Shark Tank episode 18-aired January 21, 2018

First into the tank was Jonathan from Rounderbum. He’s sold  over $1 million of his “bum enhancing” underpants. Using a set of adult twins, Jonathan gave a very effective side by side, before-and-after comparison of his product.

He received two offers from the Sharks. Shark Robert would have been the PERFECT partner for him, but he didn’t like the idea of giving up 20 percent equity. Shockingly, he opted for a partnership with Mr. Wonderful who offered  $150K in debt financing in return for $2 per unit until he received 2X his money back ($300K). He would then get 5% equity.

Kevin and Glenn from Brush Hero have a great patented product that cleans almost anything  outdoors with ease.  With $3 million in annual sales, their valuation of $5 million seemed reasonable to me. They made a strategic mistake, however……they said they had no competition and there was nothing like their product on the market.

When they asked to leave the tank to discuss two offers they had on the table, Shark Robert told the Sharks that he knew of similar products used in car detailing. That “spooked” the Sharks and caused Daymond to go out and Lori to restructure her offer to the point it was no longer attractive to Kevin and Glenn. They passed. The moral to the story, be honest about the competition and don’t leave the tank before you close the deal!

Disha from Savy gave a very dull, uninspiring presentation about her shopping app. She’s only 20 years old and has a lot to learn about business. The Sharks all went out when she said she wasn’t going to take advantage of an engineering scholarship to the University of Michigan. Disha doesn’t know what she doesn’t know………a critical flaw for any entrepreneur.

Jennifer and Buddy from Guzzle Buddy have created a glass that be attached to a wine or beer bottle so you can drink straight out of the bottle. It seemed like a silly idea to me, but they managed to sell $1.4 million in 10 months. Daymond offered $400K for 25 percent and they quickly took it. This should be a great gag gift.

                              OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE…………………..C+ 

 

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Shark Tank episode 17-aired January 14, 2018

Solid episode with three good deals.

When Alice’s from Alices’s Table started her presentation describing her “flower arranging classes” I was not impressed by the potential of her business. She sold kits to people that wanted to start a business teaching people how to make their own flower arrangements. The kit was sold for $699 and included the necessary materials and training. She received a 30% commission on all tickets sold to the classes. The business didn’t seem exciting or scalable to me.

Alice mentioned during her presentation that this could become a platform for other types of businesses and Mark Cuban jumped all over that. He coined the phrase “Business in a Box” and started to think about how various businesses could be sold to newbie entrepreneurs. Mark thought this could become a $100 million a year business and Alice agreed. Mark and Guest Shark Sarah (founder of Spanx) made a deal calling for $250K for 10% with an option to buy another 10% in the future. Not bad for a company with only $180K in sales!!!

Nick, Glenn, Scott from Zup were next into the tank. Their product was a combination  surfboard, boogie board, and water ski’s. They expect to have sales of $1 million this year with a net profit of $200K before paying themselves. They have $500K in debt.

The Sharks felt there was too much competition in this space, and although Zup had some patents on their product, they had trouble differentiating themselves from the competition. They actually sued a competitor for patent infringement and lost the case. That’s one of the considerations before applying for a patent. Getting a patent is relatively inexpensive, but defending it can be very expensive….especially against a big company. Their next step is to go before a patent judge, and that can be really expensive.

Patents aside, Glenn was very emotional and didn’t describe the problem his product was trying to solve. He just talked about the features and not the benefit of owning the product. No deal here.

Wendy from Boobie Bar did immediately identify the problem she was trying to solve….increasing the volume of mother’s milk. She had sold $778K of her herbal lactation bars over the past two years. Wendy claimed they increase milk volume by 1.5 to 4.0 ounces, but she didn’t have clinical testing to back-up her claim. Such testing would also allow Doctors to recommend it to their patients. That discouraged all the Sharks except Mr. Wonderful and  Daymond.

Daymond ended up getting the deal ($150K for 20%) when he told Wendy his wife just had a baby was going through the nursing experience, and he could relate to some of the stress and pressure associated with the process. Sometimes that personal appeal is enough to get the deal.

Eugenia from Pandaloon has an online store that sells pet costumes that allows customers to dress up their dogs to look like panda bears. The Sharks were doubled over laughing when her little dog ran out on the stage in the panda costume. Very funny stuff!

In fact, one of her videos got over 140K views online! The fact that this is a very small niche market (dog costumes) caused Shark Lori to exit early, but Daymond made a deal for $60K for 35% equity and he planned on donating 10% equity to animal charities.

                              OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE……….. B+

 

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Shark Tank episode 16-aired January 14, 2018

This episode was long on entertainment and relatively short on important content.

