Excellent episode! Three great entrepreneurs made it difficult to pick the Sharky Award winner. I will therefore use my old format and award a Platinum, Gold, and Silver Sharky. One Shark Chum Award will be given to one company with a really bad idea and a weak presentation.
Platinum Sharky Award…..Brittany and Kim from ZinePak landed a $725K deal from Robert and Lori. They exuded confidence, passion, and knowledge of their marketplace. They develop eye-catching packaging for CD’s for “super-fans” of various recording artists. Brittany and Kim met at an ad agency where they both felt they were not being allowed to fully utilize their talents.
ZinePak will have sales of $4 million this year and forecasts sales of $8 million next year. Their deal placed the company valuation at approximately 1X last years sales. I believe there are many other potential avenues for growth. Wherever there are super-fans, there are opportunities for ZinePak!
Gold Sharky Award……Erik and Sasha from Buck Mason declined several of the Sharks offers. I think they made the right decision. They did not want to give up 25% of their company for $200K. Considering they started their online men’s clothing business 10 months ago with just $10K, and will have sales of approximately $500K this year, who could blame them for rejecting the Sharks’ offers?
Hats off to Erik and Sasha for keeping all their manufacturing in the U.S. This is more than a patriotic gesture…..it allows them to work closely with the folks that actually make their clothes, thereby improving quality, decreasing lead times, and gaining first-hand knowledge for potential product and process improvements.
Silver Sharky Award…….Bryan from Noene USA is a former NFL player who had bought into a European company that makes insoles for sneakers. He had negotiated an exclusive distribution agreement in the U.S. and Canada.
There were three things I liked about Bryan’s presentation. First, he gave a very compelling demo of his product when he covered a piece of glass with the Noene insole and dropped a heavy ball on it, and the glass didn’t break! Second, he was very likeable and respectful of the Sharks (I’m sure the NFL would love to have more players like Bryan). Third, I loved his tag line……”Thinner than a dime”. It provides a great mental image of his product.
He got a deal from Daymond and Mark Cuban, but had to give up 30% of his company for $200K. He got two great partners and it was a good deal considering Daymond and Mark’s connections in the world of sports and sneakers.
Shark Chum…..Jamie and Dean from SnagaStool built a mobile phone app that helps people reserve seats at bars. This struck me as a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. As Mr. Wonderful pointed out, this app only allows you to reserve unwanted off-peak seats, not prime time in-demand seats that people might be willing to pay for. They had no revenue and I expect this trend will continue.