This episode was devoted to the youth of America. It featured four fantastic young entrepreneurs. Each one is deserving of a Sharky Award for entrepreneurial excellence. They’ve all accomplished so much in a very short period of time.
First up was Carter (age 15) from Define Bottle. His product allows the user to easily mix fruit with water to replace the soda they may be drinking today. Carter has sold $65K in the last 4 months (50% thru his website and 50% to retail outlets).
Carter did a great job presenting his product. The Sharks had two major concerns, however. First, they felt there is too much competition. Second, Carter had spent $300K to develop the product. This money came from his parents who had to mortgage their house to fund the initiative. Given the fact that the parents had to be paid back at some point, the Sharks didn’t see how they could make money on the deal.
Next up was Jason (age 16) from iRetron. The Sharks knew there were many competitors who had similar pre-owned cell phone marketplaces. They weren’t motivated to invest in Jason’s company. But they were motivated to invest in Jason.
Jason came to the US from China when he was six years old. Shark Robert quoted an interesting statistic regarding business startups. Over 80% of all new businesses in the US are started by immigrants or their children. Wow!
Shark Barbara and Mark structured a very unique deal. They offered Jason what he asked for with the contingency that they would own 20% of any business Jason started in the next five years. They invested in the entrepreneur, not the business.
Next up was Andrew and his 6-year-old daughter. Their product was BooBoo Goo. These colorful liquid bandages also have tons of competition. Surprisingly, Mr. Wonderful struck a deal with them contingent on them getting a patent on their product.
Mr. Wonderful proudly stated after the deal was accepted, “I’m the only Shark who helps the children”. What a guy.
The final entrepreneur was Henry from Henry’s Humdingers. Henry sat next to a guy on an airplane when he was 12 years old who told him all about bees. After hearing how bees were “endangered”, Henry wanted a bee hive for his birthday.
Henry added spices to the honey his bees produced and was already in 300 stores. He ended up getting a deal with Robert and Mark, but had to give up 75% equity to get a $300K investment. Thankfully, $150K of this will go to pay back his parents who were getting close to losing their farm.
All of these entrepreneurs had a strong support system and parents who believed in them. For those kids without that support, don’t give up! Show initiative, believe in yourself, and save some money…..you’ll get your chance to become a great entrepreneur some day.
Update: In keeping with the theme of the show, Ryan’s Barkery was featured in the Update segment. Ryan and his Mom are doing great. He’s sold $70K of his dog treats in the last 5 months!