Shark Tank Season 11-Episode aired May 15, 2020

This was the final episode of Season 11 and it was one of the best of the season. The  episode highlighted the balance between mission-based objectives vs. growth and profitability.

Best Deal of the Episode…..Joe and Rachel from Yellow Leaf Hammocks have achieved a perfect balance between their social mission-based objectives AND running a growing and profitable business. Their social mission is to reduce poverty levels in Southeast Asia. They manufacture their hammocks in a small village in Thailand.

Their sales this year will be $1.3 million and their profit will be $360K after paying themselves.  Their landed cost is $44 and they sell the hammocks for $199. They came into the Tank asking for $400K for 7% equity.

They also have introduced a cool looking indoor/outdoor frame for the hammock that they sell for $2200. They just made a deal with Virgin Voyages to have one on every one of their ships and to sell them to interested passengers.

Add to all of this the fact that Joe and Rachel are very smart and likeable, and you could sense a big deal was about to happen. Guest Shark Daniel Lubetzky offered them $1 million for 33 1/3% equity. After briefly entertaining a couple of offers from Shark Lori, they negotiated with Daniel and got him to drop his equity requirement to 25%. They accepted the offer. This will be a great partnership.

Best of the Rest………….Ryan and Lindsey from Rolling Greens are in the red hot plant-based food business. They currently have millet tots and millet wings in their product line with big plans to expand. They perfected their recipes working on a food truck for the past five years..

Their sales were $320K last year and $700K this year. Unfortunately they had losses totaling $500K  over that period. Their margins are too thin (35%) to be profitable. In order to break even, they need to be 50%. This means they need to reduce their costs and/or raise their prices.

Fortunately, Shark Robert really liked them, and offered them $500K for 20% equity (which was a  very generous offer) and they accepted.

Tara from Dreamland Baby makes weighted sleep sacks for babies. This helps babies fall asleep faster and have longer uninterrupted sleep. She and her husband had gotten laid off and Tara had a newborn with sleeping problems. This provided the motivation to start her own company and invent a sleeping solution for babies.

She’s had $30K in sales Year-to-Date. She sells each sleep sack for $79 and her cost is $13.60……great margins.

A couple of great quotes about Tara came from the Sharks…..”One idea can change your life”-Lori Greiner, and “You turned a crisis into an opportunity”-Daniel Lubetzky

Lori made a deal  calling for $100K for 22.5% equity. Her intention is to get a licensing deal with a major manufacturer or retailer.

Mohammed, Mohammed, and Anthony from The Mad Optimist custom make gluten free soap. In seven years, they have sold $800K, their mission is to make the world a better place. They have some unique features on their website, but they clearly don’t have that mission vs. business balance discussed earlier.

Shark Robert told them, “You’re too obsessed with your mission. The market doesn’t reward good intentions…..it rewards results”.

Mark Cuban sat silently. After the other four Sharks voiced their disdain for The Mad Optimist, Mark finally spoke up. He suggested they focus on Muslims by having a website just for them, and then create other websites for other ethnic/religious groups. Mark made an offer of $60K for 20% equity. Of course it was accepted.

I didn’t get it.

                         OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE………………A

 

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Shark Tank Season 11-Episode aired May 13, 2020

Best Deal of the Episode…..Anthony from mcSquares gave a great presentation. His product is designed to be a replacement for the Post-it note.  He was asking for $300K for 10% equity which equates to a $3 million company valuation…….not unreasonable considering his sales will be about $1 million this year.

It appeared Anthony’s honesty almost got him in trouble when Shark Barbara asked him if he was organized. Anthony immediately responded “No”. Barbara said that’s why she loved him, because she’s not organized either. None-the-less, she bowed out and Mr. Wonderful made a deal at $300K for 25% equity.

Eric and Brett from Rescue Ready are fire fighters who have created a faster way for occupants to escape from a burning home. They actually have figured out a way to build a “rope” ladder and store it in the base of a window. This can save lives when seconds matter.

They had a great product but a poor business model. They would have to sell their product to builders and window manufactures. These potential customers typically don’t like to change and don’t like adding cost to their homes/windows. No deal here.

Manny and Josh from Slate have developed a low sugar, lactose free, chocolate milk drink in a can. The Sharks didn’t care for the taste. Mark Cuban let out a loud groan after his first taste. Not off to a good start.

Manny and Josh came into the Tank with zero sales, but believed having a “well known previous investor” would be enough to impress the Sharks and motivate them to invest. Their strategy didn’t work. They received no offers.

