Excellent episode last night! The “Update” segment featured Tom + Chee, my overall Sharky Award winner for Season 4. In the last two years, since their appearance on Shark Tank, they have done $14 million in business and now have 19 locations with 500 employees……not bad for a company that was started with $2,400 five years ago!
My Sharky Award winner for entrepreneurial excellence on last night’s show was Naushad from Drain Strain.
This product is a sink drain cleaner that eliminates clogs. In 2008, Naushad was the Number 10 Realtor in the State of Washington but was put out of business by the great recession. He wanted to show his kids that you never give up and can always come back from adversity. He was inspirational.
Although he is in the prototype phase, he received a $110K investment for 10% equity from Shark Robert. I think they will make great partners and will work well together. Robert can help Naushad get a licensing deal with a large manufacturer.
In this episode, the Most Intriguing Entrepreneur was Mark A. from BEDJET. His product warms/cools beds and has a dual control option for bedmates that have different preferences. The Sharks missed out on this opportunity. They should have fed the Sharks a few Snickers bars before they taped this presentation. The Sharks were REALLY CRANKY and unreasonably critical during this segment.
I thought Mark (the contestant) gave a very solid initial presentation and demonstration. Mark had a background at NASA as an engineer involved in developing heating and cooling of space suits. In my mind, this gave him instant credibility. He was adapting the space suit technology to solve a common household problem with a huge market potential. He was just about to go into production (this was my main concern because it brings with it a high degree of risk and uncertainty).
The Sharks were initially very interested in BEDJET, but then the cranky Sharks came out to circle and all hell broke loose. Mr. Wonderful actually said, “You’re a pig!”, because he thought the retail price was too high. He continually brought up the same objection over and over. Mark (the contestant) addressed this comment by saying he was going after the premium mattress market and he had already received a Purchase Order for $1.1 million worth of product. Besides, I’m guessing Mr. W. has never had a hot flash, and my wife tells me she definitely would have paid $500 to make them go away!
Next up was Shark Lori who was deeply offended by the fact that Mark didn’t take her question immediately. The fact is that Mark A. was engaged with Mr. W. at that moment. Lori repeated her question five times and was upset because Mark didn’t circle back until later. She said later that he should have responded immediately because, “I shouted”.
Shark Mark Cuban went out because Mark A. didn’t initially answer his questions with technical explanations of how the product worked. Mark Cuban said he “didn’t like the vibe”.
Shark Robert went out because Mark A. was too much in “sales mode” (I think this is what good entrepreneurs do!).
The only constructive criticism came from Shark Barbara who said the high-end of the bed market was “upholstered beds” and they couldn’t use BEDJET.
You don’t always get the true picture on TV. The only thing I can think of that might have explained the Sharks bad behavior was thinking Mark A. (the contestant) wasn’t who he said he was, and they were trying to rattle him to see if he cracked. Assuming he checks out, I think the Sharks blew it!
Best of the Rest……Andrew from Fresh Patch had sold over $1 million of his natural grass sod for pets. Despite the fact that only 25% of his customers have re-ordered (I would have expected this to be something north of 50%), he got a deal from Mark and Barbara.
Liz and Abby from Balm Chicky Balm Balm had a fun name but didn’t articulate why having “sharable lip balm” is such a great idea. The market seems very small. They had sold only $17K of product, but looked like they were having fun. No deal here.