Tonight’s Sharky Award goes to Brian and Kyle from Guardian Bikes. They have developed an improved braking system for bicycles that will dramatically reduce the number of injuries by preventing the rider from being thrown over the handlebars when braking. This Surestop Technology can be licensed to bicycle manufacturers and costs them an additional four dollars per bike……..a very small price to pay for increased safety and product differentiation.
The challenge is selling the concept to the large bike manufacturers. This has proven to be a difficult, time-consuming task for Brian and Kyle. They decided to manufacture their own line of premium bikes with the Surestop Technology built-in as a way to show the marketplace that there would be a large demand for their technology.
It became obvious during their presentation that despite their engineering brilliance, they need a partner (or an employee) that can help improve their sales and marketing efforts. Mark Cuban even told them, “Your Marketing sucks!”
Mr. Wonderful wanted the deal if Brian and Kyle agreed not to manufacture bikes and concentrate on licensing their technology. They would not agree.
Mark Cuban made an offer contingent on them getting a PR pro on-board and generating increased sales in the next 6 months. The offer of $500K for 15% equity was accepted. I think this could become a really, really big deal at some point.
Best of the Rest……..Somehow Nick and Joe from Guard Llama got a deal with Shark Barbara despite the fact that the two technology guru’s (Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca) panned their product and their technology. Mark said, “I like everything about your company except your product…..it’s horrible”. Even the llama pooped on stage! You might say this presentation was truly a shit show.
But Shark Barbara liked Nick and Joe and saw their security product (something like Life Alert as seen on TV) as being useful in the real estate industry. With her deep domain expertise and industry contacts this may work. Sometime targeting a particular industry (vertical market) can help a weak product succeed by tailoring your sales efforts and messaging specifically to that industry. That said, please lose the llama!
Samuel and Savannah from Flag sell advertising space on the back of photographs. Their pitch was terrible. They neglected to mention that they had already raised $1.6 million and they didn’t define their business model (“freemium”) until the very end of the pitch. The Sharks didn’t like the concept. It ended up sounding like an old-school print advertising agency. No deal here.
(BTW, freemium is a pricing strategy by which a product or service (typically a digital offering or application such as software, media, games or web services) is provided free of charge, but money (premium) is charged for proprietary features, functionality, or virtual goods.)
Ian, Alex, and Tov from Validated have two test markets……one in Seattle and one in Portland. Their service helps retailers get more traffic by giving customers points that can be used to reduce the cost of downtown parking. The pitch and the product were confusing and complex. The product is based on QR Codes which Chris Sacca described as “the herpes of digital technology”.
OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE…………C