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Tonight marked the start of Shark Tank Season Four, and if premiere is any indication, this will be the show’s best season yet. As most viewers already know, season four will be full-length (22 episodes) featuring season three guest Shark, Lori Grenier, as a regular cast member (she’ll be switching off with Barbara Corcoran). With an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Reality Programming on the table, fans couldn’t have been more excited to watch and live-tweet the premiere. In fact, @SharkTankABC saw a record-breaking gain of over 1,000 fans in one night, and even hit the 30,000 follower mark! So if you haven’t already, join us when we live-tweet the show at 8/7 central. Without further ado, here’s what happened during the season four premiere:
Coat Chex – Company Profile
First into the tank was recent Indiana University graduate Derek Pacque, representing his coat checking business, CoatChex. Derek asked the Sharks for a $200,000 investment in exchange for 10% of his business. CoatChex is a ticketless coat checking system, which allows users to check coats and pay using a touch screen device at a sleek-looking kiosk. Rather than giving ticket stubs, CoatChex takes photos of the users when they pay, so that attendants can return belongings to the correct owner. Based on their shared alma mater, it’s clear from Derek’s opening “Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!” chant that he was targeting Mark Cuban as a business partner. Unfortunately for Derek, Cuban didn’t mince words when he reacted to CoatChex lack of sales and business strategy: “Horrible, horrible, horrible! The only certainty in technology is that it’s gonna screw up.” Despite his doubts, Cuban ended up offering Derek $200,000 for 33% equity. Derek stepped out to quickly consult his college-professor-turned-business-partner, who advises him not to give up that much of the company. Derek returned with a counteroffer of $200,000 for 20%, and Mark didn’t even blink before bowing out.
Fans probably remember season three’s Rick Hopper, founder of Readerest (now SpecSecure), the magnetized eyeglasses holders that fasten onto clothing. When Rick first appeared on Shark Tank he secured a deal with Lori at $150,000 for 65% equity. The company was born with Rick hand-gluing Readerests in his home, and how has a dedicated manufacturing team capable of cranking out 14,000 units a day. In just 10 months the company has done $3M in sales, and projects sales of $30-50M in the next few years. Congrats Rick and Lori!
BevBuckle – Company Profile
Next up was Jay Kriner, founder of the BevBuckle, who entered the tank seeking a $50,000 investment in exchange for 10% equity. The BevBuckle is a novelty belt buckle that unfolds into a drink-holder… BA BAM. The Sharks wasted no time asking hard-hitting questions about sales ($4,000 in the last four years), production costs ($10/unit), and retail price ($35+). While some Sharks were skeptical, the offers quickly came in with Robert offering $50,000 for 75%, Kevin in at $50,000 for a 12% royalty, and Barbara in $50,000 for 51%. Jay liked the sound of Barbara’s offer the best and he accepted the deal.
BodyWalking – Company Profile
Third into the tank was Ironman tirathlete and BodyWalking founder Tod Miller, seeking $100,000 for 10% equity in his company. BodyWalking is a style of massage that involves using handlebar supports and bodyweight pressure to walk along the back. To show the benefits of BodyWalking, Tod demonstrated on Barbara, who seemed to really enjoy the massage. Unfortunately, though, BodyWalking’s total of 30 certifications in seven years of business was unimpressive and all the Sharks were out. In standard fashion, Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary let Tod down gently when he said, “Tod, you’re a dead man walking to me. I’m out.”
Buggy Beds – Company Profile
Last into the Shark Tank was Buggy Beds, bed bug glue traps, founded by Maria Curcio and Veronica Perlongo. Maria and Veronica asked the Sharks for a $125,000 investment in exchange for 7% of the company. Buggy Beds is an early detection system that attracts and traps bed bugs. The women have a trademark on the company’s name and logo, as well as a utility patent in multiple countries. Buggy Beds cost $1.35 to make, and the company’s current sales are over $150,000. For the first time in Shark Tank history, the Sharks begin forming a plan for all five of them to join together for a deal. Spearheaded by Kevin, the offer on the table is $250,000 for 25%. Barbara didn’t want to play nice and share, so she made her own offer of $150,000 for 15%. After a little back and forth, she finally decided to join Mark, Kevin, Daymond, and Robert on the group offer, which Buggy Beds accepted. Even after the deal was made, Kevin proclaimed, “Barbara, you’re a savage.”
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