This episode had the strongest group of entrepreneurs in Season 8. After showing several mediocre episodes during the World Series, the Election, etc. the Shark Tank producers brought their “A” game tonight. Each entrepreneur got a deal! I can’t remember the last time all four entrepreneurs got a deal.
There were two entrepreneurs deserving of a Sharky Award for their excellent presentations.
Jae Kim from Chi’ Lantro has a fleet of food trucks and three restaurants serving his Korean Barbecue. Despite having college expenses and a failing business, Jae Kim had managed to save $30K to start Chi’ Lantro. This speaks volumes about him and and his determination. Self-funding is THE best way to fund a start-up, but it requires you to cut back on personal expenses and live below your means…..something many people aren’t willing to do. Mark Cuban said Jae had achieved the “American Dream” by starting his own business with his own savings.
His business had sales of $4.7 million this year and will have sales of $6 million next year.Shark Barbara had invested in Tom + Chee (they won my Sharky Award for Best Presentation of Season 5) and has helped them grow from $1 million in sales to $51 million! Since this is a similar business and her experience and knowledge is transferable, Barbara invested $600K for 20% equity……..a great deal for her and Jae Kim.
Equally impressive was Melanie from Milk Snob. Her product is a baby’s car seat cover that doubles as a mom cover-up, allowing them to comfortably nurse their babies in public. She had sold $1.2 million of her product in the last 18 months. She knew her numbers! Her price to consumers was $36 and her cost to produce one unit was $7. With margins like that, and increasing sales, the Sharks became very interested.
Melanie had targeted Shark Lori as her desired partner. She got her wish when Lori agreed to invest $150K for 10% equity. This is another good deal for both parties.
Jack from Jack’s Stands & Marketplaces is a 10 year old dynamo. He builds lemonade stands and trains kids how to run them effectively. So far he has sold 7 stands, but would like to expand his business outside of Denver. He got a $50K low interest loan from guest Shark Chris Sacca. Jack will definitely be in the running for a Season 8 Sharky Award for Best Presentation in the Youth Division.
Junior from Toor had developed an app-driven Real Estate Lock Box. There was some discussion among the Sharks that something very similar to this already exists. Even with the confusion, Junior landed a deal that included some equity and debt financing. All the Sharks agreed Junior was a great salesman, but I have a funny feeling that this deal may not happen once due diligence begins. Too many unanswered questions, no sales history, possible patent infringement, etc. Looks too risky to me.
OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE…………A+