Very strong episode…lots of variety and three deals were made. Each of the entrepreneurs did an excellent job, so I will be giving three Sharky Awards for entrepreneurial excellence.
Platinum Sharky Award……Keri and Alesia from You Kick Ass have invested $120K of their own money and raised money on Kickstarter (crowd funding website) to start their custom action figure business. You simply upload a photo of someone, select an action figure body, and they “build” a personalized action figure using 3D Printing. Clever.
Although they were a pre-revenue company, they gave the best presentation of the episode. They had personalized their demo for each of the Sharks to get them excited. Keri and Alesia have great backgrounds (one with 3D printing and one at Microsoft) and have developed software that will allow them to expand their business into other areas. Mark Cuban made a deal with them for 10% of the company for a $100K investment.
Gold Sharky Award…….Christopher from SynDaver Labs makes synthetic cadavers for the medical industry. Although he scored a $3 million investment from Shark Robert for 25% of his company, Chris was not a true entrepreneur. He showed little passion (Shark Barbara said afterwards that the cadaver showed more energy than he did), and admitted he was not motivated by money and profits (no investor wants to hear that!). That said, Chris has a great product that can help save lives.
Although Christopher was very honest with the Sharks, he should have said he will be emphasizing sales growth for the next X years, and will then focus on increasing profits at that time. That sounds better than, “I don’t care about money”. Shark Robert will be hiring a CEO immediately to help run the business.
Silver Sharky Award……..Beatrice, Madeline, and Lizzy from Zoom Interiors did a deal with Barbara on the condition that they won’t try to develop software to automate the process of re-designing people’s apartments. There current process is working just fine, thank you.
These three college buddies gave a very compelling presentation about their business. The only question was, “How are you going to scale the business”? They believed that developing software would help them eliminate a 15 minute free consultation with potential clients. The Sharks disagreed with their approach for two reasons. First, software development is a tricky business and always costs more that you think (and you’re never really done….you’re always enhancing and debugging), and human contact is always a good thing when trying to connect with customers…..especially in a “hi-touch” industry like interior design.
Shark Chum Award……. Tony and Josh from Sun Screen Mist had developed a large machine to help people apply sun block. This struck me as a solution in search of a problem. Their business model was too complicated and the machines were too expensive for the Sharks. No deal here.