For me, the highlight of this episode was the Update segment about Robert Herjavec’s journey from Croatia (formerly Yugoslavia) to Canada. He came to North America on a ship with his parents when he was a young child. He later got into the computer industry and has become a very successful entrepreneur.
As Robert pointed out, “Entrepreneurship is the great equalizer. Business doesn’t care about your sex, race, religion, or where you came from. Business only cares about the value you add”. Well said!
The most impressive entrepreneur/contestant on this episode was Tara from The Sleep Styler. Shark Lori absolutely loved her hair styling product which can be worn to bed to minimize hair prep time in the morning. Lori made a preemptive offer and made it clear she wanted a fast response. Tara negotiated a bit (just the right amount) and ended up getting $75K for 25% of her business.
Tara’s time management skills are amazing. She’s a practicing ophthalmologist, a mom, a wife, and she started her new business about a year ago. I forgot to mention that with all of this going on, she somehow found the time to go to hair styling school. She will really be able to use Lori’s help and QVC connections to get her business to the next level.
Next up was Billy from Blendtique Wine Company. He has created a wine kit which allows people to make customized wine formulations. Shark Barbara and Mr Wonderful had a contest to see who could make the better tasting wine. It was a fun experience, but it seemed like all the Sharks were getting buzzed (except wine expert Mr. W of course!).
In fact, he pointed out that 97% of all wines sold in the US are less than $13 per bottle. Billy was attempting to sell his wine at over $40 a bottle and this has limited his sales to about $100K per year. Shark Lori ended up agreeing to loan him $250K at 8% interest for a 10% equity stake with the hope that he could significantly cost reduce his product and increase sales.
Mark from MealEnders created a chocolate candy that contained ingredients that helps you curb your appetite and lose weight. He didn’t get a deal because his re-order rate was too low (21%), he couldn’t offer quantitative scientific proof that his product actually works, and the Sharks didn’t like the after-taste of the candy.
Aric and Alec from Rareform make backpacks, bags, and wallets from the vinyl used in old billboard advertisements. The Sharks liked the fact that this material was free and that they were keeping it out of landfills, but they aren’t able to make the same bag twice. This eliminates any hope of getting re-orders and puts them in the custom bag business.The business is not profitable and they had previously sold off lots of equity in order to stay afloat.
Aric and Alec admitted they need the cash and ended up making a deal with Mr. W that was a $300K loan for 10% equity. I’d be surprised if this makes it thru due diligence.
OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE………C+