Shark Tank episode aired November 20, 2015

Cameron and Junea from Brazi Bites gave a great presentation and are the winner of this week’s Sharky Award for entrepreneurial excellence. Their Brazilian Cheese Bread tasted great and was gluten-free.

Cameron and Junea showed steadily increasing revenues, something that appeals to all investors. Revenues grew from $60K to $200K to $600K per year. They expect to hit $1 million in sales this year.

They received multiple offers from the Sharks with Lori ending up with 16.5% equity for $200K. Lori was particularly interested because of her Season 6 investment in Bantam Bagels. Brazi Bites are very similar to Bantam Bagels EXCEPT Brazi Bites are gluten-free.  Lori will try to leverage her experience and retail placement and try to get Brazi Bites into the same sales channels as Bantam Bagels. A recent Shark Tank Update segment revealed that they were now in Starbucks and Delta Airlines among others. This is why Lori fought so hard for this deal (I think she sweetened her offer three times).

Lori made this deal despite the fact that Brazi Bites had already sold 50% of the company to a co-packer. This may have been a good deal, but giving up this much equity can make it more difficult to raise money from a third partner. For example, Mark Cuban said that it increased his potential risk and reduced his potential reward to the point where it wasn’t worth it for him to make an offer.

The Best of the Rest……..Jonathan and Alex from umano  got a deal from Mark and Lori for a 20% equity stake in their tee-shirt company. What makes them unique is that each tee-shirt features a drawing done by a boy or girl from one of their international school partners. Umano donates a $4 backpack to the school for each tee-shirt sold. Jonathan and Alex need the money to build more inventory so they can fulfill all possible customer orders.

John from the National Association of Bubble Soccer gave one of the funniest product demonstrations ever seen on Shark Tank. The Sharks inserted themselves into huge plastic bubbles and proceeded to intentionally collide with each other (not too much soccer was played!). They were literally rolling on the floor in laughter.

Despite all the fun, John did not get a deal because his Business Model was too complex. He rattled on about lead generation revenue, soccer leagues in 39 cities, insurance policy revenue, kids parties, Australian Bubble Soccer, and other businesses he ran. If the  Sharks couldn’t understand his Business Model, who can?

Glen and Tracie from Sock Tabs are very accomplished people. Glen’s a Doctor and Tracie is a high energy, well paid Pharma Sales Rep.  Sock Tabs prevent “lost sock syndrome”.  By my calculation, in order for Tracie to replace her current income, she will have to sell over $2 million a year of these “cuff links for your socks”.  Not gonna happen.

Update Segment…. Mensch on a Bench sold over $1 million last year. They’re developing a female character to expand their product line. Congrats!



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Shark Tank episode aired November 13, 2015

This episode featured four Millennial Entrepreneurs . Each was impressive, but one stood out and is the winner of my weekly Sharky Award for entrepreneurial excellence.

Sharky Award

Sharky Award
Polar Pro
November 13, 2015

When Jeff from Polar Pro first walked into the tank, he seemed like the stereotypical Southern California surfer dude. He spoke in Valleyspeak cadence, and talked about how “sick” his camera filters were.

Shame on me for thinking the Sharks would devour the surfer dude.

To use a millennial expression, he crushed it! Using $2,000 of his college book money, he started a company that designs and manufactures camera filters that make all videos look more professional. What got the Sharks excited was Polar Pro’s annual sales ($2.8 million last year and $5.6 million forecasted for this year), and the fact that Jeff”s biggest selling product is camera filters for drones…….a rapidly growing market.

Sharks Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec teamed up to invest $1 million for 20% of Jeff’s company. This will be a great partnership. Epic!

Best of the Rest………Nate and Desiree from Unshrinkit have developed “the emergency sweater saver”. Lori estimated the potential market size for unshrinking shrunken wool sweaters is relatively small, and I would have to agree.    I think Mark Cuban’s reason for investing was more because of these two impressive Harvard Business School grads than the product they brought to the tank.

Bryce from Clean Grip got a last minute deal from Shark Lori for his all- natural hand cleaning product. Bryce was targeting the motorcycle industry, but I would guess after Lori redesigns his packaging and improves his margins, he’ll be on QVC in no time at all.

Maxwell from AFreshSheet is on to something, but he needs to improve the quality of his sheets (they need to be softer) and get some actual customer orders before seeking outside investment. The Sharks could see his disposable sheet product being a good fit for hospitals and nursing homes, but he was too early to land a deal. Stay with it Max!

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Shark Tank episode aired November 6, 2015

After the excitement of last week’s episode, tonite’s show was a real letdown. All of tonite’s entrepreneurs were way”too early”….clearly not ready to seek the Shark’s investments.

First up were Gabe and Ani from Wink Frozen Desserts. The Sharks thought their ice cream substitute didn’t taste very good.  Mr. Wonderful suggested that they double the calories to improve the taste. That would still leave their product at 200 calories per pint vs. an industry average of 600. This was a great suggestion. They received no offers.