Jeff from Salted actually has a good business but his presentation was confusing. His business falls into the category of a “Cloud Kitchen”. This is a shared kitchen that is set up for delivery-only food orders. He should have started with this definition and then talked about the details. Instead he started by talking about delivery partnerships and the Cloud Kitchen concept didn’t come out until the end of his pitch.

Jeff makes five different foods, all with different names, and the Sharks loved the taste of the samples. His sales are about $3 million this year. That’s the good news.

The bad news is the Sharks didn’t like him. They thought he was a fast talking guy who never listened. Shark Rohan said he was high energy “but he scares me”. Shark Lori said, “He ignored me and never made eye contact”. No Deal.

             OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE…………………..C+

 

 

 

 

 

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Shark Tank Season 11-Episode aired May 8, 2020

This episode featured four companies that were light on Revenue. They were, however, very entertaining.

Best Deal of the Episode…………….Skylar and Kevin from Tough Tie make men’s ties that are machine washable and stain repellent. They also have the capability to print images on their ties. Their sales last year were $208K and are expecting sales of $400K this year.

They received one offer from Shark Robert that called for a $100K investment for 35% equity. Skylar and Kevin tried to negotiate the equity percentage but Robert wouldn’t have it and stood firm at 35%. Skylar and Kevin accepted the offer.

 

Best of the Rest…………..Schuyler from Lord Von Schmitt sells brightly colored crochet clothes. He had the Sharks try on some of the clothes and an impromptu fashion show broke out….the Sharks were very entertaining!

With sales of just $37K last year Schuyler received no offers. However, Mark Cuban suggested that he sell his products as artwork and substantially raise his prices. Schuyler left the tank saying he would take Mark’s advice and raise his prices in the future.

Nick from Dadware Bondaroo makes tee shirts for Dad’s that provide the capability to bond with their babies by allowing skin to skin contact. The Sharks thought this was too small of a market opportunity and Nick received no offers.

Colt and Stacy from Potty Safe make a potty training seat for infants. They mortgaged their house and invested $152K in their business. They were asking for $50K for 20% equity. They received no offers and were leaving the Tank when Shark Lori called them back and offered what they were asking for. Lori’s thought  was that one of her portfolio companies, Squatty Potty, could partner with them in some way and that’s why she made the deal.

               OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE………………..C

 

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Shark Tank Season 11-Episode aired May 6, 2020

I don’t know why, but this episode was aired at 10 pm on a Wednesday night. The network has recently moved Shark Tank all over the board. There were no new episodes for three  weeks and then three episodes in an eight day period. Go figure.

Best Deal of the Episode…….Becca and Barb from UnbuckleMe have created a device that allows you to unbuckle a baby’s car seat  more easily. The typical car seat requires 9 pounds of pressure to unlock the buckle and lots of grandparents have difficulty exerting that much pressure.

They were asking for $100K for 10% equity. With $400K in Sales over a 22 month period, their company valuation was a little rich. But the Sharks all loved this Mother-Daughter team and they ended up getting offers from all five Sharks! They ended up accepting Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner’s offer of $100K for 20% equity.

Best of the Rest…………Brad, Lisa, and Greg from Tanoshi made a low cost laptop for kids that has educational lessons and kid-appropriate apps preloaded.

Four of the Sharks thought the space was too competitive and their margins were too small. Daymond John stepped up and made a deal for $500K for 20%. He sees this as an opportunity to license their technology to larger companies. Daymond also bought into the social mission to educate as many kids as possible, regardless of their economic situation.

Ming from Proven has a business that utilizes Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help individuals figure out the best skin care products for them. Ming started out by going through over 4000 product reviews to start building her data base.

Despite being a very smart, poised presenter. her business is highly complex and difficult to understand. The Sharks thought she was too early to the Tank. Also, the fact that she had already raised $6 million and had sales much lower than that made the Sharks uncomfortable.

Laura from Van Robotics has created a robot that tutors kids. The robot’s name is ABii and it sells for $999 to schools. Laura is a very well educated, driven entrepreneur that’s in this for the long haul. I think she’ll need that kind of persistance because her primary market is selling to schools…..a very tough market. Mr. Wonderful sold his educational product to the education market and knows first hand the challenges in dealing with schools. No Deal here.

               OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE………………………..C+ 

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Shark Tank Season 11-Episode aired May 1,2020

Shark Barbara landed two deals in this episode.

The first was the winner of The Best Deal of the Episode…..Holly from Fried Green Tomatoes. This one was right up Barbara’s alley. She loved Holly and she’s had good luck investing in food companies. Holly had annual sales of $268K with one food truck. Barbara offered $200K for 30% equity and got the deal despite Shark Daymond offering the same amount for 25% equity.

