Very strong episode…..three deals and a nice mix of industrial, agricultural, media, and consumer products. On balance, the most impressive presentation was delivered by Armand, Mark, and Bryan from Melni Connectors and they are the winners of this episode’s Sharky Award for entrepreneurial excellence.
These three walked away with a $500K investment from Mark Cuban. Mark readily admitted that he didn’t understand their industrial strength electrical connector business, but he knew it was something unique and had a large potential upside. What really sold Mark Cuban was Bryan, a retired lineman, who loved the product and invested $50K of his own money without even asking about the company valuation.
This was a good demonstration of how important it is for a startup to thoroughly understand their end-users and their needs. Bryan had this knowledge and knew that other linemen would love this product.
Mark Cuban compared this to his own video streaming startup where investors were “throwing money at him” without understanding the business because they had FOMO….Fear of Missing Out!
A close second in the Sharky competition was Mont from PittMoss. Mont had developed a substitute for Peat Moss that is made from recycled paper. This is a green initiative that actually costs less and has superior performance when compared to Peat Moss.
Mont landed a $600K deal from the three “boy Sharks”, and I see huge upside potential for this 50-year-old entrepreneur. I did have to deduct a few style points for his answer to the question, “What are your sales?” His answer….”Our sales suck”. He went on to say that he had only sold $22K of his product. I thought he was doomed at that point.
A much more professional approach would have been to say that his only goal at this point was a “Proof of Concept” and that the next step was to add to his production capacity so he could scale his business.
Best of the Rest…..Somehow Danielle and Julia from Neatcheeks managed to get a 150K investment with only $4K in sales and no patent protection (can you really get a patent for a flavored face wipe?). They also made a strategic error by saying they would use most of the Shark’s money to pay themselves salaries. Normally investors want their money to grow the business, and not pay the owners a salary. The “lady Sharks” made offers and Barbara got the deal.
Alex and Sherisse from Beneath the Ink had a very clever software product that enhances the ebook reading experience by allowing the reader to drill down and learn more about a particular subject in the book. They were a pre-revenue company that had already raised $640K prior to their appearance in the Tank. With only 8 books “BINK-enabled” so far, they will have a tough journey with lots of competition. No deal here. I hope they can sell their technology to a bigger player in the industry.