Season 5 of Shark Tank is devoting more air time to young entrepreneurs (and their families) and young developers of mobile apps. These two categories are very important to the growth of entrepreneurship throughout the world . Both paths provide a way to get started with minimal capital…..but both can grow into substantial enterprises generating many jobs and significant cash flow.
The winner of last night’s Sharky Award did not receive an investment from the Sharks but has done a great job building a business from scratch with two buddies from his college dorm room. Garrett from SCAN wins this week’s Sharky Award.
Despite the fact that Garrett had received 51 million downloads of his scanning app, the Sharks were concerned that he hadn’t actually figured out how to monetize it. Hey Sharks, Twitter hasn’t figured it out either!
The second objection was that Garrett didn’t clearly define how his company was different from the competition. Although he could have emphasized the differentiation, I thought he adequately explained how he offered a complete solution vs. his competitors.
The third objection from Mark Cuban who was concerned that scan-able codes would “go the way of the dodo bird”. Just like any technology, it probably will become obsolete, but it’s red-hot right now.
Garrett has already raised $8.7 million and is well on his way to becoming a tremendous success. The Sharks missed a great opportunity to invest in what will become a Homerun for someone else.
The other three entrepreneurs also did a fine job presenting their businesses.
I loved the entrepreneurial spirit of the Hooks family and their Screenmend product. It allows you to easily patch a damaged screen. Brian, the Dad, (nicknamed “Brain” by his two daughters) explained that they have expanded their manufacturing capability by moving from the “Kitchen to the Garage”. They received an investment from Lori Greiner who will get them into stores and on TV. Lily, the 12-year-old did a happy hand-spring as she left the tank….a Shark Tank first.
Pete, Gus, and Donnie from Hamboards got a $300K investment from Robert Herjavec for their “surfing skateboard”. They could have presented a clearer picture of how they plan on scaling (growing) the business, but Robert let them off the hook when he said they were selling “the California dream” to older guys. He was clearly stoked.
I actually thought R Dub from Sunday Night Slowjams gave a very nice presentation re: his radio show. He even trotted out his friend Brian McKnight to sing a few bars for the Sharks. Unfortunately, each of the Sharks expressed concerns about the profitability of the radio business and they all took a pass.
PS……Congrats to previous contestant…. Mission Belt…….They have expanded to 20 employees and have sold over 50,000 belts since appearing on Shark Tank.