This year’s Christmas special was inspirational and hilarious! Although there were three strong entrepreneurs on this episode, none are sure-fire successes and they are all very early in their company’s life cycle. On that basis, no Sharky’s will be awarded.
I must admit, Mr. Wonderful had a good night…..no deals but he provided some great comic relief. Shark Barbara came roaring off the bench and made three deals!
Speaking of benches, first up was Neal from Mensch on a Bench. Neil told the Sharks that it’s tough growing up as a Jewish kid during Christmas time. He wanted to create a product that was inspirational and would be a great gift for Jewish boys and girls.
Neal gained respect from the Sharks when he told them he was an employee at Hasbro (with toy expertise) and he had sold $930K of his product on a part-time basis independent from Hasbro.
Barbara ended up making a deal under the condition that she could rewrite his booklet and he could make the Mensch look happier. Mr. Wonderful quipped, “By the time Barbara rewrites the book, he’ll be Catholic”. Very funny stuff!
Next up was Nathan from Eve Drop. Nathan didn’t get a deal for his Christmas light business. He only had $4,500 in sales thru KickStarter and the chemistry between he and the Sharks was not good. He prided himself as a great salesman, but the Sharks didn’t agree.
Andrea and Hong from Q-Flex had created an acupressure device. Andrea is only 13 years old and Hong is her Mom. The product was developed as a way to massage Mom’s back when she got home from long hours as a nurse at a local hospital.
These two were very inspirational. If Andrea is any indication, the future of America looks bright! When Mark Cuban heard that she sold 800 massagers by going door-to-door, he quickly teamed up with Barbara to make an offer.
Mark LOVES any entrepreneur who starts off selling a product door-to-door. Why? It demonstrates hustle, resourcefulness, guts, and sales skills. It’s also the way Mark started his entrepreneurial career.
Trina from Hoppy Paws had just started her business 90 days ago. She had invested $105K in her business and had created eight different camping kits for kids. Trina is a single mom who had a difficult childhood and clearly has a chip on her shoulder. That “chip” can be used as a positive force. It can provide tremendous focus and energy to prove someone wrong. Trina struck me as the type of person who will continue to use this feeling as a motivating force. For Trina, I suspect, failure is not an option.
Barbara made her third deal of the night by investing $100K for 49% of the business. Recognizing that Trina is a high-octane person (the Sharks nicknamed her “The Beast”), Barbara also insisted on a guarantee to have a 50% interest of any future products Trina might develop. This should be an interesting partnership. She and Barbara have many similarities and common experiences. Sometimes having two similar people as partners doesn’t work as planned. I think we’ll know within a few months if this one works.
Mr. Wonderful got off another great one-liner when he said that he was strongly considering making Trina (who was wearing reindeer antlers throughout her presentation) an offer because he thought it was time for him to have “a woman with horns in his portfolio”.