Deborah and Hugo from Saavy Naturals made a great couple, but didn’t seem like saavy business people. Shark Barbara loved them and their passion, and made an offer for 40% of their skin products company. Barbara wants to change their name (good idea), and may be able to make something of this business. If anyone can, she can.

Arthur and Ryan from Clean Cube gave a decent presentation and demo of their “doorman replacement system” for apartments. They had a few installations in NYC, but were too early to pitch the Sharks. No deal here.

Gloria and Linda from Simply Fit Board generated some interest from the Sharks for their “balance board”. They were selling their board for $45, and their cost was $9.75 to produce one. Lori ended up getting a deal for 20% equity for an investment of $125K.  Since there’s nothing proprietary about their product, they’ll have to move fast before competitors knock it off.

Update: Congrats to Shark Tank alumnae Tipsy Elves and Shark Robert. Their sales now exceed $10 million plus for their intentionally ugly Christmas sweaters!


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Shark Tank episode aired October 30, 2015

Great Shark Tank episode! I liked the addition of Chris Sacca to the Shark line-up (former Google executive and a red-hot Venture Capitalist). I think he forced the other Sharks to pick-up their games. I hope to see him again.

I also loved the four entrepreneurs! Each one did a very nice job presenting. Their products were innovative, and leveraged exciting, new technologies in some way.

Tonite’s Sharky Award for entrepreneurial excellence goes to Ryan from Windcatcher.

Shark Award

Sharky Award
October 30,2015

Ryan had a bit of a “mad scientist” look. He utilized a scientific principle called “air entrainment” to inflate things faster than the Shark’s (or I) could imagine. Think of an inflatable raft that takes hours to blow up. Ryan’s product allows people to inflate that raft 10 times faster than by using conventional methods.

It looked like magic, but Ryan demonstrated how it actually works. He owns a patent to help protect his intellectual property.

Ryan was a bit unconventional and quirky……he refused to tell the Sharks what his cost structure was, he continually wrote on his hand when the Sharks started bidding, and said he would be bored with a business with a steady, predictable stream of revenue.

That was okay with the Sharks. I thought he looked like a young Albert Einstein. He ended up getting a $200K investment from Lori for 5% equity. This will either be HUGE or will flame-out very quickly. Very intriguing entrepreneur.

The Best of the Rest…….Mike and Drew from Rent Like a Champion rent private homes in the vicinity of large college football stadiums. Think of it as an Airbnb targeted at people who love college football. They have a great revenue model…..they charge renters 8% and homeowners 15%. These two knew their market and were targeting 43 small college towns with big-time football (ex-they have 350 homes for rent in South Bend, Indiana). Chris and Mark invested $200K for 10% equity and said afterwards that this was a good valuation and that this could be “a pick-up” for Airbnb, meaning they probably will get acquired by Airbnb some day. This should be a great ROI for all.

Melissa and Lavanya are sisters with Mechanical Engineering degrees that launched STEM Center USA. The sisters charged their clients annual membership fees and were getting ready to franchise their idea. Chris and Lori battled it out and Lori got the deal when she differentiated herself using her passion and experience helping women and girls.

I liked Danny from Hotshot. After 6 years of development and spending $2 million of his own money, Danny was just now getting ready to launch his “Hot Coffee in a Can” business. The Sharks were appalled that it had taken him so long to launch. Mr. W. said that every business should be making money after 36 months. Spoken like a true financial investor.

Danny didn’t get a deal, but with the right partner, Danny can do well. I think the Sharks may have missed an opportunity here.


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Shark Tank episode aired October 23, 2015

This episode featured the most exciting Shark Tank presentation since Season 5’s Breathometer and Season 6’s Spikeball presentations (both won the Sharky Award for the Best Presentation of their respective seasons). XCraft was the clear winner of tonite’s Sharky Award for entrepreneurial excellence.

Shark Tank

Sharky Award
October 23, 2015

J.D. and Charles from XCraft entered the tank accompanied by their drone. Their X Plus One can transition from hover mode (like a helicopter) to forward flight at speeds up to 60 MPH!

But what got the Sharks hyper-ventilating was XCraft’s “Phone Drone” which allows a smart phone to fly and act like a drone! It leverages the GPS, gyroscope, camera, and other technologies that are utilized by today’s smart phones.

This excitement led to an all-out bidding war that resulted in XCraft getting $1.5 million (three times as much as they had originally asked for). They got an offer from all five Sharks together at a $6 million valuation……each taking 5% equity. This is an example of where the usual financial metrics go out the window. Despite the fact that XCraft had sales of less than $173K, the Sharks saw explosive growth on the horizon. I do too.

XCraft will use the money to continue development of the “Drone Phone” and ramp up production of the  X Plus One. Their current cost is $400 per unit and they sell for $1,800. With the Sharks expertise and investment, they will be a formidable player in the newly emerging drone space.

Best of the Rest……..Jordan and Daniel from Three Jerks Jerky gave an excellent presentation. They make a premium jerky made of filet mignon. Finally, a beef jerky that isn’t like chewing on rawhide and tastes good! The Sharks loved their product and loved their pitch. Four of the five Sharks were interested. A spirited bidding  war ensued.

