The four entrepreneurs appearing on this episode are a good representation of “real world” startups…..one-man (or one-woman) shows, underfunded, in business two or three years, not profitable, and full of energy and confidence.
Melissa from Sandi Lake Clothing is an awesome designer. Her line of kids tee shirts were very cool, and she had sold over $340K in two years. She received an offer from Barbara that called for her to invest $100K for a 40% stake. Barbara wanted one of her portfolio companies (Grace and Lace) to take a minority position in Sandi Lake to help Melissa with back-office management tasks, but Melissa declined the offer because she didn’t want to “team up” with another company……a predictable response from a young entrepreneur. The entrepreneur’s passion overtakes the rational thought process of thinking through the benefits of having a Shark and a complementary company leveraging their collective resources. Sandi Lake is like Melissa’s first-born!
18 year-old Joshua from Parker’s Real Maple had Sales of $360K and had an overly optimistic forecast of $1.5 million for the current year…..typical of many young entrepreneurs. Joshua had also made the mistake of buying the materials to support a P.O. for $125K, but the order never came through. This prompted Shark Robert to make this profound comment, “It’s never a done deal until their check clears your bank”. This is particularly true when selling to larger companies that make decisions “by committee” and are subject to “de-committing” if their situation changes. Joshua will be successful when he gains some more real-world business experience.
Cindi from SafeGrabs has a great sense of humor. She did a nice job presenting her multi-purpose kitchen accessory. She had sales of $310K over the past three years. She ended up getting a deal with Shark Lori for $75K for 25% equity.
During her pitch, Shark Lori said,” Entrepreneurs are the only people who are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours”. So true!
Mikey from SiliDog is one year out of college and he makes customized dog tags. He was very poised and confident in making his pitch. He had sales of over $140K in the last 14 months. He was so good he got the Sharks to bid against each other, and eventually landed a deal from Lori that called for a $100K investment for 30% equity and 50 cents a tag until she recoups her investment.
OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE………… B-