This was a good deal for both Barbara and Holly. They will make a great team.

Best of the Rest……Emily from Mural Painters sells large mural projects and then hires the artists to paint/create them. At one time Emily was a high school dropout. She has overcome lots of challenges and has managed to build a company with $800K in sales.

Shark Lori came up with a great metaphor that she used to describe Emily’s determination. “The strongest swords are forged in the hottest fires”.

Shark Barbara suggested that Emily concentrate on one city (like NYC) rather than spread out across the country prematurely. Barbara got the deal by offering $100K in cash and a line of credit of $200K for 15% equity.

Mollie and Bob from Little Burros have invented a “storage unit” that sits on top of a wheelbarrow that allows people to put their tools and personal belongings in it while working in the yard. They had YTD sales of $400K and came into the tank asking for $250K for 10% equity.  They received a couple of royalty-based offers from Mr. Wonderful and Lori, but had to turn them down. The royalty payments would have hurt their margins and cash flow too much. No all-equity offers were made.

LaDonte from Jiggaerobics has leveraged his dancing skills to create a company that helps people get in shape and have fun doing it. With just $62K in sales it was too early for a Shark Tank appearance. No deal here.

 OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE…………………………………..B-

 

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Shark Tank Season 11-Episode aired April 10, 2020

The Best Deal of the Episode was easy to pick this week…..there was only one deal made!  Zac, Jana, and Jessica from First Saturday Lime make a non-poisonous insect repellent. They have great margins and increasing sales…..$350K this year and $600K forecasted for next year.

The way the deal came about was interesting. Sharks Lori and Daniel Lubetzky teamed up and offered $100K for 33% equity. Jana and company didn’t want to give up that much equity and countered at 25%. The Sharks refused to lower their equity requirement. It looked like the deal was dead and then, out of nowhere, Mr. Wonderful swooped in and says, “I’ll take that deal”. Well played Mr. W.!!!

David from  Just the Cheese makes cheese snacks. He had sales of $3.5 million last year but has very slim margins (his cost to make one pack was $.95 and he sold them for $1.27). He came into the Tank asking for $500K for 5% equity. He got three offers, the best was $500K for 15% equity from Mark Cuban. David rejected all offers. Even though no deal was made, David gave a very effective and professional presentation.

Kent and Ryan from Neuro were asking for $750K for 5% equity of their Gum and mint company. Their company valuation ($15 million) was unrealistic. With annual sales of $1.5 million last year that means they had a sales multiple of 10X. 2X-4X would have been more realistic.  They did receive two offers but at a much lower valuation than they wanted. Shark Robert made a very generous offer at a company valuation of $7 million but Kent and Ryan declined. Kent and Ryan gave an excellent presentation, but they felt they had to protect their current investors and  they declined Robert’s offer.

Shannon and Sarah from Seriously Slime had a fun product (slime) but the Sharks thought the idea wasn’t investable at this time. Shark Robert came up with the quote of the night, “Money doesn’t grow a business. Money is the accelerator to a great plan”. Shanon and Sarah need to work on their plan first.

                             OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE……………….B

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Shark Tank Season 11-Episode aired April 3, 2020

This was a good episode for notable quotes from the Sharks. For example, Mark Cuban told one of the presenters, “Self-awareness is key for every entrepreneur. We all lie to ourselves, some more than others. Right now you’re in the “more” category and you have to move toward the “less” category”.

Another way to look at self-awareness is one of my favorite sayings……” You have to know what you know, and know what you don’t know in order to succeed”

Best Deal of the Episode…………Jason from Bad Birdie is a hustler, and I mean that in a good way. He has created a line of golf shirts that are designed to appeal to the “under 30” demographic. He sells them for $72 each. His sales are estimated to be $1.2 million this year, mostly all online.

Bad Birdie

Mr. Wonderful offered Jason $300K for 30% equity with the condition that he didn’t go into retail and remained online. Shark Robert offered $300K for 25% without that restriction. Jason countered with 20% but Robert refused to budge.

Then Jason pulled one of the most unique negotiating tactics ever seen on Shark Tank. He told Robert the deal was his if he was willing to try to make a 10 foot putt. If he made it, his equity would be 25%. If he missed it, his equity would be 20%.

Robert took the challenge, but missed the putt by less than an inch. Jason’s company valuation immediately went from $1.2 million to $1.5 million.  Robert’s missed putt added $300K to the value of the company. Very clever, Jason!

Best of the Rest…………Ryan, Eric, and Kevin from Muvez created a removable outer shoe sole that can be easily slipped on and off. This product is primarily for people who don’t allow people to wear shoes in their house. They allow them to wear slippers while in the house and if they have to go outside, they simply step into the Muvez outer sole and they don’t have to remove their slippers.

