Vancouver – It was during the snowy winter of 2008 that Marco Longley first conceived of The HEFT™. For years he had suffered with declining back health and physical limitations, and he believed there had to be a safer and more efficient way to shovel his driveway.
Marco’s answer was The HEFT™– a secondary handle for snow shovels that instantly makes them ergonomic by eliminating the need to bend.
After time spent developing The HEFT™ — building prototypes and doing research with his wife and invention-partner Anne — Marco was ready for the big leagues. It was December 2012 when he appeared on CBC’s Dragons’ Den wearing his signature Hawaiian shirt and impressing every single Dragon.
It was Arlene Dickinson who offered to purchase the invention for $250,000. Although the deal with Arlene Dickinson ultimately didn’t go through, another Dragon was waiting in the wings. Dave Chilton, well-known author of The Wealthy Barber, stepped in and sealed the deal. He now calls The HEFT™ “one of his all-time favourite products.”
Marco became the only pitcher in the history of Dragons’ Den to present with only a couple of homemade prototypes and zero sales, and yet go on to secure a major licensing deal that included a national TV commercial with Home Hardware. (Airing across Canada beginning October 20th).
The HEFT™ is now being sold across Canada in Home Hardware stores and is indeed a true Canadian success story – Canadian inventors, Canadian investor, Canadian manufacturer and Canadian retailer.
“It has been a roller-coaster ride getting The HEFT™ to the store shelves. Thankfully working with Dave Chilton made it all work out perfectly,” says Longley. “How many people get to experience anything like this? I know first-hand what it’s like to suffer from a bad back and what it prevents you from being able to do. The HEFT™ has gone from an idea in my head to now being able to help so many people. I can’t express how excited and amazed I feel to finally see my 6 years of hard work come to fruition.”
Dragons’ Den is filmed at CBC and airs Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. (8:30 NFLD).