Shark Tank episode aired October 14, 2016

Interesting assortment of entrepreneurs and products in this episode. Doug from biem was the clear standout and is the winner of this week’s Sharky award for entrepreneurial excellence.

Doug has a background in the food industry and has created a sleek-looking, hand-held processor that melts and sprays real butter on vegetables, popcorn, etc. He sells the device for $137 and forecasts sales of $10 million next year. Doug was asked if he could cost- reduce his product so it could be sold for $99 and he said he could. This got three of the Sharks very interested and a bidding war ensued.

Doug showed very little emotion during the bidding process and this was mistaken for him not being decisive by Shark Daymond who withdrew his offer. Doug simply stayed quiet while the offers improved (good poker face) and eventually he made a deal with Lori for $500K for 14% equity. She is the perfect partner for Doug as this will be a great QVC product.

Best of The Rest……..Monica and Becca from Solemates both worked at Goldman Sachs before starting their company. They gave an excellent presentation, but I can’t appreciate how big the potential market is for plastic caps that cover part of a high heel in order to prevent sinking into grass while attending an outdoor wedding. They’ve created a new category and forecasting is a very inexact science.

This reminds me of the saying made famous by Steve Jobs, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them”.

Monica and Becca put $100K of their own money into the company and raised $1 million from angel investors. Their sales this year are forecasted to be $1.1 million. They ended up getting a deal from Shark Robert for $500K for 20%…..a very high valuation.

Malorie, Madison, and Viara from Angels and Tomboys make body spray for kids ages 5 to 12. Their presentation was exciting and included the two daughters (one an angel and one a tomboy) dancing up a storm. This was unique and made their pitch memorable. They got a $60K deal from Daymond and Mark Cuban. Again, I’m not sure how big the potential market is for body spray for kids, but with Mom’s leadership and the kids’ energy I think they will be successful.

I felt sorry for Jared from Atlantic Candy Company…..he forgot his pitch! He tried to recover but he lost his audience from the get go. To avoid this disaster, entrepreneurs should either memorize their presentation or remember a few key points and speak from the heart while touching on each key point.

Also, practice, practice, practice! If you can give your pitch to a small, less formidable audience than going into the Shark Tank to give your pitch for the first time,  your probability of success is greatly increased.





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Shark Tank episode aired October 7, 2016

A lackluster episode tonite……only Renata and Doug from Night Runner 270 drew interest from multiple Sharks. Although no Sharky’s will be awarded, I’ll give Doug high marks for some excellent negotiating.

He and his wife Renata entered the tank with sales of $260K in the first 8 months of their existence. Their product was originally designed to help people running in the dark avoid potholes. They discovered their shoe lights had a larger potential market in the workplace safety market. Once the Sharks heard about their new “Night Shift” product, they became intrigued.

Doug and Renata were cool under pressure…….they were down to their last $15K in the bank and about to run out of money.They may have been nervous, but didn’t show it. They let the Sharks battle it out and led them into a bidding war. They ended up getting four offers and taking Shark Robert’s offer of $250K in equity and a $100K loan. They only had to give up 15% of their business. Well played!

Adam and Craig from TekDry did a good job presenting their product……a machine that drys wet cell phones. They are currently installed in 82 big box stores and forecast sales of $650K for the current year. They charge each store $80 per month plus a percentage of the revenue they derive from their machine.They have already raised $2.2 million and ended up getting a deal from Mr. Wonderful……..a $500K loan with 13% interest. He gets a 5% equity kicker for making the loan.

Shark Barbara made a great point……technology enhancements will hurt this business. For example, Apple’s latest smart phone release can be kept under water and still work when it is removed from the water.

Wally Amos (formerly Famous Amos) is now running The Cookie Kahuna. The margins are poor (20%) and he had only sold $36K prior to his appearance on Shark Tank. The Sharks respectfully declined this opportunity.

Kara and Shelly from Raising Wild have designed women’s swim suits for a variety of body types. Despite their lackluster sales they were planning on expanding their product line and sales channels. Mark Cuban discouraged their strategy by saying, “If you go too wide, too fast, you drown”.

Shark Barbara made a deal with Kara and Shelly calling for a $100K investment for a 50% equity stake.

