Shark Tank Recap: “Blended” Chicken Dip Reduces Kevin to Tears of Laughter (10/05/12)

Are you having a hard time keeping track with your keys or mobile phones? Shark Tank’s featuring a potential technical solution to this quandary. But first, a look at our other hopeful entrepreneurs.

Husband and wife team David and Nique Mealey’s livelihood is currently anchored on the retail sales of their Back 9 BBQ dips. They’re looking for a willing investor who will infuse $150,000 in their business in exchange for 15% equity. Kevin O’Leary is reduced to tears of laughter upon learning that the couple’s signature dip has blended chicken in it. Daymond dubs it a “chicken slurpee”. While the sharks loosen up over Kevin’s humor in the dip, Lori Greiner proceeds to interrogate the Mealeys. The couple estimates their sales over the past 24 months at $400,000 and have just partnered with a supermarket for retail sales. The one-pound dip retails between $7.99 and $8.99; each dip costs less than $3 to produce.

Lori, Mark Cuban and Kevin immediately indicate that they lack expertise in food distribution, so they’re not offering anything to the couple. Robert Herjavec thinks that the couples’ business is risky and is also out. Lori, however, changes her mind and asks Daymond John to partner with her to invest $150,000 in exchange for 25% equity. Daymond declines the partnership. Robert comes back in and takes Lori’s offer. Robert and Lori agree that the Mealey family deserves a chance.

Marvin Philip designed the Lifter Hamper to address the needs of people with back problems. The product is a hamper anchored on a spring which moves up or down depending on the load it is carrying. Its purpose is to prevent people from bending over when handling their laundry. Marvin needs $85,000 investment in exchange for 12% equity in his enterprise.

Marvin has several problems, though. First, the product isn’t perfected yet as it lacks effective rollers which will allow users to move the hamper across a room or up/down the stairs. Second, he values the product at $700,000 even though he hasn’t sold a unit of the product. Kevin doesn’t think the company is worth anything.

Mark, Robert, Kevin and Daymond want Marvin to prove that he can sell his product first, so they’re out. Lori’s out, too, but she asks Marvin to give her a call when the business picks up.

Siblings Brian and Kevin Fleming own BagBowl, a  product that is designed to be a substitute for bowls. It acts as a frame for plastic bag containers. They need $40,000 investment in exchange for 33% stake in their firm. Their firm is essentially a start-up and the brothers do not have any patent for their product.

Kevin doubts the viability of the product since food manufacturers may not be willing to spend more for their packed products. Lori thinks the product is risky without any intellectual property rights; people can just re-create it themselves. Beyond this, the brothers have yet to sell their product.

The Fleming brothers are energetic and fast-talkers. They even go to great lengths by calling Mark “Cubes”. For this reason alone, Mark sits out on their offer. Daymond, Robert and Kevin also pull out of the tank. Lori takes the brothers’ offer but decides to withdraw when the Flemings ask for a few moments to discuss Lori’s offer. The brothers immediately change their mind when the sharks scold them for even reconsidering Lori’s deal. Good thing Lori is kind enough to get back to them.

Henry Penix owns Zomm, a gadget finder which can be linked phones and keys that allows a user to find the said items. The gadget lights up and sounds off when it is 20 feet away from its linked item. The gadget also acts as a speed dialer for a mobile phone. In 2011, he claims to have racked $5million in sales. This year, he’s looking at $7.2million in sales and net profit is estimated at $2million. He needs an additional $2million of investment funds in exchange for 10% equity.

Henry has already infused $4million of his own money plus another $5million from another investor (who has 17% equity for this product). This prompts the sharks to question why he still needs money. Henry tells them he needs cash. The sharks find out that despite all the patents and sales Henry has, the owner has diverted his funds towards the development of another product. He also has $2million worth of inventory due to an overestimated production in the previous year.

Henry’s goal is for every family to have the Zoom, but Mark thinks his big dream is what’s giving him unrealistic targets. For this reason alone, Mark pulls off from the negotiation table. Robert points out that he wouldn’t invest his own money in a firm that’s “about to die” and an owner who doesn’t even know about it. Daymond thinks investing in the firm would be “horrific”. Lori isn’t taking the offer; Kevin thinks Henry will just “kill” his money.

Out of the four sets of entrepreneurs, only one scored an investment opportunity. Hopefully, next week’s entrepreneurs will have better chances with the sharks.

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Image courtesy of  Shark Tank