinson, in exchange for all rights to the Workhorse II, $75,000, plus a five per cent royalty on the wholesale price of units sold.

Considering his previous Workhorse sold about 130,000 units under Black & Decker in the late '80s, Koffski's cranked.

"There are two things I'd love to see: one is seeing the Workhorse II on the market; and if we make some money, that's great.

"Five per cent of the wholesale price would still be substantial."

His dream could come true.

A note on the Den said Dickinson has filed for a patent to take the Workhorse II worldwide.

She's also talking to Home Depot brass about exclusively harnessing the Workhorse II for a certain period, noted Koffski.

Drawings and a prototype have been sent to Chinese manufacturers for testing, he said.

After tool-and-die work, the Workhorse would head to production.

That's the goal of Dickinson who saw merits of Koffski's locking-bracket invention.

"You guys don't know anything " she quipped to the other four dragons who passed on investing Wednesday.

Snarky mutual-fund boss Kevin O'Leary was most leery of Koffski's invention without a patent.

"You have a problem accepting reality," he told Dickinson. "You're getting on my nerves. No patent — I'm out."

But Boston Pizza czar Jim Treliving was tempted to invest — realizing the Workhorse's huge potential U.S. market — but he backed away, with his blessing.

"You've got a good deal with Arlene who can help with Home Depot," he told the Koffskis.

"I'm happy to accept," Koffski told Dickinson.

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