There are three sure-fire ways NOT to get an investment from the Sharks…… not knowing your numbers, not listening to the Sharks (and constantly interrupting them), and coming into the Tank with an unrealistically high company valuation. All were on display in this episode.
On the positive side, I was impressed with 21 year-old Vlad from Pinblock. This immigrant from Ukraine was motivated by the death of his Father and came to America to become a successful entrepreneur. Vlad had invented a toy building block system and has two patents pending. Pinblock looks something like Lego’s, but each piece has exactly the same design but with different colors. Pinblock allows you to build 3D models, wearables, and pixel art. He had prepared a mosaic of Mr. Wonderful using Pinblocks that strengthened his presentation. Mr. W. has lots of experience in the toy industry and understands how brutal it can be. He ended up striking a deal with Vlad for $100K for 50% of the company. Vlad understood the drawbacks of being a 50-50 partner (vs. a majority owner), but made the right move by accepting the offer. As he said, “What 21-year-old gets a deal from the Sharks?”. Vlad is the winner of this week’s Sharky Award (Youth Division).
I also liked Lisa from Nicepipes Apparel. She had created leg and arm warmers for people working out at yoga studios and gyms. She had put $300K of her own money into the business, which probably motivated her to inflate her company valuation to $1 million. Based on her sales, the value of the company was closer to $300K. Lisa listened to the Sharks’ criticism but held her own. This impressed Shark Barbara so much that she made an offer contingent on her portfolio company Grace & Lace investing alongside her. They have tremendous experience in marketing similar products using social media. Lisa turned down the offer and will go it alone. Tough decision , but the Sharks agreed…..she’s one tough cookie. Unlike Vlad, Lisa wanted to own 100% of a small business vs. owning a smaller percentage of a larger company.
LaTangela from Grease bags gave a very good presentation but had no sales of her oil absorbent product, and her costs were too high. Despite those drawbacks, Shark Barbara made an offer for $75K for 50% of the company and LaTangela accepted. Barbara said she wanted to have LaTangela “sell real estate in her spare time”. I think she was serious and LaTangela may wind up in the real estate industry. She’d make a great agent.
Elana from Mama’s Milkbox was all wound up. I think hanging out with Elana would be a blast, but it would be challenging to work with her from an investor’s point of view. She was really excited and very passionate about her line of clothing that facilitates breast-feeding. Elana made a couple of errors in her presentation…..she didn’t listen to the Sharks and continually interrupted them. They kept trying to tell her that her business model was broken. She also had to admit that she had no idea about costs, margins, profit/loss, etc. Her best move happened when she walked off the stage and looked into the camera and said, “I need a stiff drink”. Bottoms up!
OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE……………..B