For those of us that allow people to wear shoes in the house this seems like a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. But apparently there are enough people in the other category to warrant a product like this. The Sharks liked the design of the product and Daymond made an offer of $200K for 33% equity. After a brief, but effective, negotiation Daymond agreed to lower his stake to 25%. He will use a licensing strategy to grow the company.

Phil from Prepwell Academy made his second appearance on Shark Tank. The Sharks were so impressed with his background on his first visit that they offered him an opportunity to return in the future with a better product. He made his return with a new online product /service that helps mentor high school kids and their parents prepare for college.

Once again, the Sharks loved Phil but hated his product. Once again there were no offers but they invited him back for a third appearance! Third time’s the charm? For Phil’s sake, I hope so.

Lola from Beddley is an impressive person. She came from Nigeria, earned degrees in physics and chemistry, worked in Investment Banking, and earned an MBA from Columbia. While pursuing her MBA, she fell in love with the idea of becoming an entrepreneur.

Her product saves people time when making beds. Unfortunately, her sales were only $28K in 2018 and were worse in 2019. Lola insisted she shouldn’t be judged based on her sales results, but the Sharks disagreed and all dropped out. No Deal here.

                      OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE………………………..B-  

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Shark Tank Season 11- Episode aired March 27, 2020

Four deals again in this episode….that’s two episodes in a row with four deals. That’s about as rare as a Major League player hitting two grand slams in the same inning (that actually happened once!).  These episodes were probably taped in the go-go days of 2019 before the market correction that happened this month. It’s always easier to get funding when the market is rising.

Best Deal of the Episode……….Brandon from Pasta by Hudson was a high energy guy who makes great Pasta. At the moment, he has one location at Columbus Circle in NYC and does about $1 million in sales. The Sharks went crazy over the taste of the pasta. Shark Barbara said the meatballs were the best she has ever eaten. She liked them so much she wanted a deal JUST for the meatballs

Pasta by Hudson

The way a customer orders the pasta is similar to the way you would order in a  Chipotle (pick one from column A, one from column B, etc.).  Very nicely organized.

Brandon ended up doing a deal with Mark and Lori calling for a $150K investment for 30% equity……Mark got 2/3 of the deal and Lori took 1/3. This was a very good deal for all three parties.

Best of the Rest…….Lili and Linsey from Goumi make clothes for babies (baby mittens, booties, nighties, etc.). They’ve had sales of $5.2 million over their 8 year history with $2.5 million expected this year. The Sharks thought their prices were too high ($102 for an assortment of clothes). Mark Cuban said, ” Your Marketing sucks”. The Sharks also thought their valuation was unrealistically high.

Despite these issues, Lili and Linsey made a deal with Mr. Wonderful calling for a $1 million Line of Credit (loan) in exchange for 10% equity…..a very expensive loan. They needed cash!

Katey from The Frozen Farmer makes ice cream using the “misfit fruit” from her farm. This represents about 20% of the crop yield.  In addition to containing 50 calories per serving, it’s a healthy alternative to traditional ice cream. They need money to get into a co-packer. Up till now, they’ve done all the production at the farm.

All the Sharks except Lori dropped out. Due to Katey’s magnetic personality, and knowledge of farming and her product, she convinced Lori to invest $125K for 30% equity.

Joe from Critter Pricker has created a product that keeps raccoons out of garbage pails.

It was a good a product that worked. However, the Sharks were concerned about the potential liability of people and/or pets stepping on the plastic spikes that are intended to deter the raccoons. In order to mitigate the risk, Mr. Wonderful wanted $2.50 per unit in perpetuity and offered $115K for 15% equity. Joe quickly accepted.

                       OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE……………………………B+

 

 

 

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Shark Tank Season 11-Episode aired March 20, 2020

Four deals in one episode! That’s only happened a handful of times in the 11 year history of Shark Tank. I’m guessing this episode was taped when the Stock Market was at all-time highs when financing was readily available. With the large market sell-off off in March, 2020, financing will be tougher to come by.

Best Deal of the Episode…….Krystal from GroupHug gave a great presentation but her product, a decorative solar device, was a bit underwhelming when it was first introduced. It can be used in any residence and can store enough energy to charge cell phones and other electronic devices.

Towards the end of her pitch, Krystal showed the Sharks her new product…..SolarCat is a much larger solar device which could be used by businesses to promote their business and  promote the use of solar energy. Mark Cuban immediately got “charged up” over SolarCat and verbalized his vision that included sponsorship revenue. He made an offer of $150K for 25% equity and it was quickly accepted. I believe there is a lot of potential beyond SolarCat to encourage the use of solar.

