Are you watching Shark Tank? You should be. Ever had an idea for a business you wish someone would throw suitcases full of money at? These folks do. Let's watch together as they sink or find themselves swimming in cash.
Shark Tank airs 8pm ET on ABC. It's a fascinating inside look at what it's like to pitch a business idea before a group of cut throat business gurus with money to burn. The ideas that are pitched are sometimes brilliant, sometimes ridiculous, and sometimes just downright awful.
Who are these titans of industry looking to throw their wads of cash at hungry entrepreneurs?
Kevin O'Leary is the most ruthless of the sharks. He made his money selling educational software. His big payday came when he sold his company to Mattel for $3.7 billion.
Barabara Corcoran made her bones in Real Estate. She's had 20 jobs since she was 23.
Daymon John founded Fubu. Peaking with $350 in revenue in 1998.
Robert Herjavek sold his first tech company for $100 million. He's often butting heads with O'Leary for control of deals on the show.
Kevin Harrington made his money in informercials. His first company reached $500 million in annual sales.
Got that? Alright, good. Let's strap in for some dealmaking.
Our first entrepreneur tonight has a business selling custom-made bobbleheads. Jeff Wolosky already has a lucrative business and he's looking for $75k in exchange for 18% equity in his company. He's made a bobblehead in the image of each Shark and hands them out to the panel. Nice move, Jeff.
Jeff doesn't want to give up the online end of his business which is turning the Sharks off. He's only looking to move the brick and mortar piece. He's going to have a tough sell with these savvy Sharks knowing the overhead is much lower online with a bigger profit margin.
Kevin puts an offer on the table. He's offering $75 for the 15% stake and he's forbidding Kevin from selling in brick and mortar stores. He wants to invest strictly in the online end of his business. Jeff quickly declines.
Damon, Kevin, and Barbara are out. Robert wants some hard numbers. Jeff says his business makes between $500-$600,000 a year. Whoa, who knew bobbleheads were so lucrative?
Robert drops down an offer $100k for 20%
The sharks have Jeff leave the room so they can come up with a plan.
They realize they're bidding the price up among each other. Only on Shark Tank can these guys collude amonst each other! As we go to commerical, what do you think Jeff's business is worth?
Drop your offers in the comments.
Jeff returns and Kevin and Robert offer $100k for 20% of the business.
Jeff declines, and Robert offers $125k for 20%. He declines and offers 7% for $125k.
The sharks have heard enough and ask Jeff to leave. Ouch! No deal. Jeff leaves with his head bobbling.
Here comes our next entrepreneur, lets hope they fare better.
Sandy and Roman are a couple living in NYC and they started a company called Mr. Poncho. They're young and they're making money with their business. They just need some help from the sharks to take it to the next level.
Mr. Poncho is a sleeve that goes over your iPod. They made $35k on it over the last year. They have a patent pending on the sleeve and the device that holds the headphones. Clever, since the headphone tangling is a common issue for folks with iPods.
They're looking for $50k for 25% equity.
It sells for $18 and costs them $3 to make.
Barbara is out because they don't yet have a patent. Damon knows the most about manufacturing, but he thinks they are still too new and the sleeve has no window to see what song is playing, which is a big thumbs down. None of the other sharks are interested either. Sorry kids, take your ponchos and get out.
Dr. Floyd is a urologist. He's created a great product that needs the distribution and manufacturing the sharks can bring to the table.
He created the Uro Club and he wants $25k for a 51% stake in the company. Many of his male patients pee a lot and they play golf. Oh boy, we know where this is going. The Uro Club is a self contained urine recepticle that looks like a golf club. What a pisser!
The Uro Club comes with a towel that clips on your waistband and acts as a privacy shield. He's thought of everything. His pitch is you're far away from the clubhouse, and you drink a lot on the course, so you're likely to need a place to relieve yourself. The Sharks think the receptacle is too small.
Kevin sees it as a gag gift, which the doctor won't dispute. He's sold 3,000 of them already. He's got a website for it and 15,000 of these bad boys in stock, along with a patent. Can this thing get you busted for indecent exposure? He doesn't think so. He tells the sharks you're going to relieve yourself either in his device in the woods, so one way or other, you're whipping it out.
Kevin is interested in 71% of the business for $25k, and Dr. Floyd quickly accepts. That had to be the cheapest and most quickly accepted deal I have seen on Shark Tank. He's a doctor, money isn't a big deal, so it seems like he just wants his pee pole on the market. Unbelievable. Kevin's the infomercial guy, which means we are going to see Uro Club commercials at 3am in our near future.
Brian and Adam have a college recruitment business that works as an online database for college athletes to market themselves to professional teams. They're offering 10% of the business for $150k
They have 30 different schools and 60k students signed up. They've got $150k in contracts at this point. He thinks he can take it to $2 million with the Sharks help. They know all the complex rules and regulations for dealing with college athletes and they have the business plugged into a mobile app. Most coaches are using their phones for recruitment so this is a huge plus.
Kevin thinks this is too complicated, Damon and Barbara do as well. This leaves it to Robert and Kevin.
These are very smart guys, they have multiple business and accounting degrees. Kevin and Robert are in a bidding war now. Robert is pissed at Kevin for driving up the price. Robert offered $200k for 20%, Kevin offered $300k for 35%. Robert asks the entrepreneurs to leave so he can discuss with Kevin.
Kevin asks Robert if he's threatening him. Ohhhhhh damnnnn. Robert tells Kevin, why not $400 for 50%. They split it for 200k each. Kevin likes this idea. They bring the entrepreneurs back.
Robert goes into his pitch. He tells them they're gonna offer $400k and it's for 50%
The entrepreneurs don't want all that cash because they want equity to use later. They want to go back to $200k but the sharks want to know how much that gets them. The entrepreneurs offer 16%. Not enough for the sharks. They really want 50% and are willing to give them that $400k. The entrepreneurs aren't budging. Whoa, Kevin just went to $600k for 50%!
Off to commercial. Do you think that Kevin's offer is good? Should they take it?
We are back and the entrepreneurs have a big decision to make. $600k for 50%. The entrepreneurs are only wiling to give up 50% if Kevin and Robert are both in and it's for $750k. The other option the entrepreneurs offer is 300k for 25%
Kevin is sticking to $600k for 50%. Will they take the offer??
Robert tries to sell them the experience that he and Kevin bring to the table. He tells these guys he can make them very, very rich.
See kids...the economy isn't that bad. They're practically giving money away on TV. Start getting your business plans ready for the next season of Shark Tank. Thanks for playing.