I just couldn’t fall in love with any of the entrepreneurs (or their presentations) on tonite’s Shark Tank episode. Two of them got deals, but no Sharky Awards will be given for entrepreneurial excellence. Here’s my analysis of the entrepreneurs……
Heather & Andy from Baby Loves Disco are party promoters for kids’ parties. Their business model wasn’t easily understood by me or the Sharks. Although I’m sure Andy was a victim of “made for TV” editing, it doesn’t help your case when you say, “we’re making this up as we go” and “sometimes it feels good to get your butt kicked on national TV”! I think they have a nice little business that isn’t investable.
Ryan from Lose 12 Inches with any 12 Workouts received an offer from Daymond based on his energy and passion . However, Mark Cuban told him that he couldn’t figure out what he was, and Lori told him he needed to be able to prove his claims before he could go on TV (infomercials or QVC)…..like being able to lose 12 inches after doing 12 workouts. Cowboy Ryan IS the brand, and most investors don’t like to invest when the founder is so closely associated with the brand…..they ask silly questions like “what if you get hit by a bus?”
Mike & David from Cell Helmut offer a protective case plus “insurance” for mobile phones. Although they are currently making money, they can easily be crushed by the big players in the smart phone space if they decide to compete.There’s virtually no barrier to entry. No investor likes that. No deal here, but I did love their demo showing how mobile phones can easily be smashed!
Byron from CordaRoys makes beanbag chairs that can be converted into beds. I heard a couple of things here that were cause for alarm. First, the business has been in existence for 11 years and annual sales were only $1.4 million, and the company was just barely profitable. The annual sales were down about 50% from their peak year. These are all red flags. Byron ended up getting a deal from Lori, but she took 58% of his company. I suspect this was a bit of a” fire sale”.
Update on The Painted Pretzel…..Platinum Sharky winner Raven Thomas has increased her sales from $75K to $350K since her appearance on Shark Tank in November. Investor Mark Cuban has lived up to his promise of putting her chocolate pretzels into his Landmark theatres. Nice work Raven!