                                  OVERALL RATING FOR THIS EPISODE………….C


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Shark Tank episode aired September 30, 2016

Another excellent Shark Tank episode! Certainly none of the four entrepreneurs lacked energy, knowledge, or passion. The contestants included a guy who the Sharks proclaimed “the best salesperson in the world”, an entrepreneur who was deemed “a force of nature”,  and an entrepreneur who explained his business model with a chalk board and a poem…..all very entertaining!

But the clear winner of this week’s Sharky Award was a father/son duo from Louisiana…..Jeff and Jack from TactiBite.  Jack (the son) was called the “smartest 17 year old in the world” by the Sharks. He explained the science behind his “fish call” product in terms everyone could understand. He and his Dad had sold $330K of the product in the first five months of their company’s existence……all online through a website Jack built. He explained their cost to produce one unit was $16 and their selling price was $99 (outstanding margins!).

Sharky Award

Sharky Award- TactiBite

But the one thing Jack did better than any other entrepreneur ever appearing on Shark Tank was explaining how he arrived at the company’s valuation of $1.5 million. He said that based on $330K in sales in five months, he was forecasting $750K in sales for the year. He then said he expected a net profit of $300K and a with a 5X price to earnings multiple (very reasonable) this translated to  a company valuation of $1.5 million. Even the Sharks agreed that his valuation was reasonable and he ended up getting a $150K for 10% deal from Shark Robert…..right in line with Jack’s valuation.

This is potentially a great deal. I would have liked to see more quantitative proof that their device actually works, but their anecdotal evidence was very impressive. Fisherman are very passionate about their sport and will spend money to improve their performance and enjoyment. Also, Shark Lori pointed out that fishing accessories promoted on infomercials do extremely well.

Best of the Rest…….Sebastian and Raul from The Lapel Project make a totally unique product……a lapel accessory that makes a suit jacket look like a tuxedo. Sebastian was “the greatest salesman in the world” according to the Sharks. They got a deal from Mark Cuban who could even envision “wearing these to the White House”.

After Sebastian left the tank he said these prophetic words, “If you work hard every single day you can realize your dream….even with one small step forward every day”.

Nick from Ice Age Meals gave a strong presentation but didn’t get an investment from the Sharks. He had shipped over $1.5 million of his paleo meals (meat,veggies, nuts, seeds, minimum carbs, no sugar) in the last year. He used poetry and a white board to describe his business and had the Sharks hanging on his every word….a very unique and effective presentation technique. Nick combined his culinary school background with his hotel management knowledge to launch his company. His valuation was unrealistic (he based it on an initial meeting with a Crossfit executive) and so the Sharks declined. I think this may be a missed opportunity for the Sharks…..especially if the Crossfit deal comes through..

Leslie from GoodHangups had sold $450K of her re-usable magnetic hangers in the past year. This “force of nature” had more energy than an Oklahoma tornado. She struck a deal with Lori for a $100K loan that would require her to give up 10% of her company if she pays back the loan in one year and 20% if it takes her longer than a year.

It was only fitting that Leslie celebrated by dancing (alone) like Elaine from Seinfeld once she left the tank.




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Shark Tank episode aired September 23, 2016

Excellent Shark Tank Season 8 premiere!  The show featured two food/beverage companies, one footwear company, and one technology company. Also, for the first time ever, the show  included all six Sharks (normally there are five).

Philip and David from Fizzics walked away with this week’s Sharky Award for entrepreneurial excellence.

They also walked away with a $2 million deal with Mark and Lori for 16.7% of their company. Fizzics allows consumers and bars to add flavors to beer. The Sharks all agreed their product greatly enhanced the taste of beer.

Their $12.5 valuation was reasonable at about 1.3X this year’s forecasted sales. These two Jersey boys were in the process of  raising $2 million at a $10 million pre-money valuation. They had a commitment from a lead investor (this is a HUGE factor… of the first questions from any serious potential investor is “Do you have a lead investor. If so, who is it?”. Other investors will then come on-board knowing they aren’t the first to take a risk on you).

