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Redesigned Website

We after about 5 years using the same template-based website platform we decided to move a fully customized WordPress site. We hope you like the simplicity and clean approach we took. One of the main focuses for us was the explanation of our breadth of services as well as typical expectations. The Frequently Asked Questions section covers the most common questions and will be updated accordingly.

Send us a note, we love hearing feedback.

Sean

Odyssey Solutions

www.odyssey-solutions.net 

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Help Support Odyssey Solutions in the Intuit Small Business Big Game Contest

Help Support Odyssey Solutions in the Intuit Small Business Big Game Contest

Readers, 

I am asking your support for Odyssey Solutions in the Intuit Small Business Big Game contest. The winning company will get a commercial during the Super Bowl. We made it to the second round so every vote counts.

https://www.smallbusinessbiggame.com/TX/Odyssey-Solutions-LLC/374168

Much Thanks

Sean

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Shark Tank Episode Review – New Season September 20th, 2013

Well the long awaited season of Shark Tank is here. I am excited after the marathon build up from last week.

This is a pre-show poll to see who is watching the show tonight.

And now for our weekly reviews of the Shark Tank products and entrepreneurs.

We for the first time had all 5 sharks on the show at one time and it made for some great TV.

First in the Tank

Inventor: Josh Brooks

Product / Company: Postcards on the Run

Asking: $300k for 5% stake in the company

Postcards on the Run and Josh Brooks

Postcards on the Run

Josh started this company with some help from a couple rounds of Investor contribution (including Selena Gomez). With an initial investment of $1.6mm USD and sales of $450k in 21 months and residual cash flow of $180k remaining, Josh is seeking funding for growth and marketing to further expose his brand. The product is rather unique in that an app is installed onto a mobile phone for free then after paying a $2.49 fee, the user takes a photo and writes a personal message. The results is a glossy 4×6 postcard delivered to the recipient of choice. So far he has 500k downloads of the app and a 180 transactions meaning a conversion rate of 36% (assuming single transactions). In most app-based businesses this would be a very good conversion. I wonder how many users are repeat users or if the drop off is high. That information was not discussed during the pitch. Mark Cuban was rather brutal with Josh stating that he was valuing the company on tech bubble figures. He didnt think it was a good time to invest so he bowed out. The rest of the Sharks soon followed out except for Robert. Robert said that he felt a connection to the product because he thinks his kids would use it and so he offered $300k for 10%. After some back and forth and good negotiating on both parts a deal was struck for $300k for 7.5% stake.

Feedback: Again, I think this product is one that is unique and novel indeed but, I would like to see the future plan for the business (additional streams, ad revenue, etc,…). Josh was proud to state he came from Myspace and he has a strong background in the Social Media segment. Good indeed but having the foresight to see a need to adapt the business plan to address user behavior is even more valuable. I will say that I travel alot overseas and using this app would be a cool way to personalize a postcard for a loved one. I really want to know how things are going after the Tank and to see if cash flow has improved.

Inventors: Lynnae and Ali

Company: Lynnaes Pickles

Asking: $125k for 20% stake

Lynnae's Gourmet Pickles

The two women enter the Tank to promote a gourmet pickle business based in Tacoma Washington. Founded on their Grandma’s recipes, they created a brand and a business serving local and nationwide retailers. With $144k in sales in 12 months the girls are looking to get some more money to help boost inventory and grow exposure. They are working with a distribution company now and in 26 states, pretty impressive really. The pickle jars retail for $6.99, wholesale for $4, and COGS is $1.93. The girls talked about Target showing interest in having them in their new gourmet foods sections. The Sharks were not impressed with the financials and the high cost and the uncertainty of the larger market.

Feedback: I always struggle with the food company pitches mainly because rarely is there anything proprietary and the possibility for running into a larger player that is looking to dominate a small segment is all too real. I do think they might be better off approaching a food products manufacturer to see about lowering the costs and then reducing the price point down to $4.99 might make this move faster. Updates anyone?

