Shark Tank Season 4, Episode 20: Teen Sugar Queen and the “Carmuda Triangle”


New episodes returned to the Shark Tank and Lori was back in the tank to wheel and deal with the other Sharks on this latest episode. In case you missed what happened in the tank, here’s how it all went down:

Drop Stop keeps $300,000 from falling through the cracks

First into the tank were Marc Newburger and Jeffrey Simon, inventors of the Drop Stop, a wedge device designed to solve the “carmuda triangle” of automotive inconveniences. The pair asked the Sharks for a $300,000 investment in exchange for 15% equity in their company. Drop Stop is a simple wedge-shaped device that fits snugly between the seat and the console, eliminating the problem of keys, phones, and food slipping and falling between the seats. To date, Marc and Jeffrey have sold over 260,000 units, and they’re projecting $500,000 in sales last year alone. Drop Stop utility patented product sold online, and has also appeared on QVC 42 times. One of the owners describes the product as an “elongated member that goes between the seat with a slit,” which prompts Kevin to retort: “You are a sick puppy.” Despite the exchange, the Sharks showed interest. Kevin makes an offer of $300,000 for no equity, but he’d like a $2/unit royalty in perpetuity. Alternatively, Lori offers $300,000 for 20%. Sensing that the deal may be his to lose, Kevin states that he’ll lower his royalty to only $1/unit once he recoups his capital, but the men have already made their decision and the winner is Lori!

Shark Tank Success Story: Buggy Beds

Earlier this season, viewers were introduced to Buggy Beds, an “early alert” system that warns homeowners and hotel guests if bug beds are present. In a landmark negotiation, Buggy Beds sealed a deal with all five Sharks, and their success hasn’t slowed since. Sales went from $150,000 to over $1.2 million, and they’re not in Home Depots across the country. Buggy Beds in projecting $7-10 million in sales and hoping to become the most successful product ever on Shark Tank. Congrats all around!

Traditional Fisheries try to hook $225,000 in exchange for 25% equity in Lionfish hatchery

Next into the Shark Tank were David Johnson and Gary Groomes, two entrepreneurs who intend to build a business around a tasty way to solve fish overpopulation. David and Gary sought a $225,000 investment in exchange for 25% equity in their business, Traditional Fisheries. The men explained that Lionfish have recently become so overpopulated in the western Atlantic and caribbean that they are harming natural ecosystems. Their solution? Eat them. While the fish have a less than beautiful exterior, the Sharks all seem impressed by the taste. Especially Daymond, who owns a Lionfish and plans to “go home and lemon and tarter up ole’ skippy!” But even with the taste, the Sharks aren’t impressed with the company’s $12,000 in sales, and they don’t believe that Traditional Fisheries will actually accomplish its mission of solving the overpopulation problem. With that, all of the Sharks are out.

Teen entrepreneur impresses Sharks with $100,000 request for 10% of Simple Sugars beauty company

simple-sugarsThird into the tank was 18-year-old entrepreneur, Lani Lazzari, representing her homegrown beauty company, Simple Sugars. Lani asked the Sharks for a $100,000 investment in exchange for a 10% stake in her company. After battling eczema thoughout her own childhood, Lani was tired of searching for natural products that wouldn’t further harm her sensitive skin. That’s when, at 11 years old, she invented Simple Sugars an all-natural skin exfoliant, deep conditioner, and moisturizer. As usual, the Sharks wanted to hear about the numbers, and Lani didn’t skip a beat. Her annual sales last year were projected at $100,000 with a 75-80% profit margin. While she takes a small salary from the company when she can, Lani has largely balanced the growth and expansion of Sugar Scrubs completely on her own… while working her way through high school. During a short hiatus from school she was able to grow the business 192% in just one year with no additional funding. She plans to put part of the investment toward hiring two part-time sales employees who can manage Simple Sugars’ existing accounts. Even more than the numbers, the Sharks all seem genuinely impressed with Lani’s extensive industry knowledge and smooth presentation. With his Pittsburgh kinship and own children’s skin woes in mind, Mark makes an offer of $100,000 for 33%. Lani counters at 25% equity, but Mark stands firm. Lani’s ready to deal, and she accepts his original offer.

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About Author

Carolyn is a 20-something marketing professional from Chicago, and she's been working with InTheSharkTank since August 2011. Some of her favorite past Shark Tank contestants are Litter SF, REMYXX, and Villy Customs. When she's not busy live-tweeting the show, Carolyn likes reading on her Kindle, exploring the city, and getting in touch with her inner Betty Crocker. Google+

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