Joe and Miranda from Joe’s Fish Fry gave a great presentation. They were confident and knowledgeable. They had overcome many obstacles including the loss of their business in Katrina. That didn’t stop them, however. They took their show on the road and perfected their packaged fish fry by talking to customers at various locations around the country.

As Mark Cuban put it,”If an entrepreneur is relentless, anything is possible”.

Joe and Miranda have stores like Kroger and Publix selling their product. With a sales forecast of $270K for the current year and $450K for next year, they demonstrated a track record and knowledge of the numbers. They got a deal from Shark Daymond for $150K for 25% equity. This deal should be a win-win.

Michele from G.O.A.T. Pet Products makes speakers for dogs that plays stuff you record that you want your dog to say. Really? Is this solving a problem? I guess PetSmart must think so because they they offered a six month exclusive deal for $2 million with no returns. Michelle is a saavy business person and negotiating a no-return policy was genius. The problem for the Sharks is that their was no actual customer “sell thru” data because it wasn’t available in the stores yet.

Michelle somehow got a deal with Shark Robert calling for $499 for 1/3 of her company. Who knows, maybe this will become the Pet Rock of the Pet industry…..a great gag gift for dog owners.

Howie from DudeRobe makes robes for men. Although the robes were well designed, they look like a hoody sweat shirt and all-purpose shorts that you could buy for less than $100. Howie’s price was $219. Not enough product differentiation to justify the price in a very competitive marketplace. here. No offers.

Chris and Lindsay from The Long Hairs makes hair ties for guys with long hair. Facing no competition and being pioneers of sorts, they had great fun with the Sharks making them wear long haired wigs, and they even got a deal from Mark Cuban for $100K for 20% equity.  This was a very entertaining pitch. They showed a video of one of them “flopping” his hair for 14 straight days in the Grand Canyon. Far out.

OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE…..A for entertainment and C+ for content.

 

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Shark Tank episode 15-aired January 7, 2018

The runaway Sharky Award winner for entrepreneurial excellence in this episode was David from DetraPel. This 19 year-old has developed a liquid non-toxic repellent spray that keeps materials clean (clothing, carpets, etc.) using nanoparticle technology. Having received a D in Chemistry in college, I am not exactly qualified to explain the science behind this product so I looked it up……………

According to Science Daily, a nanoparticle is a microscopic particle with at least one dimension less than 100 nm. Nanoparticle research is currently an area of intense scientific research, due to a wide variety of potential applications in biomedical, optical, and electronic fields.

…….and David is just 19! He invented a similar product while in High School!

Shark Tank

David from DetraPel

His parents immigrated from Moscow and Kiev. Many of the recent Shark Tank entrepreneurs are first or second generation immigrants. Also, Sharks Robert and Rohan are in this demographic category.

David gave a great demo of his product and how it prevents and removes stains. He has sold almost $350K  at retail and from his website at $12.99 per bottle. Each unit costs $1.14 to make. Great margins.

Mark and Lori went in together and will invest $200K for 25% equity. Mark has a team already working with nanoparticles and Lori has the marketing expertise to make this a Homerun! My only suggestion is to change the name of the product….DetraPel is too hard to remember. A more consumer friendly name would be a good idea.

Sharky Award

Sharky Award-DetraPel

Kyle from iFork has created a set of unique plastic forks, plates, cups, etc. that allow people to hold their food and drink with one hand at parties.

It seemed to the Sharks that the unique fork wasn’t solving a real problem but they liked the idea of having a plate that would allow any plastic cup to be inserted on the underside of the plate.  Barbara struck a deal with Kyle calling for a $100K investment for 15% equity. She will help Kyle redesign his packaging and help improve his marketing approach.

Shark Robert had a few memorable comments at the end of this segment. He told Kyle, “You never complained. I like to tell people to forget the excuses and make the most out of your life”. Kyle has overcome a tough childhood and has accomplished so much.

Next up was Kat from Stasher. Her company makes silicon food prep. and storage bags that can be reused thereby improving the environment. Her sales were $1.6 million last year. Kat was all charged up when she came into the tank and was hell bent on getting a deal with Mark Cuban. She never engaged consumer product gurus Lori and Rohan, who would have made offers, but she dismissed them immediately and never even wanted to hear their offers.

She eventually got her offer from Mark for $400K plus a $400K line of credit for 15% equity. Frankly, I think Kat will drive Mark crazy. She’s focused to a fault and didn’t strike me as very flexible or open to new ideas. This partnership will not last.

Daniel from recharj has a studio in Washington,DC that has 12 beds so people can take power naps during the day. He  has personally invested $300K in this idea and has annual revenue of $130K. He may break-even by the end of the year. Despite being overly optimistic and passionate, Daniel generated no interest from the Sharks.