Inventors: Richard and Albert Amini

Product: Rolodoc

Asking: $50k for 20%

Rolodoc

Two Doctors and Brothers Richard and Albert have a company that will hopefully eliminate the need to carry an outdated pager to get in touch with doctors. The pitch was not all that clear as they continued to mention “social media” but with not explanation as to what that all means. The idea is that Doctors would sign up to the website (much like Facebook) then post their specialities and accreditations (I guess). The Sharks ate them alive and within a matter of minutes, the guys left empty handed.

Feedback: If you watched the episode then I wont repeat the things the Sharks had to say but, I will say that as a patient, I find a huge amount of credibility checking that would need to be performed to vet the Doctors. Also, it was unclear as to how the company would generate money. Again, I would guess advertising and membership fees but who knows.

Inventors: Cole Edgar and James McDonald

Product: SweetBallz

Asking: $250k for 10% stake

NO IMAGE DUE TO SERVER CRASHING (Good thing normally)

So, these two Texas Entrepreneurs came into the Tank with a cake pop minus the stick called Sweet Ballz. With a background in the food industry and business development, they had a fast launch of the product with a huge deal going with 711. Racking in $700k in only 90 days is the real deal and I loved how dropped that on the Sharks rather nonchalant. The current demand is creating a lead time of 22 days which is tough especially considering the shelf life of 45 days. The money would be used to beef up supply and reduce lead time as well as expand into other customers. The numbers on the company are MSRP $1.99-2.49 with a cost of $0.86. I am sure that with a ramped up production they would be able to drive costs down below $0.50. All five Sharks put offers on the table but it came down to a deal from Mark/Barbara $250k-25% or Kevin/Robert/Lori $250k-30%. The Sweet Ballz go for the Cuban led offer and for good reason.

Feedback: Again a food product but, they say you invest in the man not the product and I think that was the big selling point here. The two guys proved they can get this company growing with solid sales history. I would imagine Cuban pushing the product to all of his businesses and Barbara would be looking at the broader retail deals (supermarkets, pharmacies and department stores). I think this will do well. I am interested in any updates….

Thanks again for reading and please come by again for the next weeks posting.

Sean Yakeley

Odyssey Solutions New Product Development Consulting

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Shark Tank Weekly Review – Episode 409 December 4th Holiday Episode

Maybe a re run but always entertaining watching the Sharks

odysseysolutionsblog

Happy Holidays Shark Tank fans. The much anticipated holiday episode of The Shark Tank aired this evening and as expected, the show was very entertaining. We saw some great product pitches with solid sales, some niche business models that need more time and some hard headed Entrepreneurs that didn’t want to listen to the Sharks had to say. As always read through and make comments with your takes on the products and whether you would purchase any on your own.

Lets get started…..

Inventor: Lucinda Lent and Juliet Boydstun

Pitch: The Coop (http://www.thecoop-la.com)

Requesting: $150k for 15% stake

The pitch began with the two ladies describing how they met and how once they became Mothers, the options for social locations for their children and themselves was limited. Most of the play areas were dirty, outdated and with no focus on the Mothers. They came up with the idea…

View original post 1,465 more words

Proud To Be a 3D Printer Beta Tester

With the growing improvements in technology and the resultant resolution that is now coming from the desktop 3D printers, I decided I needed to start looking at purchasing one for use in rapid prototyping client projects.

For Odyssey Solutions, the most critical three factors I was using to select our printer were: reliability, print resolution and overall print build volume. The reliability and resolution seem obvious enough but, in order to be able to accommodate the largest possible parts I had to narrow down the list to just a few.

When you Google 3D Printers you will most likely come across Makerbot (recently merged with Stratasys), 3D Systems or a seemingly endless list of small start ups. Makerbot for example is probably the most notable name in the industry as they were one of the first to really perfect the consumer 3D Printer. The Replicator 2 and now 2x are sleek, eye-catching products that had some serious time spent in the aesthetics department. However, it seemed that there were far too many people complaining about reliability and print consistency.

