“Shark Tank” is back! It’s been a long summer of revisiting old products, but Friday night brought us some new ideas and innovations to check out across the board. We had baby care, drinking vinegar, and so much more over the hour.
Also, we had a guest Shark! This was the first appearance of Ashton Kutcher on the show, and we were impressed with his business acumen and line of questioning to the entrepreneurs. It helped him to overcome the obvious playful hazing that some of the other Sharks were giving him in there. (Note: We’re posting elements of this review as they air.)
The Beebo – We’ve seen countless products like this on the show before: An innovation to infant care created by someone trying to metaphorically make a better mousetrap. This time around, this said innovation was finding a way to ensure that parents could feed their children without having to hold the bottle in one hand and the kid in the other. It’s a sweet, charming idea, and understandably one that the sharks jumped at. Sure, the packaging isn’t great, but this to us is one of those deals that feels like easy money. You’ve got a patent, a guy with a good idea, and an investment that is not insanely expensive by Shark standards. Ashton has his first deal alongside Lori Greiner, and the two can now try to sell this quickly to the viewing public.
Acton – These “rocketskates” were fairly cool to look at, and to us it was almost an advanced version of some of those shoes with the wheels included in them that we’ve seen on other shows over the years. Here’s the problem: The valuation was insane for a “Shark Tank” product. We do think that the company wanted to get a deal done on the show, but at the same time they acted almost like they thought it would be easier. They were very coy about their financial details either almost like they weren’t prepared for the questions, or they could get a Shark aboard without them. Not so much, since it made them look almost sneaky when they weren’t really trying to be. As a result, no deal.
McClary Brothers Drinking Vinegars – We love the idea for the business, and while we’re not a big drinker and despite vinegar personally, there is a lot this business is doing right. Their branding is fantastic, and we think that this is a company we’re going to remember long-term. Unfortunately for the business, we feel like the Sharks identified the problem precisely when it comes to an investment: Brand confidence. This appeals to a specific taste, and no one quite knows what the market size for this is. We’re not going to say that the Sharks made a mistake here, but we do think that there is a little more potential with this product than it got credit for in the Tank. No deal.
Signal Vault – When you look at The Beebo alongside this, the most-popular business in the history of the show are the ones that tend to have some of the most humble ideas. The Signal Vault is simply a card with a chip that you place within your wallet, and it protects you from being hacked and having your information stolen. We cannot speak much on the effectiveness, but the demonstration seemed impressive and the price point at $14.95 is affordable. Also, great margins. There was no reason for the sharks to avoid this product, and while the company lost more equity than it planned to going in, getting both Lori and Robert Herjavec is the perfect outcome. Lori can sell quickly, and Robert has the cyber-security background to make this a perfect fit.
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