On the latest episode of Shark Tank, viewers met Patrick Whaley, the man behind the weighted compression apparel company, TITIN. While Patrick wasn’t exactly given the kindest treatment by the Sharks (Kevin O’Leary notably called him a ****), he still managed to negotiate a $500,000 deal with apparel mogul Daymond John, making his time (and stress) in the tank more than worthwhile. So what exactly is it like going through the Shark Tank application process, being in the tank, and getting down to business after the deal is done? Here’s what Patrick Whaley had to say about his Shark Tank experience, behind the scenes.
ITST: Thanks for chatting with us Patrick! Can you start by talking a little about your company, TITIN?
PW: TITIN believes in challenging status quo in everything we design. TITIN makes form-fitting weighted compression gear. The concept is based on evenly distributed weights across your body, which can be heated or frozen. The weights mimic the density of muscle tissue, which allows the athletes to increase their inertial mass without restriction or compromise.
ITST: How is TITIN different from its competitors?
PW: Competitor products are restrictive of your range of motion or of your regimen, so we’ve designed apparel that can be worn in multiple workouts and that doesn’t restrict your range of motion at all. It’s like training on earth and competing on the moon.
ITST: So why did you decide to go on Shark Tank?
PW: We competed at Rice University’s business plan competition in 2011 and won most bankable award. We also won CNN’s “Next Big Thing” and multiple business competitions at other universities, and $10,000 from the Under Armor innovation challenge. To have Under Armour acknowledge that we were one of the best out of all the ideas that they’ve seen, it was like a pat on the back that we’ve achieved something that very few have achieved.
Shark Tank found us a few years ago, because we competed at the Rice University competition. A few years ago [Shark Tank] required an equity percentage just for going on the show. If you aired, they took a percentage of the company. I think it was this season that Cuban asked that clause be removed to get more lucrative businesses on the show, and that clause was removed. Shark Tank reached again, knowing that was a hang up for us last time, and we were interested.
ITST: What was your application process like?
PW: We still went through the whole application process. We had a producer who was very helpful with all the filings and documents and requirements. I’d say it took about 3-6 months, a lot due to trying to run a business at the same time. If you’re trying to start a business and you have a lot of spare time, you’re probably doing something wrong. [laughs]
ITST: How did you arrive at your business valuation?
PW: A lot of it had to do with the business plan competitions we entered. There are multiple approaches, and we came up with a valuation that we thought was reasonable. Right before we went on air we thought we would trim it down because we knew we had to get a Shark to invest at least that amount in order to walk out with a deal. So we ended up asking for $500,000 for 5%, a $10 million valuation.
ITST: Before entering the tank, did you have a particular Shark you hoped to make a deal with? Why that Shark?
PW: There were two. One was the individual who stood out to me because he was in the apparel space, Daymond John. The other one, I kept going back and forth. Barbara would be energetic; Kevin is good with the licensing. Back in the early days, I was really focused on the licensing, letting it go and moving onto the next big idea, but as sales picked up in a few months before going on the show, it hit us that this could be something huge. We felt that we had the passion, energy and drive to get this done. I sat down with my team and every single day we were blown away by the testimonials we were getting from people who used this in their lifestyle. The Netherlands Olympic speed skating team was so passionate about TITIN [after using it during training]that after winning 24 metals at the Sochi Olympics, they completely produced a $50,000 video for us.