Makerbot Replicator 2 3D Printer

Makerbot Replicator 2 3D Printer

So I then looked at the 3D systems Cube and Cube X systems. Both are rather pricey for what they deliver. The Cube X is a larger printer with a very sizable build volume, it also comes in an optional multi-extrusion head system.

3D Systems Cube 3D Printer

3D Systems Cube 3D Printer

3D Systems Cube X 3D Printer

3D Systems Cube X 3D Printer

Another thing that tends to differentiate the 3D printers is the print media that is used. Most commonly used is a extrusion filament process that draws a small diameter plastic thread from a spool through a heated extrusion head and out onto the printing surface. The two most widely used materials are ABS (plastic) and PLA (biodegrable plastic made from plants). There are many advantages and drawbacks to both materials but, most people would agree having the capability to print both is preferred. PLA is a fast, non-toxic material that can be recycled. ABS on the other hand tends to produce finer resolution prints and more suitable for parts where stress will be seen.  Both the 3D Systems and the Replicator 2x models can accommodate both printing materials but, the price tags were what turned me off.

I then came across a smaller start up company called Type A Machines, a San Fran-based tech company that is focused on the open-source side of things. From reviews I read, their first generation machine the Series 1 (a primarily wood-based skeleton) performed well for the mid-range of users. The price tag was almost half that of the aforementioned models. I then heard they were going to be rolling out a Pro model which would be constructed of high strength steel and glass making is more suitable for high volume, high resolution print users. I contacted them directly by email to find out more and see when the release date would be. The following day Sara from Type A invited me to become a Beta tester for this new system. Not only would I get the latest and greatest model from them before anyone else but, I would also be prioritized for any upgrades later on (heated build platform, wifi and modular wire management systems). The best part about this was the build volume was 12″x12″x12″, much more than any competitive product out there. This meant that I would be able to handle many of my clients prints in-house as opposed to using a third party. So I decided to take them up on the offer. The order is placed and being filled at the moment.

In about 4 weeks I will have the machine and I will then post a follow-up blog on the results.

Here is a quick glance at the new Series 1 Pro

Type A Machines - Series 1 Pro

Type A Machines – Series 1 Pro

As always, thanks for the read.

Sean

Odyssey Solutions New Product Development Consulting

 

 

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Launching our New Website (www.osigolf.com)

I am excited to announce that Odyssey Solutions LLC has formed OSI Golf (http://www.osigolf.com) to solely focus on the development, manufacturing and sales of our innovative golf training aids. Over the past couple of years we have spent countless hours designing and launching out golf training products to the market. We now feel that the OSI Golf brand will stand alone and continue to grow our business for the many years to come.

The decision to re-brand the company was based on two points

1) Some confusion with our company and the company that manufacturers golf putters; Odyssey Golf

2) Shorter domain with a modernized web presence allows us to rank higher in the search rankings on Google, Bing and Yahoo.

OSI Golf | The Golf Training Aid Marketplace for Odyssey Solutions

The New OSI Golf Logo

Simultaneously, we spent a good amount of resources on product photography to capture not just the products themselves but, to also see them in action. After all a golf training aid sells it self if it clearly illustrates how it works and the benefits.

Here are a sample of the great photos…

WrisTRAINER Golf Swing Wrist Apparatus Impact

Impact Shot

WrisTRAINER Golf Swing Wrist Apparatus Image

Follow-through

WrisTRAINER Golf Swing Wrist Apparatus

WrisTRAINER Swing Sequence

Finally, I wanted to share with you all the images of the products themselves…

BanditGrip Golf Grip Enhancer Black

BanditGrip

BanditGrip Golf Grip Enhancer White

BanditGrip

TempoTRAINER Weight Golf Swing Aid

TempoTRAINER

WrisTRAINER Golf Swing Wrist Support

WrisTRAINER

Come and check us out at http://www.osigolf.com for more information. You can also follow-us on Twitter @osigolfco

