This episode of Shark Tank is a wonderful overview of the entrepreneurs journey – we often read in the press or hear all the positive stories, but there is real human cost and the toil behind them. There is no such thing as an overnight success story. Some ideas we see on Shark Tank will scale, or grow better than others – some are extremely capital intensive ie they need a lot of money before a customer is anywhere near making a purchase (seed capital). this means that the investor and the founder need to have a shared vision. The notes I took for this episode of Shark Tank (not to be confused with an aquarium) almost don’t do the pitches justice. The first three pitches of the night are complex and interesting. We bring our Aussie sense of humor to Shark Tank, but that does not beget the real work that goes on for these business founders.
Rhino Hide – From the get go, Marc presented the customer problem succinctly and effectively and all the the bloke sharks loved taking to the vehicle with branches.. The shell is interchangeable, adaptable, and could save me a fortune in detailing if I could use them on my Lexus in the city. Marc pitched his product as an off road solution, I’m not sure if the clip off nature of the panels would be considered ‘road worthy’ by the relevant authorities. A clear understanding of the numbers, intellectual property secured – unique and Marc has a big vision for the US… All leading to a #SharkFight for sure.
Ormsby Guitars – Perry’s guitars are stunning, world class – handmade from rare timbers, each masterpiece is quality assured by Perry personally – he is passionate about what he delivers to his customers and his sales numbers and margin are very impressive – he has extended his reach by doing a second tier of product but now he needs support and business skills to help him grow the business. He is a perfectionist, a passionate entrepreneur. With an impressive sales track record to date, a solid profit margin and customers crying out for more, Perry presented us something really interesting. Is it an investor what he needs or a business partner?
Carhood – As a person who travels everyweek and pays the ransom to get to and from the airport (and if I take my car then sky high parking costs – I get the customer issue immediately. Here are some founders who have caught a wave in the #shareeconomy and #collaborativeconsumption. Focusing just on cars parked at airports seems like a great idea. They have visions for the UK – and have nutted many customer issues out – having revenues of $70k. However they have already raised capital at a lower valuation than being offered in Shark Tank tonight. I like the fact that Members get ‘free parking’, a car wash, and get paid if his or her car is rented by someone. Hence this business is can disrupt of both the parking industry and the car rental industry – I wonder if the competition sees them coming. Carhood needs deep pockets and need to move quickly to beat the incumbents.
2-SHU – David presented an interesting concept – a very ‘ugly’ shoe that can turn into thongs and vice a versa (it looked really uncomfortable) – but as an early prototype it is an idea that could be fleshed out tested before investing too much more in the opportunity. The pitch was simple: and very Australian “how many times have blokes been out at the beach during the day but have not had a chance to go home and put some shoes on to get into a restaurant?” – David says “a lot” of people. His design was an air lock rim around the sole of the shoe which would allow an attachment – from thong to shoe in seconds! There is nothing wrong with being pre-revenue, but I am always curious about one thing: has a customer seen it? He has many other businesses and ideas… focus though is critical to any businesses success.
Another great night showing of the sheer range of Aussie innovation. Car panels, Car parking, World class guitars and a two in one shoe… Love it! See you next Wednesday.