This episode featured three strong entrepreneurs. One of these three stood out and was arguably the strongest contestant on Shark Tank this season. This week’s Sharky Award goes to….
Susan from Freshly Picked was incredible. She had a great combination of moxie, a sense of humor, and knowledge of her market (shoes for toddlers). She was totally comfortable in her own skin and even had Mr. Wonderful eating out of the palm of her hand.
Here’s what made Susan so appealing to the Sharks. 1) Her annual sales were $5ooK 2) She generated $120K in profits 3) She used Instagram to help sell her products 4) Half of her customers placed repeat orders for three or more pairs of shoes.
But it was her story about how she raised the money to start her business that won the day.
She was broke and had no money to fund a start-up. She convinced her brother to give her a bunch of old windows that he didn’t need. She manually removed all the aluminum from the widows and sold the scrap material for $200, and then used the proceeds to buy what she needed to launch her new company. The rest is history.
Mark Cuban said it was THE best start-up story he had ever heard. He said it should be featured in every book about entrepreneurship. I agree. There’s always a way to get started without 3rd party funding…..even if you’re broke!
Susan got her dream partner in Daymond. He has lots of expertise with shoes and clothing. He will invest $150K for a 25% equity stake provided everything checks out in the post-show due diligence.
Best of the Rest….Phil from FitDeck has an impressive background to say the least! He graduated from Yale and Harvard Business School before joining Goldman Sachs as an investment banker. He then became a Navy SEAL before starting his fitness information business. The Sharks couldn’t reconcile his background with his break-even “training card” business. He had to make the migration to mobile apps and that is a very crowded field with limited profit potential. The Sharks wished him well and invited him back to the tank if, and when, he started another business.
Phil said afterward that as a Navy Seal he had been swimming with sharks, and would prefer swimming with real sharks over the TV Sharks!
Betsy and Berry from SwimZip did get an investment in their UV protected kids swimwear business from Lori, but they almost blew it when they countered her offer by doubling the dollar amount for the same amount of equity……way too much of a stretch. Fortunately, Lori excused their negotiating naivety and re-iterated her original offer which they gladly accepted.
Shark Chum…… Daryl from Life Caps was deemed a “snake oil salesman” by Mark Cuban. He had no clinical trials of his “survival pill” which (oh-by-the-way) helps people lose a pound a day when fasting and taking the pill. He ended his dismal presentation by calling Lori, “Barbara”. She responded with “I’m not Barbara”. Needless to say, there was no deal here.