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Shark Tank Weekly Review – Episode 416 February 22nd 2013

Well loyal Shark Tank viewers, I have been absent the past couple of weeks but, with a new episode airing this week I wanted to share my review with you all. This episode showed the Sharks were rather stingy with the offers but, I think for the most part they were well warranted. Lets get started with the review…

Inventors: Brook Bryant and Brittany Hayes 

Product: Addison’s Wonderland (http://www.addisonswonderland.com)

Requesting: $90k for 20% stake

Addison's Wonderland Designer Kid Sheets

Addison’s Wonderland Designer Kid Sheets

The two ladies entered the Shark Tank to promote their designer, ultra posh sheets and bedding accessory company for children. They spoke of the niche market and that lack of competition that offer the fun colorful offerings. Their solution was to develop a company that offered the most exclusive bedding for kids. They are currently selling only through the online website and for the first year grossed $130k with a 55% margin. Each bedding set sells for $1400 and order sizes range from $800-1200. All marketing has been through social media means. The high price and cost prohibit any Sharks from making a deal.

Feedback: The thing is that they obviously have sales and that would defy logic considering the sales price being so high. As Lori stated, in order to attract the mass market the cost and price need to be much more affordable to the public. I realize they are making the product by hand which is leading to the high costs but, I would think they need to send this overseas if they want to hit it big. I can tell you that a custom printed fabric from China would cost a fraction of the USA (probably $0.10 on the dollar) not to mention the labor rate being so low. A custom bedding set should retail for no more than $149 with a wholesale target of $79 and a gross cost of goods being about $15. From looking at the most updated website the prices do appear to have come down slightly from what they mentioned on the show.

Inventor: Steve Maloney

Product: Muddy Water Camo (http://www.muddywatercamo.com)

Requesting: $150k for 5% stake

Wuddy Waters Camo Company

Wuddy Waters Camo Company

This is an interesting pitch because Steve is a passionate hunter that identified a clear problem with the existing camouflage companies. The patterns used were too simplistic and out of focus and never resemble the real settings. The solutions is a high resolution printed fabric that is used for hunters to stay out of sight from the wildlife. A photo even showed how blended into the surroundings the hunters appeared with the Muddy Waters Camo being worn. The Inventor not only has over $600k invested on his own but they also obtain some investment from other hunters (16% with a valuation of $2.5million). they are selling in 58 retailers but none of the big box players (Dicks, Bass Pro or Gander Mountain). The money would be used for inventory. The Sharks all bow out except Kevin who offers a $150k for 20% stake and Steve quickly turns it down without a counter offer. No Deal.

Feedback: I am not a hunter but I could see this being really successful as a license pattern if they actually hold the IP (not too sure they do or not). If that is the case, making an easy 5-7.5% royalty on a pattern for use by the top textile companies would be huge. The outdoors market is huge especially here in Texas and I can tell you they have a good product but they need to really figure out what they want to be active Managers or lucrative Investors.

Inventors: Megan Jackson-Carreker and Amy Miller

Product: Hip Chixs (http://www.hipchixs.com)

Requesting: $150k for 35% stake

Hip Chixs Designer Jeans

Hip Chixs Designer Jeans

The two Texas girls from Baylor came to the Tank to pitch their designer jean company for women. The idea behind the design is to make the sexy look available to all people by eliminating the muffin top and whale tale problems that occur. The high end jeans incorporate an elastic waist that helps conform the body. To date the girls have sold $12k in product but the cost breakdown is as follows: MSRP $187, Wholesale $80 and Cost $68 (Yes, only $12/pair margin on wholesale). They are selling through small boutique stores at the moment. Each Shark drops out as there doesn’t appear to be a good ROI and proof of sales. Daymond does offer a nice suggestion of sending a pair to celebrities and public figures in hopes of getting a partner. Kevin is extremely rude to the two girls as they were on the verge of crying telling them to abandon the idea and move onto something else.

