The 200th episode of Shark Tank marked a milestone with guest shark Jamie Siminoff, featuring a range of innovative pitches from Le-Glue to FinalStraw, focusing on sustainability and practical solutions.

Jamie was a featured entrepreneur in the 5th season for his Doorbot camera invention, Ring. Although The Sharks passed on Jamie’s invention, Ring went on to be a very successful company over the last 5 years and was recently purchased by Amazon for $1 billion.

Key Takeaways: Shark Tank Anniversary Highlights

  1. Innovative Solutions: Products like FinalStraw and Le-Glue highlighted the innovation that Shark Tank attracts.
  2. Strategic Investments: Deals like Le-Glue with Kevin O’Leary reflect the strategic partnerships that can propel a company forward.
  3. Market Challenges: FinalStraw’s experience emphasized the challenges of introducing sustainable products in a price-sensitive market.

BoxLock Fails to Secure a Deal With the Sharks

BoxLock kicked off the season by addressing an issue that is on the minds of e-commerce consumers everywhere: “How do I make sure my online order securely arrives and is not stolen upon delivery?”

With online sales sky-rocketing, this ever-growing problem is certainly one that needs to be addressed and BoxLock feels as though it is the perfect solution to this problem.

BoxLock is the first smart padlock device that would allow the consumer to rest-assured that their delivery is properly secured. The delivery company would simply scan the barcode of the package upon arrival with the padlock’s built-in scanner. The scan would activate the lock and open it, allowing the driver to securely place the package in a storage box (sold separately) and re-lock the padlock before departure. This will prevent and deter packages from being stolen.

Brad Ruffkess, CEO of BoxLock, came to The Sharks looking for a $1 million investment and 5% ownership of the company. Most of The Sharks decline, citing a difficult change in user behavior for the consumer and for the delivery services. The Sharks felt that the training costs alone for delivery staff would be very high and there was no easy path to a profitable company.

Lori Greiner surprised Brad and her fellow Sharks when she offered BoxLock a $1 million loan with royalties of 8% interest until she got her money back with an additional $500K and 2.5% of the company.

Brad countered with $1.5 million with royalties ($3/unit). As Lori tries to pull Jamie into the investment with her, he still declines.

Ultimately, Lori Grenier decides to decline Brad’s counter offer and BoxLock walks away from The Shark Tank without a deal.

Le-Glue Sticks With Kevin O’Leary’s Deal

Efraimstochter / Pixabay

The next business into The Shark Tank is Le-Glue which features an innovative adhesive invented by 12-year-old Tripp Phillips. Tripp developed Le-Glue as a result of a school project when he was 9 years old. The assignment gave the student the option to write a paper or invent a new product. Tripp decided to invent a new product but had no idea where to start. His dad, who was also present in The Shark Tank, told him that inventing a new product is simple: identify a problem and then find a solution to fix it.

The problem Tripp quickly identified, is a common problem for brick-building enthusiasts: you spend a lot of time building something special out of interlocking bricks, only to accidentally drop your creation or lose some of the pieces. Tripp invented Le-Glue to allow brick-building enthusiasts everywhere to be able to glue their creations together with water-soluble glue. If the builder decides they no longer would like their masterpiece to be bound for good, they can simply submerge it in water and Le-Glue will release, allowing your bricks to be used again and again.

Tripp Phillips, who is one of the youngest patent holders in American history, came to The Sharks looking for $80K for 15% of the business. With sales already rolling in and great profit margins established, The Sharks begin to discuss their proposals with Tripp, his father and sister. Tripp has a vision of having brick manufacturers include Le-Glue in their pre-packaged kits as well as a stand-alone item.

“Mr. Wonderful,” Kevin O’Leary offers Le-Glue $80K with 50/50 in royalties until he gets back his $80k and then will drop to a 20% shareholder. He explains that he has many major contacts in the toy industry with which he will get them a meeting if Tripp does the sales pitch and presentation. There is one catch. If they don’t get a deal with the toy manufacturers, the deal is off the table.

With one offer already at play, Daymond John offers $80K for 25% stake in the company. He cites his reason for investment as the knowledge that the adhesives market is a great market to be in. There is no contingency at stake for this deal and he assures the Phillips family that he will also schedule meetings with the major toy manufacturers as well. Tripp counter offers to Daymond with $80K and 20%, but he holds firm. Daymond will not go lower than 25%, which is already lower than the 33% he is usually most comfortable with.

Le-Glue ultimately chose to stick with Kevin O’Leary’s deal.

Mark Cuban Walks Away from FinalStraw

The third business to present to The Shark Tank was FinalStraw. With a noble mission rooted in protecting the environment from the insurmountable waste of plastic disposable straws, Emma Cohen and Miles Pepper showcase their reusable, collapsible straw to The Shark Tank. In a dramatic display to demonstrate how much waste is being generated, 5,700 disposable straws dropped from the ceiling to represent the number of plastic straws that are used every second in the US.

These straws, which do not decompose and can not be recycled, find their way into our oceans and can be detrimental to aquatic life. FinalStraw is a portable and reusable solution that consumers can take with them to help reduce the amount of straw waste generated from the food industry. The FinalStraw compactly folds up to the size of a keychain so consumers can easily carry it with them wherever they go. The product was launched on crowd-funding platform Kickstarter, where it raised nearly $1.9 million.

While The Sharks believe in their mission, they are leary of the price point and the shift in consumer and food service behavior to make this a successful business model. While Kevin O’Leary shares that he believes they are a mission with a product and not yet a company, he does offer the pair $675K with 5% royalty for $2 per straw until he gets back $1.8 million. Emma tries to counter with Mr. Wonderful, but he gets nervous as the other Sharks are declining and he withdraws his offer.

Mark Cuban then offered $675K for 25% of the company. Emma counters at 12.5% ownership. Mark declines citing that while the demand for this product is evident, the success of this company will be in the execution.

Bear Minimum Cuts a Deal with Jamie Siminoff

The final company to present to The Shark Tank in the season 10 premiere is Bear Minimum who is showcasing a camping cookware solution.

Cory and Heidi Santiago created a collapsible fiberglass coated “Bear Bowl” that folds completely flat for packing efficiency. They are looking for an investment of $100K for a 20% stake in the company.

This product has a utility patent and has been mostly funded through a Kickstarter campaign that raised $48K. The couple has secured an overseas supplier and has placed a great margin on the product. Their vision is to distribute this product through camping distribution stores and also through e-commerce sales. They currently have a relationship with a distributor in Canada who has established relationships with big box retailers.

Jamie Siminoff is the first Shark in The Tank to make an offer to Bear Minimum. He offers $100K for 25% of the company citing that he has an interest in getting kids and families away from screens and back into the outdoors. Daymond John also makes them an offer of $100K for 33% of the company as he has established business with the “doomsday prepper” community and he feels that this product could be a great seller in that arena. Ultimately, the Santiagos decided to take Jamie’s deal.

Five Key Business Take-Aways

Tonight’s episode of Shark Tank showcased 5 key pieces of business advice that can be applied across any sector:

  1. When building and growing a business, remember that a product is not enough, you must always put the customer first and be thinking about consumer needs and behavior.
  2. When developing a product solution, do not over complicate the design. Simply find a solution to the target problem and you have your first iteration of a new product.
  3. If there is demand for a product without proper sales execution, the business will fail.
  4. When building a brand, it is important to understand how to leverage the brand itself and make it do the work for you.
  5. A piece of advice right from The Shark’s Mouth:

Which featured business most appealed to you?

Shark Tank airs on Sundays at 10pm EST on ABC.

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