Sharky Awards will be given to three entrepreneurs appearing in this episode…..
Platinum Sharky Award…..Corey and Trew from Tom + Chee
Just like the “Soup Nazi” on Seinfeld, these two have created a place where people line up for hours just to get a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup. The only difference is that they’re actually nice to their customers.
So nice that they keep coming back for more, and don’t mind the wait. These two did $1.5 million in sales last year and are on their way to fame and fortune. I personally think they can kick Subway’s butt with the right franchisees and the right partners.
This is, as Barbara put it, “a run away hit” and a these two are candidates for Best Performance by an Entrepreneur in Season 4. Barbara and Mark Cuban invested $600K for a 30% stake in the business. They were so impressed with this business they wanted the “first right of refusal” on new franchises in Texas (Mark) and NYC (Barbara).
Gold Sharky Award……Ryan and Kunal from Verbalizeit
These two Wharton classmates teamed up to create an internet-based translation service. They have a free App which includes one free call. After that, they charge 50 cents to $1.oo per minute for translation services anywhere in the world.
They generated significant interest from the “Techie Sharks”. Mark Cuban was interested, but talked about the advantages of computer-based translation over human translation services. Turns out Mark is already working on a computer-based translation service and he thought combining the two would make a great offering.
Mr. Wonderful (who sold his software company for billions) also jumped in with the same offer Mark made…..but for less equity. Ryan and Kunal shocked everyone (including me) by taking Mr. Wonderful’s offer. They must have thought the additional 5% equity Mark wanted wasn’t worth it. This will be an interesting one to keep an eye on to see how it plays out.
Silver Sharky Award……Ryan and Daniela from Ryan’s Barkery
Ryan (11 years old) and his Mom bake dog treats and sell them for $4 a bag. They wanted $25K for 25% of the business in order to build a website to increase their distribution.
Ryan knew his stuff and was a real cute kid. When asked what his friends thought of his business, he said he thought they were a little jealous. The Sharks couldn’t NOT invest! They couldn’t kick this kid to the curb. Shark Barbara stepped up and made it happen. Mr. Wonderful could be heard in the background telling Ryan to take the money and buy a car. Funny!
Shark Chum……Val from Three Day Rule was extremely smart but had trouble differentiating her online dating service from the big online dating services. She was a “pre-revenue company” and so most of her thoughts and answers were based on theory, not reality. Too risky for these investors.