Feedback: While I don’t think the girls should have been on the show at this early point in the company I do think that they were treated poorly by the Sharks. Any new Entrepreneur knows that starting a business is never perfect in the beginning and learning the ins and outs of cost management is a hard lesson for most. As with the designer sheet company above, high end is just not the best market right now with the economic uncertainty. They could probably pursue making these jeans in Colombia, India or SE Asia for about $10/pair gross. From here they could then target a MSRP of $100-110 with a lot of profit margin to be made. Don’t give up girls and keep charging forward just take advice along the way and learn to have thick skin and don’t let anybody tell you to quit your dreams.

Inventors: Brooks, Taylor and Tanner Dames

Product: Proof Eyewear (http://www.iwantproof.com)

Requesting: $150 for 10% stake

Proof Wooden Eyewear

Proof Wooden Eyewear

The three brothers grew up in a family of millers and their father started up a wood mill in the state of Idaho. That is when they decided to start a company around creating eco-friendly sunglasses by using wood as the main material instead of plastic or metal. The guys started selling and marketing through trade shows and have sold $433k in 12 months. The financials breakdown to: MSRP $100, Wholesale $50 and Cost of Goods $14. They also have gotten some good publicity by celebrities sporting the shades in public. They are in the process of growing an order with Pacific Sunwear which is what the money would be used for. When asked about the company logo, they spoke about an eye clinic in India that some of the proceeds go towards helping fund the charity. Lori, Mark and Daymond all drop out. Kevin then makes an offer of $150k for 25% with a $2.5/pair royalty. Robert matches the offer without the royalty. The guys consult their father and decide to decline the offers.

Feedback: These guys are smart. They didn’t get lured into giving up too much of the company for a small amount of money. They chose to stay true to the mission and declined the offers. I am glad they did too. First off, the publicity on the show alone will help bring more investors to the scene so no sweat. I like the product and I think it will be very successful (for a time). I say that because being wood, they will be more prone to breakage and damage. I really like the styles of the frames (reminiscent of the old Oakley Frogskins). I don’t have much in the way of critical feedback. I only might suggest to expand the branding to a lifestyle approach and add more products to the portfolio. I think they will be try successful so best of luck.

Thanks everyone for reading this weeks post. Stay tuned for weekly reviews of Shark Tank. Make sure you follow this blog, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Sean Yakeley

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.

New Product Development Consulting

 

 

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 14 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thanks to all my loyal readers for a great year! 2013 will start off well with plenty of Shark Tank reviews and insightful advice for inventors. Stay tuned

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Shark Tank Weekly Review – Episode 408 November 9th

This weeks episode was nothing short of entertaining as we saw entrepreneurs from all corners of the consumer market present their products / services to the sharks. The sharks for this week were: Kevin (Mr. Wonderful), Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, Barbara Corcoran and Daymond John. The good diverse backgrounds was sure to yield some offers (assuming the product and presentations went well). Without any delay here is how the show panned out in chronological order.

As always, if you have another past episode you wish me to review or to comment on please make suggestions following the post.

Inventor: Drew Baumier

Product: Drive Suits

Requesting: $150k for 20% stake

Drew Baumier with DriveSuits

Drew entered the tank with 3 other colleagues all in full body automated body suits similar to the Transformers. The company called Body Suits is a unique costume concept with powered wheels that are worn on legs and arms. A single hand control is what triggers the motion of the Body Suit. Drew mentioned that he simple wanted to create a new way of getting around and after making a prototype, he had won various prizes in costume contests (totaling $35k in income). Aside from the contests, he does not have any sales history. His provisional patent had expired and the concept was currently not protected with a patent. Rather immediately three of the sharks dropped out (Robert, Barbara and Daymond). Kevin stressed that Drew really needed to partner with a toy company that could package the product into a smaller footprint and drive down the costs. Kevin extended an counter-offer for $150k for 30% stake (contingent on the toy company partnership). Mark Cuban then jumped in with an offer of $150k for 40% stake with the purpose of being the bank for Drew and guaranteeing money without any contingencies. After some thought Drew chose Kevin.

