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Company in the Dragon's Den

Ads on Naps co-founders Jag Manhas and Phil Chow entered the Dragon's Den voluntarily - and survived.

Ads on Naps co-founders Jag Manhas and Phil Chow entered the Dragon's Den voluntarily - and survived.

Manhas, a British Columbia Institute of Technology student, and Chow, a Simon Fraser University alumnus, took part in a mini Dragon's Den at SFU's Surrey campus on Sept. 9.

The advertising company sells high-definition ad space on napkins, which are supplied free of charge to businesses in Canada.

The Ads on Naps team went up against another team - presenting a social networking venture called Caregaroo - and met with Jim Treliving and Bruce Croxon from CBC's Dragon's Den.

Treliving is the owner of Boston Pizza International and Croxon is the founder of Lavalife and Vida Spas.

The Caregaroo team presented the winning business pitch, but Treliving and Croxon were interested in the Ads on Naps concept, according to the founders.

"Both Phil and I started talking to Jim and Bruce," Manhas said in a phone interview on Oct. 21. "Hopefully we're going to get a deal done with Jim on the side, and we've been invited to the show in Toronto."

They're working on getting their napkins in every Mr. Lube in Canada, according to Manhas, and possibly every Boston Pizza across Canada, as well.

The company also prints QR codes - scannable bar codes - on the napkins, with micro-websites attached to the codes. The codes can be accessed using a barcode scanner application on a smart phone.

"It's not just a print ad, it's a digital ad that goes right to your phone with a micro-site," Manhas explains. "You can view video, galleries, get directions, click to call, play a game, or enter a contest."

The company plans to supply the napkins to bars, restaurants, cafés, stadiums, airlines and other businesses free of charge, he says. The company hopes to have its napkins picked up by franchises, he adds.

Manhas and Chow, who attended Alpha Secondary together, have been working on the concept for a year and a half, Chow says.

"In other places around the world it's really, really successful," Manhas says, noting that no one is doing it in Vancouver as of yet.

The mini-Dragon's Den was put on by the Beedie School of Business, in partnership with Venture Connection and Coast Capital Savings.

For more information on Ads on Naps, go www.adsonnaps.com.

The company is also on Twitter, @adsonnaps, and has an AdsOnNaps page on Facebook.

www.twitter.com/janayafe

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