Shark Tank Seas. 1, Ep. 15: Toys and Llama Poop

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The Shark Tank was full of blood last night as the Sharks ripped apart, would be entrepreneurs who were looking for the sharks to fund their businesses.

Send a Ball sisters seeking $86,000 for 20% of company

Send A Ball Shark TankFirst into the tank was Michele Kapustka and Melisa Moroko two sisters who teamed up to start their business, Send a Ball. The sisters were looking for $86,000 for 20% of their business. Send a Ball, creates custom made inflatable play balls with fun messages that can be sent in the mail, like greeting cards. They can be personalized for the recipient, and are a fun and unique greeting card. Currently they have sales of $100,000 a year, and can’t fill orders fast enough, they’re shipping between 50 and 70 balls a day and only expected that to increase.

postal girl yesThe sisters are running the business out of their garage, with the help of their kids, they hope to use the sharks money to move to a permanent location and buy equipment that will give them, greater control over their product. They predicted they could break even by selling 100 balls a day. The sharks pointed out that anyone can copy their business, they have nothing proprietary, which makes it hard for them to invest. In the end the sharks said to go get a bank loan, they didn’t need the sharks investment.

Qubits creative toy company owner requests $90,000 in the Shark Tank

QubetsNext into the tank was Mark Burginger with his construction toy Qubits. Qubits is a toy that can curve into many different shapes, like no other toy out on the market. Mark has patented the toy, and has spent $60,000 to bring it to market, but is only sold $8000 worth of product since 2007. Mark is looking for $90,000 for 51% of the business, he wanted the sharks experience, and felt he could get it if he give up control of his company.

The sharks wanted to know why he hadn’t just gone to a large toy company and try to license the product to them. They pointed out that all he would’ve had to do is develop a prototype and patented, shopped it around to the major toy companies, and saved himself a lot of money in manufacturing. Daymon excepted Marks offer with the contingency that they get a deal with a big toy company. Mark accepted the deal.
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Pillar of Slippers attempts to slip away with $150,000

Third into the tank was Nicole Jones with her business the Pillars of Slippers. Nicole is incredibly confident and a energetic presenter, her business definitely benefits from her. Pillars of Slippers is similar to Tupperware parties but instead of Tupperware she sells shoes. Nicole was looking for $150,000 for 15% of her business.

Although she operates a retail store, she realized there was more money to be made from online sales, and these parties. Her goal was to franchise her business, for $100,000 each which would include a Hummer and all the equipment and inventory they would need. Her average party generated $725 in sales, with costs around $300. Without paying for new inventory, wages or any other costs a franchise would have to host 236 parties in order to break even just on the franchising cost. The sharks suggested that she try to bootstrap (lower cost) the franchise, eliminate the Hummer and make it more reasonable for franchising. She walked away without a deal.

Llama Brew fertilizer tries to grow business with $125,000 investment plea

20Phil and Aida Lough were next to test their skills against the hungry Sharks. Llama Brew is a liquid fertilizer made from liquidized llama droppings, it’s a natural fertilizer where most fertilizers use chemicals. The business is relatively new, but they had generated $4000 worth of sales. Phil and Aida were asking for $125,000 for 10% equity in the business. The couple had a provisional patent on the process of converting the excrement to fertilizer.

The biggest stumbling point for Phil and Adia is a large cost of educating the public that llama fertilizer is superior to other forms of fertilizer. Their evaluation of their business was crazy, a single llama costs about $1000, the sharks could buy 125  llamas and open up their own fertilizer business for that investment. All sharks were out.

Hands-free Nubrella owner gets showered with $200,000 investment

NubrellaLast into the Shark Tank was Alan Kaufman and his business Nubrella. Nubrella is a new type of umbrella that won’t invert, will keep the user warmer, can be used hands-free, and can even be used while riding a bike. He was looking for $200,000 for 25% of his business. It is currently selling for $49 at a cost of $14 apiece. He had sold 3000 already and had invested $900,000 into the business. It goes without saying with such a large investment he had the product patented.

Kevin Harrington offered $200,000 for 65% of the business, Alan rejected the offer. Daymon and Kevin H. joined together to make an offer of 200,000 for 60% of the business. Daymon said as long as there was orders he would fund production for the lifetime of the business. After some more negotiations they settled on $200,000 for 51% of the business, giving control to the sharks. Alan took the deal.

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9 Comments

  1. the umbrella was most interesting to me. I saw it on their website after reading the Preview and thought, hmm I don’t know if they’ll go for this. but the more . it was a bargan investment for Kevin and Daymond. the inventor didn’t appear too well spoken and possibly a little bit desperate to finally recoup some of his giant $900,000 investment. the other sharks seemed shocked and/or a bit jealous at the strong deal the two pulled off.

    while the llama stuff certainly seems like a solid (no pun intended) product, and they explained that they did have a patent on processing it, I can’t understand why they were asking for so much money which clearly kept anyone from being remotely interested. I think if they demonstrated and cut the price by more than half, they might have gotten something. but really, they are better off trying to distribute the product to home improvement retailers, nurseries, and farm supply stores, starting with some of the smaller local operations.

    I think the “Professaah” of shoes is certifiably nuts and I thought it was hilarious (and not even that insulting, just true) for Robert to call her out on it in such great detail. too funny… definitely the high comedic point of the night.

  2. sorry, bad edit. comment was supposed to read “but the more I saw the more it made sense.”

  3. Qubits seems like a good low-risk proposition since it was cheap and he had some basic branding and patent worked out. I’d actually buy these over Legos if I had kids. Legos are too static and that hard plastic makes it too hard to build anything 3-D if it’s not a rectangle. Mark made the right pitch by offering 51% for the big win.

  4. I’d buy Qubits if I saw them at Target or Walmart.

    I’d buy Llama Brew if it was $5 per bottle and I could get it locally. It would also need a solid guarantee.

    I like the enthusiasm of Send-A-Ball, but $20 is too much. Don’t balls like that sell for $1.00 in the big bins at toy stores?

    I would be too embarrassed to be walking around with a Nubrella over my head, plus I question how it might affect my peripheral vision. In other words, I might feel a bit claustrophobic under one of those.

    I’m a guy, so shoe parties aren’t my thing, but “Nutbar Number Six” is probably the only person in the world that could be successful at this. 😉

  5. it depends how you define successful.. she’s making $400 per party, driving around in a $50,000 customized Hummer. probably spends that on gas in a week!

  6. I think the most moving and successful one among these businesses will be the balls, cuz it’s a very unique greeting/gift idea that has a bit of wow effect as well. The ball business I think will flourish by itself… Cuz everyone sends a greeting/gift. Why not make the greeting/gift unique this time? Sure everyone will… Way to go… send a ball…

  7. This show really brings some cool ideas into the open. I’ve always wanted to do something like this but it seems to hard to take action and start something. I guess once you get the ball rolling anything can happen.

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