Feedback: I thought the product idea is one that could definitely attract the younger generation but, this would be dependent on the retail price of course. What surprised me was that neither Mark or Kevin had much of an issue with the lack of patent protection. I did really like that Drew said he essentially created the prototypes himself with little expertise. I always appreciate seeing the true innovators bring such ingenuity to the table. Ultimately he got a Shark to bite and is on his way to fulfilling his dreams of begin a successful Inventor. Congratulations.

Inventor: David Cox

Product / Service: PC Classes Online

Requesting: $150k for 15% stake

David Cox and PC Classes Online

David walked into the tank with comedy writer Bruce Vilanch as his guest presenter. On the table in front of the sharks was a display with a couple of laptop computers and a flatscreen display with the company logo for PC Classes Online. David began to frame a story about how so many people (elderly especially) struggled with computer literacy. His company would be providing on-demand classes for computer training for all types of programs and systems. Behind the scenes would be experienced Instructors that would teach (for free) the topics of choice. The Instructors would make their money when they signed up the student for one-on-one lessons of which PC Classes Online would take 30%. The monthly cost for membership would be $99/month. When asked how he would market this concept he responded saying by partnering with retailers and computer vendors that would be charged $49 for the service (making $50 in profit each month on referrals). He said that to date he has 115 members signed up totaling $35k over a 6 month period of time. Almost immediately, Kevin, Barbara and Daymond dropped out after there appeared to be very little valuation considering David thought the company was worth $1 million with only $35k in sales. Kevin was a little rough on David for knowing the difference between bundling and up-selling. Mark being the IT expert on the panel questioned that what he was pushing has been developed for over 2 decades, he was out. Last but more of a formality Robert also dropped.

Feedback: This one is though for me because while it could very well be a solid company in a local market with a personal approach to training, David truly was replicating what was already on the market (see http://www.videoprofessor.com for example). Services are very difficult for people to buy into as they are hard to claim as proprietary.

Inventor: Bill Lyons

Product / Service: Revestor

Requesting: $250 for 10% stake

Bill Lyons and Revestor

Bill entered with the room and approached the display table with a company logo banner and three home placards between silver food domes. His pitch was around there not being a single source for evaluating a real estate transaction for its profitability. Revestor claims to have a proprietary algorithm that helps find and assess various MLS and foreclosure listings to determine whether the property is a good buy or not. When asked specifically what figures the algorithm looks at, Bill struggled to explain the details to the Sharks. Bill at times was a bit defensive even saying that he started a $20 million financial services company that went broke during the crash. His software is in beta mode in 10 cities but with no revenue yet. Barbara who has a solid real estate background asked is the software for the seasoned shark investor or the newlywed couple. Bill replied “both”. In almost rapid succession all sharks dropped out and Bill was sent leaving empty-handed.

Feedback: I don’t know if there is more to the story that what was shown on TV but it seems that either Bill didn’t know all aspects of the business or was somewhat protective of the details but, the presentation did not go very well. The fact that he was expecting people to pay nearly double what other sites charge seems a bit steep. He was confident that the company would be a multi-million dollar company in a few years similar to Zillow. The idea of having some upper hand against the competition when it comes to real estate investing is ideal but, it is hard to prove. Needs some more work.

