Shark Tank Returns for the New Year!
As Shark Tank returns for the new year, we recap the first episode of the double header featuring a new batch of entrepreneurs looking for investments from the tank!
Shark Tank Season 9: Episode 11 Recap
Sharks looking to invest: Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Grenier, Robert Herjavek and Daymond John.
There’s no better way to learn more about turning your idea into a business than through examples from other entrepreneurs! No matter your New Year’s resolutions, the perfect way to start off the new year is a Shark Tank double header! The sharks returned to ABC this Sunday after a holiday hiatus with two brand new episodes. (Click here to read our recap of the previous Shark Tank episode!)
It seems like the Sharks have made a New Year’s resolution to feature products that are even more amazing than the ones featured last year! We were completely blown away and we think you will be too. Check out our thoughts on these four Shark Tank products, how we would have helped and the advice the sharks gave!
Shark Tank returns with Yair from Brooklyn, NY, first into the tank with something that’s sure to be a welcome addition to any kitchen. Forget scrubbing your backsplash, a splat-free cooking experience is now possible with the Frywall, a silicone splatter guard. Simply fit this cone-shaped guard inside a pot or pan. As sauces bubble and steaks sizzle, all splatters will be contained within the Frywall, saving you the trouble of cleaning up. After dinner, toss it right into the dishwasher. Yair was also the winner of the Today Show’s “Next Big Thing” Challenge, earlier this year, beating Idea Buyer partner product, Bunjiball.
Asking Investment Terms: $100k for 10%
Although this is something that would certainly appeal to professional chefs, the Frywall would come in handy for anyone who spends time in the kitchen. This type of product would likely sell well at major grocery stores, Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond.
How we would have helped:
Not many products come onto Shark Tank with such a well-developed foundation. Sales are consistent, the product has a website with clean, aesthetic design and the Frywall itself works very well. The only place left to go is up-or in this case, out. We would help Yair develop a timeline for expansion, as well as exploring sales opportunities with related products. The key would be to plan the expansion in manageable increments to ensure constant but sustainable growth.
What sharks said:
Instead of beating around the proverbial bush, Robert dropped out after admitting that he wasn’t sure how he could help Yair. Mark advised against moving the Frywall into retail, questioning the sense it makes to go into stores when e-commerce sales are booming. Lori’s advice was just the opposite; she rationalized that the Frywall will likely generate knock-offs and to meet that competition, being present in the same market would be necessary.
Kevin and Daymond both offered Yair’s asking amount of $100k for 15%. Lori one-upped them, meeting his original terms of 100k for 10%, in addition to a line of credit and purchase order assistance. She also offered up something we’ve never seen before: her golden ticket, (made of real gold!) which she awards to her favorite product of the entire season. Fittingly, Yair chose to work with her. We hope the Frywall is worth its weight in gold!
Next, Pier Paolo Visconti rolled onto the show with something that new mothers are sure to be interested in. The Elliptical Stroller combines a traditional stroller with an elliptical exercise machine. The stroller itself is propelled by the motion of the elliptical attachment, much like a paddle boat.
Asking Investment Terms: $500k for 40%
Concept-wise, this is an AMAZING idea. It’s not just smart, it’s incredibly fun! Working out as a new mom is very difficult. Integrating time to exercise alongside all the challenges of caring for an infant can be challenging. And to be frank, not everyone enjoys working out. However, more mothers might find exercising enjoyable with the chance to be outside in the sunshine while getting some fresh air for the baby.
How we would have helped:
The explanation for the product, in terms of marketing, could use some work. While Pier claims the stroller could be used without the exercise function, we tend to disagree. With so many strollers on the market, we would highlight what is unique and different, instead of downplaying those differences. Pier spent more than $70k on designing and protecting his idea, and the concept is absolutely dynamite. However, this product should be flying off the shelves. Pier is unable to move forward with safety testing and manufacturing, leaving him stuck in the design phase. We would team him up with one of our top-notch engineers to help work out design flaws and stage safety tests so that the elliptical stroller can enter into manufacturing.
Conclusion/What the Sharks Said:
Unfortunately, Pier wasn’t offered a deal from any of the sharks but they did have plenty of advice. Before dropping out, Kevin advised Pier that by starting from scratch he had taken the long route to establishing a place in the market. Mark and Lori both felt that there was not enough potential reward for the risk involved. Daymond and Robert both said that Pier was spending too much money on design and protection; those funds could have been used towards marketing and sales.
Akshita and Ranjith stepped into the tank with a tech-inspired kitchen accessory called Inirv. Inirv is a system of smart knobs and a sensor that will work with any existing stove for a safer, smarter cooking experience. The sensor automatically turns off the stove to prevent fires or smoke damage if it detects inactivity or high levels of smoke or gas. In addition, the equipment works with an app that users can download to monitor and operate the stove remotely.
Asking Investment Terms:
Anyone who loves electronic assistants that help automate the house would likely love to add this to their collection. Additionally, adults might like to buy this for older parents who might be becoming forgetful for added peace of mind.
How We Would Have Helped:
Akshita and Ranjith have a great product but there is always room for improvement. While Inirv is a unique product, we would have loved to see more development before going on Shark Tank. Akshita and Ranjith had an entire checklist of things that were in progress or needed to be fixed. While discovering new updates along the way is to be expected, our engineers and software designers would help to iron out any kinks before presenting Inirv to investors.
What the Sharks Said & Conclusion:
While Lori admired the product, she couldn’t offer a deal without seeing something more concrete than a prototype. Kevin considered Inirv a fly by night concept that would be obsolete in 36 months-technologically influenced products don’t always stay around for long. Everyone else seemed to agree, resulting in Akshita and Ranjith walking away with no deal.
To “bird-dog” is defined as to search out or pursue something relentlessly. Peter and Chris of Birddogs shorts define it as a comfortable pair of men’s shorts, outfitted with a lining that renders underwear completely optional. Essentially gym shorts, their creators say they can be dressed up for date night and they boast phone and wallet pouches in addition to full-sized pockets.
Asking Investment Terms:
$250k for 1.5% (We don’t say this often but that’s quite an ambitious valuation!)
There aren’t very many guys who would turn down an incredibly comfortable pair of shorts, making Birddogs potential target market pretty large. (Half of the human race to be exact.) However, the somewhat high $55 price point might drive away some of that market. There are several cheaper alternatives that might work just as well.
How we would have helped:
Although Peter and Chris were confident in their advertising strategy, Kevin made a great point. Good advertising shouldn’t cost as much in the long run because it’s effective enough to reach a large number of people. We would like Peter and Chris to brainstorm with our marketing team about ways to redirect their advertising strategy to be just as effective with a lower price point.
What the sharks said/Conclusion:
We are happy when Shark Tank returns, but when Shark Tank returns with advice like this, we like it even more!Once the Birddog duo started discussing their large marketing budget, Kevin immediately assumed that it was because their advertising was ineffective at reaching people. He also said that the more they talked the more unclear their background became. Daymond labeled the pair as “elitists” and Mark boldly suggested that their arrogance is probably what led to no offers. (He did, however, praise their sales; $2 million in two years is certainly commendable.) They made several claims of being the best and being unable to keep inventory in stock but couldn’t seem to quantify or describe these claims when asked.
Though they didn’t walk away with a deal, Peter and Chis reinforced the old saying that you only get one chance to make a first impression. In the business world, it had better be a good one.
What was your take on this episode shark fans? Would you have given a deal to any of the contenders who walked without one? Why or why not? Stay tuned for our recap of the next episode from this Shark Tank double header!