Ok so with Thanksgiving week upon us we were forced to watch a re-aired episode from last season. All is not lost since this episode was in fact a good one and I can provide a little bit of an update to each company / Inventor.
The sharks in the tank this week included: Kevin (Mr. Wonderful), Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, Barbara Corcoran and Daymond John.
Without further ado, lets get on with the review. Oh and as always, please leave comments if you have any more updates or comments with regards to the products and services on the show.
Inventor: Ryan Custer
Product: Cougar Unlimited (www.drinkcougar.com)
Requesting: $150k for 30% stake
So considering time has past since the original recording of this episode, there are a number of developments that I will mention at the end. So Ryan entered the tank with a beautiful blond women by his side. He started to pitch the Cougar Unlimited brand by saying that the term Cougar (as it refers to a woman between the ages of 30-55) has become a bit of a pop couture term and that more and more men are seeking the accompaniment of an older women. The product is a energy drink (ok it is actually a lifestyle shot) specifically designed for women with ingredients that benefit women. Ryan also said that the shots can be mixed with alcohol to create mixed drinks. He has recorded $60k in sales over 3 year period. Daymond immediate bows out as he doesn’t want to waste any time. Barbara thinks the drink tastes like chalk and asked what was causing the taste, Ryan responded with “Niacin” she was out. Kevin then talked about how he already trimmed the market too much by excluding men and women above and below the target age group. Kevin is out. Mark follows. Robert is last and after some hard push from Ryan he also bows out leaving Ryan empty handed.
Feedback: First, this market is so flooded with competition and I honestly think it will all dissolve as more and more scrutiny comes down from the FDA. Having said that, Ryan has a unique pitch with the female market but, in reality he should also offer a male-only shot to cover the remaining market. We recently saw a pitch by a military gentlemen for www.ruckpack.com for a energy drink without the caffeine designed for the military and civilians. This is to me a much more well-rounded concept.
Inventor: Gary Gagnon
Product: Remyxx 100% Recyclable Shoes (www.rekixx.com)
Requesting: $50k for 10% stake
Gary enters the tank to pitch his company of Remyxx which is a fully recyclable shoe idea that takes into account the materials used to ensure that the shoe can be recycled with zero waste. He has some prototypes that he passed out to the Sharks and they appeared to be pretty fashionable to me. He does not yet have any sales as this is in the start-up phase and has invested about $30k to date. He is asking for the money to purchase the individual molds for each shoe size. Robert, Kevin, Barbara and Mark all bow out but, each seemed to like the idea. Daymond is last to speak and he says “you may not like what I have to offer” then says $50k for 80% stake (ouch!). After some emotional discussion, he takes the deal but, requests that Mark Cuban wear a pair court side at the Mavericks game.
Feedback: The product is not only unique but a trendy topic so I think it will ultimately do very well in the long run. The deal of relinquishing 80% of the company is painful but, he really just got a licensing deal for 20% return with one of the more successful fashion brains in the industry. The $50k was not nearly enough to get the product off the ground and I will elaborate. First individual molds for each size shoe sole for the injection molding of the rubber would probably cost about $3000 per size (made in China) and if we figure sizes form 6-14 (half sizes included for mens only) that means that it would cost $51,000. This does not account for sample runs, shipping and testing of all samples as well as the cost to cut and assemble the upper portion of the shoe. So lets say for a shoe retailing for $65 as it is on the website the non-domestic cost is probably going to be around $18-20 per pair. If you can imagine a box box retailer such as Foot Locker, they will likely order a sample run of 2 pair per size per store which may be in the neighborhood of 5-10k units. That means Gary needs to be able to handle the order, front the inventory cost since the retailer is not going to pay for probably 90 days. He would need $150k conservatively to take on that order. I can tell you from experience that selling online is easy but, moving to the big retailers is a gigantic step that needs capital. Don’t let that discourage you because I do think Daymond will help it off the ground. By the way it appears that Daymond decided to change the company name to Rekixx from Remyxx (good call).
Inventors: Frank Campitelli and Debrae Barensfeld
Product: Nitroforce Titan 1000 (www.thenitroforce.com)
Requesting: $250k for 10% stake
Both Inventors enter the shark and approach the Titan 1000 all in one gym. The most unique part of the product is the usage of gas shocks for resistance instead of weights which makes it far lighter and more versatile. Frank mentioned intellectual property in the pitch but it was not clear if they actually own the patents to the concepts or what? Anybody want to clarify? The 1000 in the product name comes from the amount of total resistance that the system can simulate much higher that the competitive products (Bowflex, Bioforce, etc,…). They have 90 machines in their warehouse, sold 26 for $1299 and invested about $200k so far between the two. Unfortunately all of the sharks chose to bow out and they leave empty handed.
Feedback: After looking at the website in great detail, I don’t know if they have any further sales to date since the episode but I would be interested in hearing more if anyone can provide more info. I also noticed another product in their pipeline (golf training system). Also, the product is retailing on the site for $899 plus $399 shipping!! This to me is typical of an eCommerce company, low price with an inflated S&H which ultimately goes into their pockets. I can verify this because actual ground shipping would only be $100 at most. Not a big deal but, consumers are not easily fooled. Best of luck Inventors!
Inventor: Phil Dumas
Product: Unikey Technologies (www.unikeytech.com)
Requesting: $500k for 33% stake
Phil entered the tank to present his company Unikey Technologies which is a wireless, keyless locking system for the home. The technology utilizes a Bluetooth signal from the cellphone or key fob to verify the homeowner is in range to unlock the door. A simple touch to the top of the lock will unlock the mechanism. He already has a provisional agent filed for the invention. The system is fully refit table to the existing door holes 2 bolts out 2 bolts on. The expected retail will be $149-199 each. He is currently in licensing discussions with Black and Decker and seeking a 7.5% royalty. Money will go towards patent protection and bluetooth application package. Kevin starts out by offering $100k for 10% if he can get another shark to fund the rest. Barbara offers $250k for 25% but, needs Mark to finish the deal. Daymond says $500k for 40% and Robert offers a staggering $1 million for 75% stake. Finally Mark Cuban turns down Barbara because the technology is not “in her wheel house”. He finally agrees to deal with Mark and Kevin for $500k and 40% stake with two seats on the board.
Feedback: Phil not only brought a very good technology to the table but his back ground is perfect for a start up company as he spent time in the start up business. This product is one that I scratched my head to ask why has nobody done this before? I wonder what the patent looks like and as soon as it publishes I will provide more details. From looking at the website, the product is still not available but is pre-ordering. He also updated the site to say he has partnered with a legal counsel and filed the non-provisional patent. I also did not see anything about Black and Decker which makes me wonder if the deal fizzled. Any updates anybody? I am sure this product will do very well assuming the cost is below $150.
Thanks everyone for reading this weeks post. Stay tuned for weekly reviews of Shark Tank.
If you are an Entreprenuer with a great product idea but, have not made any progress with the development, my company Odyssey Solutions can help. We offer a full turnkey suite of services to help turn that great idea of yours into a product. All while you retain all intellectual property. To see our full list of services click the link below.