‘Shark Tank’ preview: Windcatcher, HotShot, STEM Center, Rent Like a Champion, and Chris Sacca

Shark Tank -What’s with all of the guest Sharks appearing on “Shark Tank” this season? It’s a good question, and one that may be answered in one simple way: The show wants some new voices! That is what we are getting Friday night when Chris Sacca enters to analyze and potentially invest in a company or two. We’d explain who he is to some of you out there, but we feel like ultimately, the synopsis below does a pretty good job of doing it for us:

“Former Google executive and billionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Chris Sacca, best known for being among the earliest and largest investors in companies such as Twitter, Uber, Instagram, and Kickstarter, joins the Tank as a Guest Shark. He finds himself in a heated battle with Lori Greiner over a tech education business that’s right up his alley, started by two impressive sisters from Pomona, CA. Two sports fans from Chicago, IL have a specialized version of a popular home rental website; an entrepreneur from Bayside, NY has a unique twist on everyone’s favorite hot drink; and an inventor from Portland, OR has developed a revolutionary device that can inflate objects in mere seconds. Also, an update on Lydia Evans from Houston, TX, who failed to secure a deal in the Tank during Season Six for SWAG Essentials, her loofah soap company.”

It’s easy to have a quick-take on many of the products for this episode; based on our preliminary research, we feel like one is pretty brilliant, one is extremely noble, and the other two don’t have enough proof-of-concept yet to inspire confidence. Take a look, and as always, click on any of the links below for more information.

Windcatcher – We love this technology. It’s basically finding a way to make inflatable objects easier to inflate and deflate. Not only that, but the technology is also more sanitary and folds up quickly and easily. While we are not sure other inflatable objects are necessarily an enormous problem, it is an inconvenience that this solves. The one thing we would say if we were a Shark is the the technology may be much more important than any product that they are selling.

STEM Center – A new program that is emphasizing heavily different forms of learning to encourage children to find a passion for science, technology, engineering, and math. This is a learning program that has a great mission behind it, but we are slightly concerned into how an investor would get a lot of their money back. They do sell products, but the lineup for now is very limited in proportion to everything they do. More of the money may come in just getting the programs into schools, but then again, how much money is there in schools? It sounds bloodthirsty, but this has to be taken into consideration.

HotShot Coffee – There’s really not much available online about this particular product other than that this is an attempt to bring the hot-coffee-in-a-can trend over from Japan. Maybe this coffee is really good, but this is going to take a lot of work convincing people that getting this is better in some way than getting Starbucks while they are out or just making coffee at home and putting it in a travel mug. We’re not seeing it as worth the effort.

Rent Like a Champion – This is basically Airbnb, but designed specifically for people to find properties located closely to their favorite university. It’s ideal for those looking to travel to a sporting event … but would you really trust your place to a bunch of college students? We don’t think the idea is terrible, but the name is a little bit of a mouthful and it seems like people are finding a way to solve the problem of how to get to the game without them. We’re not sure we see the upside.

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