Jordan and Daniel asked a question of Daymond that had never been asked before. They wanted to know if a relatively small investment would incentivize him to work hard on their behalf.   They ended up structuring a deal that got them $100K now for 15% equity and gave Daymond an option to buy another 15% at $100K in the future. This provides the incentive the entrepreneurs were looking for.

Melinda from Skinny Mirror gave some conflicting messages in her presentation. As the name implies, Melinda’s mirrors make people look skinny. If she just took her logo off the mirror, she could sell tons of them to retail clothing businesses and hotels. In fact, she had already turned down an order for $700K from a large hotel chain that were prepared to buy if she removed the logo from the mirror. Turning down an order of this magnitude when starting a new business is not a good idea. The Sharks didn’t feel comfortable with the whole idea of making people look lighter than they really are. No offers were made.

Rob and Lara from Switch Witch have a Halloween product that allows kids to give up all or some of their candy in return for a plush doll. Although their product provides a healthier option for kids, the whole concept was not sweet enough for the Sharks. Almost seemed un-American to me.

At the very end of their pitch, Rob and Lara committed the cardinal sin of presenting (according to Mark Cuban). He always warns entrepreneurs never to say, “This is a huge market of X Billions of dollars and if we can get just 1%, our revenues will be huge”.

Update: Congrats to Bantam Bagels and Shark Lori Greiner. Since their appearance in Season 6, they are now selling their small, stuffed bagels in Starbucks and on Delta Airlines. Paraphrasing D. Trump… that’s HUGE!

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Shark Tank episode aired October 16, 2015

If you just focused on the products on this week’s episode you would not be impressed. They included pizza, toilet seats, toilet paper, and brownies. If you looked at the entrepreneurs that offered them, you might be intrigued. None of them were impressive enough, however, to win a Sharky Award for entrepreneurial excellence.

First up was Thomas from Table 87 Coal Oven Pizza. Thomas was very passionate about his pizza business in Brooklyn, NY. He had developed a pre-cooked, frozen pizza-by-the slice product that could be sold in supermarkets, restaurants, bars, and other venues. Shark Lori bought into Thomas’s vision of world domination and made a deal for $250K for 18.5% equity. Lori had a vision, and I would never bet against her.

Brian from E Z PeeZ had invented a toilet seat insert for small kids. I loved the name, but Brian was a great example of a good sales person who tried too hard. For example, he had read all the Sharks’ books (this was a good thing), but when asked about his background , he tried to compare himself to each one of the Sharks individually. His answer was obviously scripted and went on way too long. He seemed like the stereotypical over-reaching salesman and didn’t get a deal.

Marquees and company from Brookies were a fun group who had only sold $14K of their combination brownie-cookie but had a lot of fun making them. They danced and sang while they were baking their brookies, but couldn’t convince the Sharks that they had a real business. They did, however, receive lots of good advice from the Sharks. They were told they needed to increase their prices by 100% (Mark Cuban), and cut the number of SKU’s (Stock Keeping Units) from hundreds to four (Mr Wonderful). This will help them increase their revenue and become profitable.

Sean, Ryan, and Jeff from Wipes for Dudes had created wet wipes for dudes to wipe themselves after pooping. On the strength of their deal with Kroger, they got a deal with Mark. I don’t know why men wouldn’t just buy wet wipes or baby wipes given the fact that they’re 50% less expensive, but the brand name may convince guys that there is a special product just for them.

Update: Season Six Top 5 presenter Roominate had sales of $4.5 million in one year after their appearance on Shark Tank. Good work Stanford ladies! See the Best and Worst of Shark Tank for more information on Roominate.



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Shark Tank Episode aired October 9, 2015

Four solid entrepreneurs appeared on tonite’s episode, but none had the “wow factor” needed to win a Sharky Award.

Bryan and Matt from Foot Cardigan made their entrance to the tank wearing their underwear and the unique socks they sell thru an online subscription model. They gave a good presentation……they knew their numbers and were open to the Sharks’ ideas. They received multiple offers and ended up taking an offer from Mark Cuban and newcomer Troy Carter for $250K for 20% equity.

Next up was Wayne from ValPark Mobile. His valet parking app handles payment of parking fees and allows the user to call for his/her car and receive a message when the car is available. Wayne was confident bordering on cocky……he dismissed any potential competitors,  and compared his business to Uber despite having sales of less than $30K.  Wayne received no offers, but should have good success in this niche market without the Sharks.

Adam and Tim from The Two Guys Bowtie Company make stylish wooden bowties and hats. They have had several NBA players and broadcasters wear their bowties and have generated $407K in sales. As expected, they got a deal from Daymond John for $150K for 20% equity. Daymond minimized his risk by negotiating a royalty until he gets his money back.

Dan, Lydia, and family from Nerdwax were next up. Their product beeswax prevents eyeglasses from sliding down your nose. They sell their product online and have fantastic margins (over 90%). Their business is profitable but not investable because the potential market size is too small for the Sharks to get excited. Daymond pleaded with Dan and Lydia NOT to take any money from the Sharks. Daymond and Mark actually applauded when they declined a couple of “blood sucking” offers.



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