Shark Barbara then stunned everyone when she said to Philip and David, “I am wildly enthusiastic about your product but I’m not wildly enthusiastic about you. I feel like you’re too slick and have an answer for everything”. Barbara normally has a great gut feel about most entrepreneurs, and she relies heavily on it when deciding whether to invest in an entrepreneur. Barbara’s gut feel shouldn’t be ignored, but it didn’t stop three of the five remaining Sharks from circling.

Fizzics ended up getting $2 million from Mark and Lori. These four will make a strong team, assuming Barbara’s gut feel was wrong.

Best of the Rest…….16 year old Trish from ReThink was amazing! She has created a smart phone app that can minimize cyber-bullying, a big problem that schools and parents are trying to monitor and eliminate. Trisha actually wrote the code that makes up the app, and she has a very bright future. Unfortunately, some of the Sharks didn’t like her business model because it relies on the bullies to download the app and soften their words…..something they’re not likely to do.

Mark and Lori saw the potential, however, and teamed up again with a $100K deal for 20% of Trisha’s company. Mark’s vision is to license the app to a large mobile phone carrier that can use the app as a competitive advantage by pre-loading it on devices to provide a kid-friendly experience for their users.

Justin from ISlide has created a business that customizes flip-flops with names and logos. You might wonder why this would be a great business, but not me. Virtually every young athlete wears flip-flops before and after competing in basketball, baseball, football games, etc. I’ll definitely buy a pair for my grandson. However, Justin came into the tank with an absurd valuation for his company…..$10 million for a company averaging $500K in sales per year. There was no deal here with Shark Robert saying, “Justin, you don’t don’t know what you don’t know”.

Marti and Scott from Spoonful of Comfort allow people to send “get well” packages including soups, cookies, etc. to sick people. Scott had funded the company with $500K plus a $800K loan. Marti and Scott have been selling their product for five years. There was no deal here. It was Marti’s deceased mother that motivated her to start this business. This may have been a case where emotion and passion couldn’t overcome business realities.



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Shark Tank episode aired May 20, 2016

The Season 7 finale was wild and crazy! No Sharky Awards, but a very entertaining episode. Mr. Wonderful made his best offer in seven seasons of Shark Tank, and then told the next entrepreneur he was an “a-hole” and to “get the f**k out of here”. The season ended with verbal fireworks!

The episode started out with a former contestant making a return to the tank after not getting an offer the first time around. Aaron from Pete & Pedro ended up getting a deal for a company he owned but wasn’t even pitching! Barbara invested $100K for 10% of Alpha M,  a social media product promotion business.

It is very unusual for the Sharks to invest in just one of two companies owned by an entrepreneur. Investors are concerned about how the entrepreneur will allocate his or her time to the business they invest in. They almost always force the entrepreneur to bundle their companies so they can invest in the combined company. This eliminates the time allocation issue.

Next up was Tania from PMS Bites. She has developed vegan, gluten-free snacks for, you guessed it, ladies suffering through PMS. Each snack had just 50 calories and eliminates the desire for sugary treats. Tania gave a very good presentation but didn’t get an offer. The Sharks thought she should rename the product to appeal to a larger audience and she should concentrate on online sales rather than focusing on retail sales.

Tomer from Felt has developed an app that helps streamline the process of writing and mailing Thank You cards. Mr. Wonderful immediately saw synergies with his growing wedding empire and offered Tomer $225K for 10% of his company. Mr. W. sees this being integrated with Honey Fund immediately. As Shark Robert pointed out, this was the best offer he had made in seven seasons as a Shark. When investors see obvious synergies or product extensions, they can go from financial investor to strategic investors and invest more for less equity. This is why Mr. W. offered what he did.

After leaving the Tank, Tomer broke down and cried. I could relate. After getting an investment or booking a big piece of business., you feel a wonderful combination of emotions. You’re relieved, excited, happy, drained, and feeling accomplished all at the same time. I shed a tear with Tomer.

Maneesh from Pavlov has created a watch-like device that sends a shock to people trying to break  bad habits. Although Maneesh gave a slick presentation, the Sharks weren’t buying it. Mark Cuban said, “He’s a con artist”. Barbara said his presentation was “exhausting and complicated”. The fact is, Maneesh had no proof that his product actually works. He cited studies done by others that talked about the benefits of aversion therapy, but he had no clinical trial data of his own.