 

 

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Shark Tank episode 14-aired January 7, 2018

The first contestant/entrepreneur of the new year, Yair from Frywall, has a nice, easy to understand product….a silicon “shield” to prevent spattering when frying foods. He checked all the boxes and got a deal with Lori for $100K for 10%.

Here are the “checked boxes” I referred to……….

Good descriptive product name, solves a real world problem, great margins ($25 price-$5.50 cost), track record (annual sales of $800K), a reasonable “ask” ($100K for 10%), and total commitment to his business.

Look up “the perfect small Shark Tank deal” and you should see a picture of Yair and his Frywall products.

Shark Tank

Yair and Frywall

This deal is perfect for Lori and will be a win-win. Should be a perfect QVC type product.

Next into the tank was Pier from Elliptical Stroller. Pier came to this country penniless, started selling real estate, and saved $170K which he then invested in his company. He has not sold any strollers ( incorporates an elliptical for exercise). He now has a prototype and 7 patents (he spent over $70K on the patents….too much!). He was asking the Sharks for a $500K investment. With zero sales and a $500K ask,  the risk was way too high and Pier received no offers from the Sharks.

Ranjith and Akshita from Inirv have medical backgrounds and they selected their company name based on a medical term that is not well-known and has no relation to their product. Their product allows stove tops and ovens to be turned off remotely using smart phones…..a clever idea that solves a real problem.

Shark Robert offered $800K for 20% of the company but Ranjith turned him down (backstage he said he was sorry he did that). Lori liked the idea but wanted to see a finished product before considering an investment. No deal here.

Peter and Chris from bird dogs made gym shorts that don’t require underpants to be worn under them. On paper these two had a lot to offer……a nice looking product line, Harvard education, forecasted sales of $6 million, profitability, etc.

All of these positives were more than offset by their silliness, arrogance, unsupported claims, lack of investment in inventory, and their elitist attitude.

Their act drew comments from the Sharks which included words like “B.S.” and “that makes no sense”. This will be nominated as the worst presentation in Season 9 at the end of the season.

                                       OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE…………….B    

 

 

 

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My Favorite Christmas Present

#SharkTank action figures. Mark, Daymond, and Barbara. Merry Christmas!

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Shark Tank episode 13-aired December 3, 2017.

Three of the four entrepreneurs featured in this episode have created products relating in some way to Christmas. All solid entrepreneurs, three deals, but no Sharky Awards.

The Shark Tank Update segment featured Luminaid. They’ve been busy helping survivors of hurricanes in Puerto Rico and Texas by distributing their solar powered inflatable lights. Their annual sales are now $7.5  million vs. $1 million when they appeared on Shark Tank in Season 6. They won my Best Presentation Sharky Award (Youth Division) for Season 6 (see The Best and Worst of Shark Tank blog). Mark Cuban is their investor.

First into the tank were brothers Brian and Michael from Comfy.  Their presentation was amusing and entertaining. Their reversible blanket/ hooded sweatshirt competes with the popular Snuggy (22 million of them were sold in its first year).  Despite having no website and no sales, Brian and Michael got a deal from Shark Barbara for $50K  for 30% equity. I have a funny feeling this may turn out to be a big hit for Brian, Michael, and Barbara. It’s a big potential market. I gave this my Best Deal of the episode award.

Ryan from The Christmas Tree Hugger has developed a plastic cover to be applied to the bark of an artificial Christmas tree to make it more attractive. The product was not impressive, but Ryan was. He cold-called Kroger and QVC and convinced them to sell his product.  Despite lack-luster results, Ryan made money on both deals, but  he didn’t receive any offers from the Sharks. Mr. Wonderful urged Ryan to kill his product and work on something else, but Mark Cuban encouraged him to go back and make some more money.

Logan from RokBlok (by Pink Donut) has created an amazing tiny portable Vinyl record player with bluetooth connectivity. Vinyl records are gaining in popularity, but very few people have the old phonographs to play them. Logan has solved this problem. He sold $350K of his product on Kickstarter, taught himself electrical engineering on YouTube, lived at the factory in China for two months that manufactures his product, and worked for Apple for 5 years. Impressive!

Shark Robert Herjavec was so impressed he bought the entire company for $500K and agreed to pay Logan a six figure salary for two years plus a 5% royalty. Robert said he thought RokBlok would be a “slow burner” that would sell for many years to come. I would describe this as a high risk/high reward deal for Robert, but a no-brainer for Logan.

Matt from Modern Christmas Trees has created a unique type of art-worthy, non-traditional “Christmas Tree” that is made of concentric rings. His Grandfather was actually the inventor of this concept and Matt has expanded it. His largest tree sells for $799 and the Sharks thought that was too expensive, but Shark Barbara didn’t let that stop her.  After some serious negotiating, she and Matt made a deal for $100K for 18% equity.

                                  OVERALL RATING OF THIS EPISODE………….B

 

 

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