Inventors: Beth Vines-Haynes and Charlotte Clary

Product: Ice Chips

Requesting: $250k for 15% stake

Beth and Charlotte with IceChips

Talk about saving the best for last. These two grandmothers of 30+ grandchildren started the company a couple of years ago in order to create a sugar-free candy that was not harmful to the teeth. The answer was Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener that dentist recommend because it cannot grow bacteria, meaning less damage to the teeth. From the video documentary of the production facility (at their home) they appeared to be very experienced with solid demand already. In fact, according to Beth and Charlotte they made $320k last year and $342k year to date (considering the show was filmed in the summer that would be roughly $700k in annual revs). Not bad! Apparently, Xylitol candy is normally pressed into molded cavities because it is very brittle to try and form cold. the ladies were able to solve this by simply breaking the candy sheets into small Ice Chips. The unique shape led to the name of course. When asked what they need the money for they responded “to buy equipment to drive down production costs and enable them to enter the large retail markets”. Currently the candy tins are made for $1.11 each and sold wholesale for $3.12 or $5.00 retail. They would like the costs to be down around $0.77. Barbara was first to jump in with an offer of $125k for 33% with another shark matching the offer. Kevin then said he would pay the other portion of Barbara’s offer if they each claimed 20%. Daymond said would instead offer $250k for 30% without another Shark involved. Robert was out. Daymond then said he would join Kevin for a $250k – 35% stake. Daymond must have had an moment of enlightenment because he immediately decided to go solo for $250k and 25%. Finally, Mark and Barbara said they would join forces for a $125k and 20% / person and the ladies agreed.

Feedback: Not only were the two grandmothers extremely professional and knowledgable but, they came across highly credible and with a proven track record which in this business goes a long way. It was a joy to watch them explain their business as the sharks all showed some interest. The product is also in a highly desirable segment (sugar-free candy) and has a unique shape which is very much a novelty. I feel like this is definitely something we will see on store shelves or in the check out aisle of our local grocery store. Lessons learned from this case: build some track record with revenue before approaching investors, know the product in and out and be prepared to defend against the those who want to pick it apart.

Thanks everyone for reading this weeks post. Stay tuned for weekly reviews of Shark Tank.

Sean Yakeley

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.

New Product Development Consulting

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Pursuing an Invention Idea? Consider Filing for an LLC…

Ok so if you are seriously pursuing your dream of making that invention idea a real tangible product? One word of advice is to consider filing with your state either as an LLC, S-Corp or C-Corp (in rare circumstances). First, the cost to file in most states is less than $300 (sometimes much less than this), it only takes a simple filling of a form with a check. In a matter of days you can be operating as a small business. Second, one of the main reasons for filing as a limited liability entity is to limit the personal liabilities that would be tied to any financial obligations that you undertake while operating as a business. In other words, in the unforeseen case that your business does not pan out and you can no longer make payments to your creditors, your personal property cannot be used to satisfy debts. Third, the best reason to file as a business is for the tax deduction purposes. All throughout the product development process you will incur expenses (some of them pretty significant) for example; Engineering Fees, Patent Attorney Fees, Prototyping, Sales and Marketing. All of these can be used as write-offs when you go to file your annual tax returns in April. These write-offs will ultimately lower you AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) and therefore lower the required tax payment which will lead to a larger return. 

For a good detailed explanation of the various business types please check out the following article on BizFilings.com: http://www.bizfilings.com/learn/compare-company-types.aspx

Last bit of advice, just because you live and work in one state doesn’t mean you cannot file your company in another, more small business-friendly state such as Delaware. What you will need to do however is work through a registered agent in the state you wish to file in. These agents use a single address with multiple mailbox addresses to help companies legally operate in the desired state. 

Best of luck and as always, feel free to drop a comment and I can help in anyway possible.

Sean

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A catalogue of creative expression

The Past and Present Future

Ken Hinckley's Ideas, Visions, and Opinions on the Research Frontiers of Human Technologies

TED Blog

The TED Blog shares interesting news about TED, TED Talks video, the TED Prize and more.

Leadership Freak

Empowering Leaders 300 Words at a Time

WINNING IDEAS - Tien Wong's Blog

On Leadership and Hypergrowth in the Entrepreneurial Economy

Crazy about CrossFit!

A complete and utter addiction!

Ciao Bello

Your neighborhood Italian restaurant by Tony Vallone

michaelbreed.wordpress.com/

PGA Golf Instructor and Host of the Golf Channel's show the Golf Fix