Vincenzo Guzzo aka Mr Sunshine Dragon on Dragons’ Den

Vincenzo Guzzo aka Mr Sunshine

Exactly 20 years ago, Vincenzo Guzzo aka Mr. Sunshine, took his budding movie theatre business and decided to challenge his much bigger competitor in court for the right to show first-run movie releases in his chain of theatres. Guzzo won his case, and ever since that victory, has built Cinemas Guzzo into a Canadian entertainment empire, with 141 screens, nine IMAX theatres and a total of 10 locations with three more on the way to opening its doors later this year.

And that’s not all. From that foundation, Guzzo has expanded his empire with a general construction contracting business, as well as a chain of Italian pork sandwich shops called Porchetta and two successful fine dining establishments, with a third one set to open in the near future.

Vincenzo Guzzo – From movie entertainment mogul to TV Dragon

On top of his success in the business world, Guzzo and his wife Maria has given back to their community as respected philanthropists. They have established the Guzzo Family Foundation in 2007, and have donated to a number of hospitals, including the Jewish General Hospital and its research efforts into cancer nanotechnology.

And now Guzzo will get the chance to share his dynamic business acumen and the secrets of his success as the newest member of the CBC hit series Dragons’ Den, which begins its 13th season on September 20 at 8 p.m. Guzzo, along with Lane Merrifield, will join veteran Dragons Jim Treliving (who has been with the show since day one) and Arlene Dickinson, plus current Dragons Manjit Minhas and Michele Romanow in the Den, as they hear countless pitches from aspiring Canadian entrepreneurs to decide which of their products or services will be good enough to invest their own money in, and help to build successful business ventures of their own as a result.

On a personal level, I found being part of Dragons’ Den quite a gratifying learning experience, said Guzzo during a recent phone interview. It gave me the chance to find out what the other Dragons were all about, and learn what they do and why they do it. And I also learned that although we all have heart, we also have our own differences. Sometimes it can get nasty. For example, there was one pitch we heard that I loved, but the other Dragons hated, and they thought I was crazy because I like it so much.

Socially, all six of us get along just fine; it’s just at times we don’t have the same vision business-wise, he added.

Guzzo, who got his business degree from the University of Western Ontario and his law degree from the Universite de Quebec a Montreal (UQAM), signed on to join Dragons’ Den earlier this year and has already taped the 20 broadcasts that make up season 13. I have a developed a newfound respect for TV and movie actors as a result of being part of the show, he said. I always wondered why actors only do one movie a year, and now I know why. Taping the show was fun, but quite time-consuming and hard on the system. I spent 12-hour days from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and never left the CBC studios; it left me asking myself what happened to the day?

Although he admits that there are certain products and services that he would be reluctant to invest his money as a member of the Den such as those relating to marijuana growing (It’s like starting at a negative) and online apps (How can you ask $15 million for an app or what maybe the next Facebook if they only have 2 ½ followers?), Guzzo has his own set of criteria for a Dragons’ Den pitch that would catch his interest and make him an investor.

I’m pretty well open minded when it comes to investing time and money to a future entrepreneur, but being business partners is like a marriage; there has to be a sense of compatibility between both parties, he said. If you want me to be your business partner, it has to be with something that I can work with and in turn, it has to teach me something, too.

And if you think you have that certain product or idea that would be perfect to pitch for Guzzo and the other Dragons to invest their time, money and business knowledge in? Guzzo has the following recommendations.

You have to come into the Den with a lot of business savvy and a very hungry feeling, he said. You also need to be transparent, know from A to Z how you hope to accomplish your goals, and know all of your business numbers and facts – such as salaries, profit margins and how you plan to live off your business – as if you were going to a meeting with the president of a bank.

Feature image: CBC Dragons 2018

By: Stuart Nulman – [email protected]

Other articles from

Marguerita Bakery

Marguerita Bakery Montreal – Amazing Italian bread, pizza and sauce


brunchbox.mtl welcomes Choco-Croissant box to their menu

Is it possible to get an A for a 5-paragraph essay assignment in 1 hour? We can safely say yes, a student can get an A+ mark if he turns to EduJungles


The ultimate guide to planning a long family staycation in Canada

To guarantee that everyone has an amazing time, careful planning is necessary when organizing a lengthy staycation. Here’s the ultimate guide to planning your family staycation in Canada. Canada, with its vast landscapes, diverse cities, and rich cultural heritage, offers endless possibilities for a memorable family staycation. Whether you’re exploring the stunning natural beauty of

Meal kits

Cost vs. Convenience: Analyzing meal kits and traditional cooking

In this modern world and modern times, convenience often takes priority over cost, especially when it comes to food. Meal kits and traditional cooking represent two different approaches to home dining, and each of them has advantages and disadvantages. Analyzing these methods through the lens of cost and convenience provides insight into why individuals might

Condo renovations

Condo renovations Dos and Don’ts: Expert Tips for a Successful Project

Embarking on a condo renovations journey can be both exhilarating and daunting. Imagine transforming your living space into a stylish haven that reflects your personality and meets your needs. While exciting, the process can be full of challenges and unforeseen hiccups. That’s why we’ve gathered some condo renovation dos and don’ts from the experts to

Terrific Hair

Terrific Hair Means Tamanu – Earth to Body

Curly, straight, thick, thin, kinky or silky, tamanu loves and makes terrific Hair.  And scalps. Nutritionally dense yet gentle, tamanu is an effective and versatile nut oil. It stimulates, helps promote growth. prevents hair loss, reduces scalp itch and irritations and adds a natural sheen! Make tamanu a part of your hair and scalp care

Understanding the 4 legal process after a DUI Crash

A single mistake can have serious consequences, especially when driving under the influence. The aftermath of a DUI crash extends beyond physical harm and property damage. It involves a complex legal process that may feel overwhelming. As a responsible citizen, it’s vital to grasp the legal system and your rights in such situations. This blog

personal injury lawyer

Pedestrian accident: How a personal injury lawyer can help you

Accidents involving pedestrians can be life-altering. You could be walking down the street or crossing a street. A vehicle’s sudden impact can change everything right away. If you’ve found yourself in such a situation, you might be wondering how to move forward. This is where a personal injury lawyer steps in, offering crucial help and

Mtltimes Subscription

The latest on what’s moving Montreal and the world – delivered straight to your inbox