For those who don’t know the name yet, Lane Merrifield, is the co-founder of the world’s largest children’s social network, Club Penguin. Just 18 months after its development, the virtual platform was purchased by Disney. At only 28 years old, Lane Merrifield was then well-financed, and still entrepreneurially driven. This led to a series of different ventures in his hometown of Kelowna, BC all taking various influential and successful routes – both digital and physical, as well as commercially viable and philanthropic. These activities have brought Lane to the forefront of Canada’s premiere show for the business minded dreamer,Dragon’s Den, as one of the three judges, known as “Dragons” .
Lane’s capabilities and passions are many, but among them, one that remains most personally exciting is his business ventures is the investment in motorcycle lifestyle staple of Kelowna, BC and Moto Guzzi authorized dealership, Moto Vida.
We’re pleased to share a quick interview with Lane about his fascination with motorcycles.
Q: Lane, you’ve accomplished many different things in a short period of time. What first brought you to motorcycles, and how have you managed to bring your passion for them into another professional investment?
My first motorcycle was a dirt bike. I had grown up in the concrete jungle of Southern California so getting reconnected in nature was part of why I moved back to Canada. After a while, I wanted to incorporate riding more into my every day adventures and so I bought my first street bike. I feel like life should always feel like an adventure whether its in the bush on the weekends or on the way into the office during the week. Investing into a passion of mine was a no-brainer and the vision for MotoVida won me over right away.
Q: Your dealership, MotoVida, is based in your hometown of Kelowna, BC. What is it about the Okanagan region that brought you back home, and how has the community of motorcyclists changed or reacted since the start of the dealership and introduction of Moto Guzzi to the area?
Anyone who’s ever been on a motorcycle in the Okanagan will agree that its some of the best riding in Canada. The hills, the turns, the lack of traffic, long riding season, and the beauty in nature all contribute to incredible rides just minutes from home. The only thing missing were Moto Guzzi’s. A close friend of mine at Pixar in California first introduced me to the brand and we knew it would be a great fit in Kelowna. That fit, combined with an incredible team at MotoVida have made it a success!
Q: We saw the show trailer, where you’re riding your Moto Guzzi Audace . What’s your favorite ride in the region, and where is one you still dream of going?
My favourite ride in the region is one most riders will find if they research the area. The road between Kelowna and Nakusp is breathtaking. Its one of those rare rides that truly feeds your soul and combines all the best attributes of an epic ride. The Audace is the perfect bike for it and when I’ve ridden it with friends, they all want to take a turn trying it out.
Q: Your focus for Dragon’s Den is about entrepreneurship and new ideas. Given that passion and the hurdles that stand in the way of profitable ideas, what excites you most about involvement in a motorcycle dealership, and what do you think are the most challenging aspects of running one today?
What I’ve learned the most is the importance of a great team. I can’t take any credit for MotoVida’s success. All I did was find great people and turn them loose on the business. They truly deserve all the credit. I get the fun part of demo’ing the incredible bikes and watching them grow the business every year. They are the real rock stars of MotoVida
Q: We like to think the most exciting adventure is your next one. Anything you care to share with us about your next endeavors, whether with the show, hometown of Kelowna, or with the dealership, motorcycling or one of your other many hobbies?
I love looking for adventure in everything I do. Whether its riding my Audace to my next business meeting, or flying my plane to my next board meeting. Life is too short to wait for the weekends. That’s why I love riding so much. It allows you to integrate that sense of adventure and joy into life every day. That’s is why we named the company “MotoVida.” It literally translates as... Motion in Life