Tonight’s episode of Shark Tank featured veterans in the tank as members of the armed forces entered the Shark Tank hoping to home to a peaceful agreement with the Sharks. Will their time serving our country prepare these veterans for the battle ahead in the the Shark Tank? In case you missed the action on the latest veteran themed episode of Shark Tank, here’s what happened.
First into the Shark Tank is Ashley Drake, an active duty member of the Army. Ashley asked the Sharks for a $100,000 investment in exchange for 20% equity in her company, The Natural Grip. Ashley and her husband came up with The Natural Grip as a way to protect her hands against the beating they took her in CrossFit classes. The Natural Grip is the only custom reusable tape handgrip based off ring finger size. Ashley says her product is better than competitors because the other grips are bulky leather, or they’re slippery cloth or nylon. She has a patent pending on The Natural Grip, which she tells to her distributor at $10/unit, and they sell at $17 apiece. The units cost $4.00 to make, $4 of which is labor (she pays laborers per unit). Ashley hopes that a Shark’s investment will help her to manufacture more efficiently and to build her inventory. Robert, who notably used The Natural Grip to bust out a few chip-ups on set, offers $100,000 for 30% because “hoo-rah!” he is known for being the “Sporty Shark.” Daymond, known for his Reebok/CrossFit connections is next to make an offer, and he’s in at $100,000 for 40%. Ashley is appreciative of both offers, but she wants the Sharks to know that she’s looking for help with her manufacturing issue, not just for more high-profile people wearing the grips. Robert then amends his offer to $125,000 for 25%, while Daymond knocks his down to $100,000 for 33%, because of his industry connections. Ashley’s mind is made up— it’s a deal with Sporty Shark Robert!
Shark Tank viewers were treated to a special report featuring First Lady Michelle Obama. Michelle reports that The White House appreciates Shark Tank for making past deals with veterans, and Shark Tank was invited to participate in the Champions of Change event to celebrate veteran entrepreneurs. Congrats Shark Tank and Shark Tank veterans!
Next into the Shark Tank are Lori and Wade Morrell, representing their company Priority 1 Canine, which specializes in training home bodyguard dogs. The Morrells asked the Sharks for a $75,000 investment in exchange for 15% equity in their company. Wade, a former Marine and now police officer, says that the average police response time is 7-10 minutes, so their company hand selects and trains canines to meet their clients’ security needs. Their three-tiered program trains dogs for $20,000 – $40,000 to handle security needs from simple home protection to carjacking and jogging protection. While the Sharks are impressed with the company and its financials, they’re concerned about scalability because the Morrells can only train so many dogs between the two of them. The Sharks which the Morrells well, but they’re out.
Third into the Shark Tank is Army veteran Aaron Tweedie, seeking a $200,000 investment in exchange for 29% equity in his company, Man-PACK. Aaron was inspired to create the Man-PACK based on the lack of options for men to carry around belongings on a daily basis. His answer? A sling-style vertical messenger bag with a variety of pockets that can be worn in a number of ways. Aaron’s sales were $76,000 last year, and he’s projecting $145,000 by the end of this year. The bags costs $22.05 to make, and Aaron sells them for $59.95 apiece. Aaron says that he based the valuation on his design patent, valuable YouTube commercials and $200,000 in good will, but the Sharks aren’t so impressed. With none of the Sharks seeing Man-PACK as a viable investment, they’re all out.
Last into the Shark Tank are Elijah and Jen Crane, representing their company Bottle Breacher bottle openers. The Cranes asked the Sharks for a $150,000 investment in exchange for a 10% stake in their company. A Navy SEAL who completed three combat deployments to Iraq, Elijah is the embodiment of hard work and persistence, two qualities which clearly come across in his pitch. He and his wife bill Bottle Breachers as the finest .50 caliber bottle openers on the market. Thus far this year, they’ve hit $500,000 in sales, with grooms gifts being one of their largest sales categories. The breachers start at $23.50 with add-ons for materials or engraving bringing up the price even further. The Cranes are hoping that a Shark’s investment will help them buy more engravers to keep up with the demand for customized orders. Kevin is first to make an offer, and he’s in at $150,000 for 20%. Daymond comes in next at $200,000 for 25%, but his offer is contingent on getting licenses for other products so that competitors can’t create knockoffs. Mark Joins Kevin’s offer and two Sharks in on one deal is just too much for the Cranes to pass up— the deal is made with Kevin and Mark!
There were some inspiring veterans and businesses in the Shark Tank tonight fans— let us know what you thought in the comments!