A previous Platinum Sharky winner returned to the Shark Tank this week. James Martin from Copa Di Vino once again wins my Platinum Sharky Award for superior entrepreneurial performance. James had originally appeared in March of 2011 with Annual Sales of $500K. He returned to the Tank with annual Sales of $5 million without any investment from the Sharks. James ended up getting an offer from Robert, Kevin, and Mark this time for $600K for 30% equity. Once again James made the right decision and turned it down.
James is forecasting Sales of $12 million for next year. On this basis, the Shark’s offer was a lowball offer. James stated that comparable valuations for similar companies is 2.5X Revenue. On that basis, the Shark’s valuation of $2.5 million for Copa Di Vino was absurd.
James stood his ground, rejected their offer, opened a bottle of his wine, took a few sips, and exited stage right. Well played! James will continue to be very successful without the Sharks. If he needs money for expansion, he can get a Line of Credit from a bank based on his track record.
He then stated, “I won’t be back”. James even took my advice and wore a short sleeve shirt instead of that bulky sweater. He barely broke a sweat this time! A cool guy.
Shark Chum Awards …..Brenda Coffman from Blondi’s Cookies was a passionate entrepreneur who had expanded her retail locations from Indiana to Florida and racked up $800K in debt in the process. The Florida stores were losing money and with the outstanding debt, she scared away the Sharks. Although she had generated over $2 million in Sales, she did not grow in a profitable way……too much debt was the result.
I liked Ben Wood from Viewsport, but didn’t like his product….a tee shirt that revealed a saying or company logo when the wearer perspires. Ben’s valuation was too high and his product was limited to black and white print (no colors). Ben was a chemist who had invented a product in search of a marketplace instead of identifying a marketplace in need of a product…..a classic mistake for a new entrepreneur.
The most entertaining entrepreneur was Mark Sullivan a Physics major turned inventor who was pitching his Sullivan Generator. Mark looked and sounded like a character from The Jetsons. His generator created a “hurricane” in a 100 foot tower which generated gold as a by-product. This could have been the greatest Shark Tank idea ever…..or the worst. Even tech saavy Mark Cuban and Rober Herjavec had no idea what he was talking about. It was time for Mark Sullivan to return to Orbit City and re-unite with George Jetson.