Great Shark Tank episode! I liked the addition of Chris Sacca to the Shark line-up (former Google executive and a red-hot Venture Capitalist). I think he forced the other Sharks to pick-up their games. I hope to see him again.
I also loved the four entrepreneurs! Each one did a very nice job presenting. Their products were innovative, and leveraged exciting, new technologies in some way.
Tonite’s Sharky Award for entrepreneurial excellence goes to Ryan from Windcatcher.
Ryan had a bit of a “mad scientist” look. He utilized a scientific principle called “air entrainment” to inflate things faster than the Shark’s (or I) could imagine. Think of an inflatable raft that takes hours to blow up. Ryan’s product allows people to inflate that raft 10 times faster than by using conventional methods.
It looked like magic, but Ryan demonstrated how it actually works. He owns a patent to help protect his intellectual property.
Ryan was a bit unconventional and quirky……he refused to tell the Sharks what his cost structure was, he continually wrote on his hand when the Sharks started bidding, and said he would be bored with a business with a steady, predictable stream of revenue.
That was okay with the Sharks. I thought he looked like a young Albert Einstein. He ended up getting a $200K investment from Lori for 5% equity. This will either be HUGE or will flame-out very quickly. Very intriguing entrepreneur.
The Best of the Rest…….Mike and Drew from Rent Like a Champion rent private homes in the vicinity of large college football stadiums. Think of it as an Airbnb targeted at people who love college football. They have a great revenue model…..they charge renters 8% and homeowners 15%. These two knew their market and were targeting 43 small college towns with big-time football (ex-they have 350 homes for rent in South Bend, Indiana). Chris and Mark invested $200K for 10% equity and said afterwards that this was a good valuation and that this could be “a pick-up” for Airbnb, meaning they probably will get acquired by Airbnb some day. This should be a great ROI for all.
Melissa and Lavanya are sisters with Mechanical Engineering degrees that launched STEM Center USA. The sisters charged their clients annual membership fees and were getting ready to franchise their idea. Chris and Lori battled it out and Lori got the deal when she differentiated herself using her passion and experience helping women and girls.
I liked Danny from Hotshot. After 6 years of development and spending $2 million of his own money, Danny was just now getting ready to launch his “Hot Coffee in a Can” business. The Sharks were appalled that it had taken him so long to launch. Mr. W. said that every business should be making money after 36 months. Spoken like a true financial investor.
Danny didn’t get a deal, but with the right partner, Danny can do well. I think the Sharks may have missed an opportunity here.