Apparently it’s not enough for Tom Douglas to run a score of restaurants, cohost a radio show, launch a cooking school, and oversee an empire of meat rubs. Now Seattle’s most cherub-cheeked restaurateur is fronting the Lion’s Den, a homegrown version of the TV show Shark Tank: Startups pitch their ideas in hopes one of the mogul-judges will be moved to invest. And no, this isn’t a food-only thing; Douglas and his coconspirator, Jeri Andrews, are especially excited about tech and businesses that prioritize social change.

The soldout incubator-a-thon won’t be on TV, but a $15 ticket bought onlookers a ringside seat at the Palace Ballroom on January 15. And though it’s inspired by Shark Tank, the Lion’s Den might prove superior in a few critical ways.

✔︎  Douglas is way cuddlier than Mark Cuban. 

But he still lets the candor fly. Expect BS-free coaching and guidance for industry neophytes.

✔︎  Philanthropy—and drama—are built in. 

Anyone who scores an investment must dedicate a 1 percent share of the company to a charity (and 1 percent each to Douglas and Andrews).

✔︎  Fewer bacon-scented alarm clocks. More actual bacon.

Shark Tank gets some pretty weird food pitches. T-Doug’s involvement guarantees some quality food startups in the mix. 


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