This week’s episode featured an eclectic group of entrepreneurs. One had his act together and wins this week’s Platinum Sharky award.
Platinum Sharky Award…..Fleetwood Hicks, Villy Custom
Fleetwood’s company sold custom “fashion” bicycles online. He’s leveraged his experience in the fashion industry to create a company that allowed customers to configure their own bike’s during the ordering process. He clearly had a great product and plenty of passion. He had a great command of the numbers and could easily defend his retail price of $640 per bike. He also did a nice job negotiating with Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran on their equity percentage. He ended up getting a $500K investment for 42% of the company.
I was a bit surprised the Sharks didn’t drill into the current and future manufacturing challenges of building a highly configurable product. With over a million permutations and combinations of bicycle parts and colors, it could become more costly than anticipated.
Gold Sharky Award…….Queenie and Andrew,Boot Illusion
This clever product allowed women to give a new look to shoes and boots they already owned. Boot Illusion ended up getting a $100K investment from Barbara. Queenie was totally engaging and full of passion, but was unorthodox in her approach to say the least. For example, she thought up this product in a dream about boots her girl friend was wearing (in the dream). She also had a dream about Turkey (the country) manufacturing the Boot Illusions, and got on a plane the next day to fly there despite the fact that she didn’t know anyone there and wasn’t exactly sure why she was going. Not all entrepreneurial journeys are straight forward, but I can’t recommend relying on dreaming as a technique to launch a new product.
The Shark Chum Awards…….Jim from Airbedz had developed a great product and had four patents on it but had glaring weaknesses in Sales & Marketing. Jim needs to consider taking on a partner with expertise in these areas. If he would have had this partner standing next to him during the presentation, he would have gotten an investment.
Scott Olson from Sky Ride had been the inventor of roller-blades and claimed he had made a lot of money but his partner embezzled it all. His latest invention is a bicycle-like object on a track in the sky. I felt like I was watching Christopher Lloyd in “Back to the Future”. The moral to this story…..inventors don’t always make great entrepreneurs. He too needs to consider a partner who can help him and not steal his money.