Where Entrepreneurs Meet Business People – “Shark Tank”

This week, “Shark Tank” invites Erika Welsh and Keely Tillotson to make their pitch.

Their invention is “wild squirrel nut butter” and they are asking for $50k for a 10% stake in their business.

The girls are from Oregon and in their sophomore years of college. Erika and Keely have created their own homemade peanut butter in their apartment.  They have created four additional flavors and have been able to sell thousands of jars of their product on their website for a $14,000 gross and they have made a $7000 profit for the business. They have also contracted to be on supermarket store shelves throughout Oregon.

The sharks come off pretty cold to the college girl’s pitch as Daymond says he doesn’t know this business so he is out. Robert wants to know who will be running his business if the two of them are students. He wants to know who will be doing the business full time so he’s out. Mark feels the same as Robert and he’s out also. Kevin follows their lead because he believes the peanut butter market will be too competitive.  Barbara says it would take a lot more than they are asking to get this business off the ground so she has an offer.

Barbara offers the ladies $50,000 but wants 40% of the business.  Erica and Keely counter at 35%.  Barbara is not happy with that number so the girls eventually take the 40%.  Hopefully, the deal will yield them a lot of bread to go along with their peanut butter.

The next entrepreneur up is Frank Scozzafava and Adam DiSilvestro. Their pitch is for a “mix bikini” and they are asking for $50k in exchange for a 5% stake in their business.

As the two display their product, the Mix Bikini is the first interchangeable swimsuit. Customers are able to order a matched color or mix and match the interchangeable suits as they won’t ever have to purchase new bikini’s to make them different. The colors are bright and playful as well as reversible. The cost of each part is about $9.99.

On to the shark’s opinion of the product, the entrepreneurs made a mistake when they communicated the 5% stake offered in the deal.  The stake was actually 10 %. The sharks tell the Frank and Adam that it is always important to have a clear and solid business plan in place before they can offer guidance and money for a product so Mark is out immediately.

Kevin tells the two that the only entrepreneurs that have walked out of the tank with a deal have a clear idea of how they plan to get rich. Frank tries to back peddle the plan with how they expect this to happen, but Daymond shoots down his plan.  He’s out. The other guys hang back as Barbara makes them an offer.

The results of the negotiations turn out to be more positive than expected. Although the guys haven’t provided ample sales numbers, Barbara sees a business model for it. She offers Frank and Adam the $50k for 25% of the business.  When they hesitate, Mark encourages them to say yes right away, so they do.

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