Solid Shark Tank episode last night. The quality of the entrepreneurs and their presentations continues to improve. There was one clear standout on this episode, and they win this week’s Sharky Award for entrepreneurial excellence.
Platinum Sharky Award….Corey and Swapnil from Ilumi
I really liked the way these two personalized their product demonstration for each of the Sharks. They immediately got the Sharks’ engaged when they showed how each could use their iPad’s to control each light in their own house or business.
The price of their product seemed very high to me ($289 for three light bulbs), but with a 20 year life, the product should gain traction in high-end commercial applications.
Corey and Swapnil got a deal from Mark Cuban, but they almost blew it by rejecting his initial offer ($350K for 25% equity). Normally Mark wouldn’t re-engage after a rejection, but he did in this case. The deal was eventually accepted as originally presented. The guys were lucky to get it. I guess you could say they “saw the light”.
The Best of the Rest…..I liked Chase and Bob from Intelli-Stopper. Their wine cork device keeps red wine drinkable for up to 14 days. These two were very knowledgeable and had a couple of other products to keep coffee and oils fresh. The problem here was insufficient product differentiation from similar products already in the market and a sky-high valuation. No deal.
I also liked Erika from Fort Magic. She had a product that allows kids to build large forts using what can best be described as a tinker toy or lego-like product. The Sharks gave Erika a tough time when she didn’t immediately answer Mr. Wonderful’s seven-part financial question. Barbara then threw her a curveball by asking her what her top three priorities were for tomorrow morning. Mr. W actually called her a scatter brain. Something tells me Erika will get the last laugh here.
Felix and Jordan from Zoobean have developed a “search engine for kids’ books”. Mr W. has a background in this area and understands the high cost of customer acquisition for kids in the 3 to 8 age group.
Mark had a bigger vision. He saw this as something that eventually could be used to search for kids’ movies and any other product that kids might be interested in. He plunked down $250K for 25% equity. As a former internet software company CEO, I think he’ll be hard pressed to make his money back. Too much competition in this space with Google, Amazon, Disney, etc. Mark did say afterward that this type of software is either a hit or miss. I think he’s got the latter.
Shark Tank Update: Breathometer (smart phone breathalyzer) got all five Sharks to invest in his company earlier in Season 5. They did $1 million in sales in the three months following their episode. They have a great future!