GroupHug

SolarCat by GroupHug

Best of the Rest……..Nadine from Bohanna developed a plant-based popcorn using water lily seeds. Nadine attended Babson College, a top college for entrepreneurs.

Her product tasted great and sold for $3.99 a bag.

Nadine got two offers……….one from Shark Barbara for $200K for 30% equity and one from Mr. Wonderful for a $200K loan for 8% equity. Barbara has invested in a similar company (Pipcorn) that has done extremely well. Bohanna would have been helped by Pipcorn and Barbara to grow faster. Nadine ended up accepting Mr. Wonderful’s offer because it required less equity.

I think Nadine could have negotiated with Barbara and gotten her to reduce her equity stake, but she missed that opportunity. With 20%-25% equity, Barbara’s offer would have been better because she would have been more involved and Pipcorn offered a roadmap to success with her type of product. Plus……Nadine wouldn’t have had to payback the $200K loan since Barbara’s offer was all equity.

Brett and David from Boho Camper Vans turn ordinary vans into luxury vans that include beds, showers, etc.. They can be rented by the day (3 day minimum) or sold.  Their sales are $493K and they are projecting sales of  $800K next year.

They received four offers from the Sharks. Barbara got the deal by offering $150K in equity and $150K in debt financing for 10% equity. I like this deal structure because it minimizes the risk for the investor, allows the entrepreneur to give up less equity, and gets a much needed capital infusion into the company.

Drew from Safety Nailer has created a a plastic guide that makes it easier to hammer nails in straight without smashing your fingers. This was not Drew’s full-time job and his sales were minimal. Normally this is a deal-breaker for the Sharks. Despite that, Sharks Mark, Lori, and Rohan Oza agreed to invest $100K for a 33% stake in Safety Nailer. They will use a licensing approach rather than sell directly to consumers.

                OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE…………………………..A

 

 

 

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Shark Tank Season 11-Episode aired March 13, 2020

This episode featured some hilarious presentations, but fell short when it came to solid businesses that had great growth potential. Usually I give the Best Deal of the Episode….there were none, so I opted for the Best (No) Deal of the Episode.

Best (No) Deal of the Episode-Ashi from Kids Luv has raised over $1 million prior to Shark Tank, had $50K left, and has had miniscule sales of her Zero Sugar kids drink. She  has developed two flavors and has no idea if people will really buy them.

What she had to show for the $950K she had spent (over three and a half years) was some patent applications and some International Licensing deals. Ashi had no “sell thru data” to share with the Sharks. She had made the classic mistake of assuming consumers would buy her product but had no proof. I always tell new entrepreneurs to start small and build on your success. Without actual sales or at least proof of concept data, it’s almost impossible to raise money. Ashi received no offers from the Sharks.

A little positive news…………..In the the Update segment, where Shark Tank reports on deals made in previous seasons, Julia from Everlywell has had sales of $65 million since her appearance two years ago on Shark Tank!  She started an at-home health test company several years ago. She only got one offer (from Shark Lori) but she won my Best Presentation Award in Season 9. Congrats to Julia and Lori.

Bunim from Lakewood, NJ  started Swimply, the Airbnb for swimming pools. People basically rent time in other people’s pools. Bunim was the ultimate Jersey fast talker. He talked so fast, it was hard to process his answers, vision, and data (and I’m from New Jersey!).He had an interesting Business Model (I think). He got paid a total of 25% of the rental amount. …some by the pool owner and some by the renter. Ultimately, the Sharks got tired of listening to him. No deal here.

Rachel and Krissy from The Space Traveler  created a device that separates kids in the back seat of a car. My parents used to separate my brother and I with a 3 foot piece of masking tape. Apparently that wouldn’t work today! They were a pre-revenue company that had developed two prototypes. Shark Barbara has made many deals with entrepreneurs she likes that don’t necessarily have great Business Plans. She offered $100K for 33.33% equity plus a $2 dollar royalty until she gets her $100K back, thereby minimizing her risk. Rachel and Krissy quickly accepted.

Andy and Eric are brothers who who started Bertello, a company selling an outdoor pizza oven. The oven runs on wood and/or propane. The Sharks loved the taste of the pizza it made. Bertello’s has had sales of $640K this year. It cost them $84 to make one and they sell it for $250. Their margins were good. Mr. Wonderful, the self-proclaimed pizza guru, got the deal at $120K for 25% equity.

                          OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE…………..B

(A for Entertainment value and C for the entrepreneurs’ track record)

 

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