This episode featured the four most likeable entrepreneurs of Season 6. They all showed great entrepreneurial spirit, and gave solid presentations. Alas, none of them stood out. They all had nice little businesses, but I didn’t see any with major upside potential. Each made some relatively minor strategic or tactical errors. No Sharky Awards will be given to any of these very nice contestants.
First up was Alex from Budsies. He fascinated me. He gave a flawless verbal presentation. I believe Alex has overcome a childhood stuttering problem to become an excellent speaker. His product was a plush toy that is custom designed based on pictures of people (or pets!) that are uploaded from their smart phones.
His product was clever, but clearly not scalable. He was accused of not being laser focused by the Sharks. Alex did get some lowball offers but turned them down.
Next up was Matt from BeeThinking. I learned a couple of things from Matt’s presentation. First, the Honey Bee population is shrinking and no one knows why. Second, one-third of our food supply depends on Bee Pollen.
He had sold $775K of his hives in the last 12 months…..certainly respectable. Matt made a couple of mistakes. His valuation of $4 million was way too high ($1.5 million or 2X last year’s sales would have been a more reasonable starting point). Also, he never told the Sharks how he would use the $400K he was asking for. Matt is all-in and I think he will do fine on his own.
Julie from PullyPalz had invented a great product for infants in search of their pacifier. In addition to solving the immediate problem, her product had several child development benefits (getting the left brain and right brain to work together). A very clever product indeed.
Julie made a couple of relatively minor mistakes. The Sharks asked her, “What’s holding you back?”. She said she couldn’t keep up with demand (she had $97K in sales). Later she said she had invested $175K of her own money and still had a $100K in inventory. Surely that could be used to satisfy the demand. I think she meant that as a solo entrepreneur, she couldn’t keep up with the demands of running a business by herself (sorry if this sounds too “nit-picky”, but proper terminology is important!). Her second mistake was risking losing Shark Lori’s offer by turning down her offer for 30% of the business. She was lucky Lori countered with 28%. This was a poor risk-reward analysis on Julie’s part.
That said, I liked Julie a lot and found myself rooting for her to get a deal. She came closest to capturing the prestigious Sharky Award. With Lori’s help, I think she will do well.
The final contestants were Joel & Arsene from Forus. They had developed some super light-weight sneakers (tennis shoes for those west of Pittsburgh). Despite the fact that they had sold about $500K in the last 6 months, they were trying to compete with many huge global powerhouses, and the Sharks didn’t bite.
Guys, I hope you PROVE THEM WRONG!!!!! Best of luck.