This was the funniest, most entertaining Shark Tank episode this year. Some of the comedy was provided by the contestants and some was provided by the types of businesses they owned. For example, one company made houses for bats and another made body armor for dogs.
Best Deal of the Episode Award………..Tom and Kevin from Fat Shack were also quite funny, but these two were more than just funny men. They have built a company that has sold over $22 million of their 2,000 calorie sandwiches. They bootstrapped their company with just $5,000 in initial funding, and now have 11 stores in three states. These stores will have sales of over $5 million this year.
A lot of businesses never get off the ground due to lack of capital. Fat Shack’s start-up required great creativity. They struck a deal with a local restaurant that closed at 3pm every day. The restaurant owner allowed them to use that facility and prepare/serve their sandwiches from 6pm to 4am. That provided a proof of concept and they were off to the races. BTW, all of their stores are still open to 4 o’clock in the morning.
Four of the Sharks were interested and Mark Cuban ended up getting the deal for $250K for 15% equity despite his concern about backing a company that doesn’t offer healthy products. He shook hands and jokingly said, “Let’s get fat!”.
Here’s a great marketing/promotional idea for Fat Shack. Sign comedian Jim Gaffigan as a spokesperson for the company. He has made a career on self-deprecating fat jokes. You might say it’s been his bread and butter.
Best of the Rest…………Rener from QuikFlip is a force of nature. He was smart, funny, and a fast-talker. His original product was a hoodie that could be converted into mini back-pack. This struck me as a solution in search of a problem.
That said, and despite a company valuation that was unrealistically high, Rener managed to get two offers. Lori wanted 15% for her $500K investment, but Renner refused to give up that much equity. Lori restructured her offer so that $250K would buy 10% equity and the other $250K would be a line of credit……..a loan that has to be paid back.
Given Lori’s marketing expertise and Rener’s energy and passion this might be a win-win deal.
Paul and Pamela from Coyote Vest make body armor for dogs. Why? To protect dogs from predators such as coyotes, hawks, mountain lions, mean dogs, etc. They have sold $260K of their products so far this year. The armor makes dogs look like porcupines.
The risk of this product (children getting hurt) outweighs the potential benefit of investing in the company. No offers were made.
Chris and Harrison from BatBnB make houses for bats. The objective is to increase the local bat population so they can eat more mosquitoes.
With only $145K in sales this year, this opportunity was too small for the Sharks…..except for Mr.Wonderful who has a love affair with bats. He said he always wanted to be in the bat business and made an offer of $100K for 1/3 of the company. It was quickly accepted.
OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE………A+ for entertainment value and B for entrepreneurial content.