This episode featured the strongest group of entrepreneurs of Season 4 of Shark Tank. All four contestants gave great presentations and three of the four were rewarded with offers from the Sharks. They were:
Platinum Sharky Award…….Dave and Dave from Coffee Joulies
These two engineers (one from my alma mater, Lehigh University) developed a way to keep coffee (or any beverage) at a constant temperature of 140 degrees for five hours using stainless steel joulies. They generated immediate interest from all five Sharks. They ended up taking an offer that required them to give up zero equity but they had to payback the $150K they were offered in the form of ongoing royalties. As they were considering two competing offers, they called an advisor to get some feedback and buy themselves some time…..a very good tactic.
These two had previously raised funds thru Kickstarter, a web-based Crowd Funding site.
Gold Sharky Award…….Bo and Jared from Urbio
These two guys started a company to develop and sell small magnetized plant holders that are ideal for people living in apartments and houses with limited space. They had sold $125K of these in just four months. Naturally, this created lots of interest. They ended up getting three similar offers and went with Shark Lori who has lots of connections in various retail channels including QVC.
Silver Sharky Award……..Nicole from Teddy Needs a Bath
Despite having limited operating experience (only $12K in actual sales), Nicole received two offers from the Sharks and ended up taking Mark Cuban’s offer of $100K for 30% with a 10% royalty until she pays back the $100K investment. Nicole was a very knowledgeable and confident presenter.
Copper Sharky Award……..Jerry and Naomi from Subzero Ice Cream
Jerry and Naomi had the best track record of the bunch ($4 million in Sales), but did not receive any offers from the Sharks. I believe there were two reasons for this……first, retail ice cream is a tough, highly competitive business. Second, they had made a mistake taking on a partner in the past and had to buy him out for $500K. This casts some doubt on their managerial expertise. No investor wants to take a chance on what they perceive to be a weak management team. In business, perception becomes reality.