Then, out of left field, Mr. Wonderful expressed interest! He made another generous offer, but was turned down by Maneesh who said he would accept an offer from any of the Sharks EXCEPT Mr. Wonderful. A series of expletives followed and Maneesh was told to leave the tank immediately.

Here’s where entrepreneurs need to learn the PC way to reject an offer. Maneesh could have just said that he didn’t feel Mr. W was a good fit and leave it at that.

OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE………….B  (C for content and A for entertainment)

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Shark Tank episode aired May 13, 2016

Lots of clever products in this episode……. sleep-over camp for adults, a car condom (Mark Cuban’s description!), and digital pin ball machines.

The star of the show and this week’s Sharky Award winner was 15-year-old Rachel from Gladiator Lacrosse. She absolutely crushed it!

Sharky Award

                                             Sharky Award–Gladiator Lacrosse

Rachel has developed two products that can help lacrosse players improve their games. She’s had $300K in sales, but that wasn’t the most impressive part of her presentation. With poise and  confidence, this young lady ran through her schedule of a typical day. It started at 6 am and went late into the night . It included school, lacrosse (she was the captain of her team),  studying, and using every spare moment to run her business. Great time management skills!

I was shocked that the Sharks didn’t make any offers. I predict great things for Rachel.

Best of the Rest………I liked Adam from Camp No Counselors. He will do about $800K in revenue this year and his company is cash flow positive. He charges an average of $478 for each person attending his camps. The average age of the campers is 30 years old. That said, Adam couldn’t convince the Sharks that he needed money to scale his business rapidly. I think if he had come into the tank with a breakdown of how he would use the money, he could have gotten a deal.

Mathew and Kenny from EVP created a car covering to protect cars from storms, floods, etc. They had limited sales history, but did a deal with Daymond. “We’re going with Brooklyn!” they proclaimed as they rejected Mr. Wonderful’s old-school Royalty in Perpetuity (RIP) offer.

Brad from VPCabs made digital pin ball machines. He was a former IT systems integrator who applied his skills and knowledge to the pin ball industry. Brad claimed that going digital would save lots of maintenance dollars for the owners, but never quantified the savings and never explained why maintenance costs would be reduced. In spite of the fact that Brad had to pay a 15% royalty to the software developer on each unit sold, he got a deal from Daymond…..$200K for 25% equity.

                                    OVERALL RATING FOR THIS EPISODE…………B-

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Why is”Beyond the Tank” a flop?

I can’t tell you how many people have asked me if I know what happened to the Shark Tank contestants after they appeared on Shark Tank. Did they make it, or go bust?

And so I had high hopes for “Beyond the Tank”. As a blogger/entrepreneur who analyzes the entrepreneurs appearing on Shark Tank, “Beyond the Tank” allows me to compare my original analysis (at air time) with the results the entrepreneurs actually achieve over time.

The good news is that my analysis and my predictions have been very accurate. My Sharky Award winners are all doing very well.

The bad news is the show isn’t very good, and the ratings reflect it. Only about 2 million people watch each episode vs. 8 million (or so) that watch Shark Tank.

Unlike Shark Tank, the show is slow moving, tedious, and sometimes downright boring. “Beyond the Tank” rehashes the original appearances on Shark Tank and then shows a seemingly scripted and poorly edited meeting between the entrepreneurs and “their” Shark(s). If the viewer is lucky, there may be one teachable moment worth thinking about. Most segments end in hugs and promises to do better.

Unlike Shark Tank, this show has no real beginning, middle, or end. At the conclusion of each segment you’re not sure if a business will survive, thrive, or go belly-up. From that standpoint, the show reflects what most business start-ups go through.

My suggestions to the show’s producers……….

  • Scrap the show, or at least limit it to 30 minutes instead of 60.
  • Provide a “report card” or “scorecard” for each start-up using criteria like the 4M’s of entrepreneurship (Mindset, Marketing, Money, and Management).
  • Replace the show with the Best and Worst of the Shark Tank and give Sharky Awards to the winners in various categories.

I love Shark Tank and the entrepreneurs appearing on the show, and have watched and reviewed every episode since Season 2 (currently in Season 7). There is a desire on the part of many Shark Tank fans to see how the contestants are doing after their appearances.  I want this show to succeed, but changes are needed for it to survive.


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