DreamPad

Company: DreamPad

Founder: Randall Redfield

Season: Appeared on season 9 in the week 6 episode

DreamPad is a therapeutic pillow that uses sleep technology to improve sleep and reduce stress. The pillow turns music and sound waves into soothing vibrations, which enhances relaxation and provides a calming effect.

According to their website, “Dreampad was initially designed as a relaxation tool for children with high levels of anxiety, including those with trauma and autism.” It has since become a relaxation tool for thousands of people. Users simply download the DreamPad app, set their music and timer and connect it to their DreamPad pillow for a good night’s sleep. The price of the hi-tech pillow starts at $149.

When Redfield originally appeared on “Shark Tank,” he came in asking for $800,000 for 10 percent equity. The sharks found the valuation outrageous and guest shark Bethenny Frankel called it “delusional.” Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary and Frankel all went out immediately. Lori Greiner liked the quality and concept of the pillow and asked Redfield to change his valuation. He updated it to $800,000 for 15 percent, but she ultimately went out since he didn’t offer enough equity—leaving him without a deal.

Redfield spoke with Business 2 Community about DreamPad’s experience on the show and what their next steps are. Take a look at the Q&A below:

Q&A with DreamPad’s Founder Randall Redfield

What was your strategy for navigating “Shark Tank”?

I’m not a media personality and this kind of thing is outside my comfort zone, so I kept it simple with just a few goals: Try to give them my best pitch and see if I could get them jazzed about the product. Be prepared to answer the question of how I came to the company’s valuation. Not be intimidated by their aggressive style.

How has DreamPad changed since the episode was first recorded? Since it aired?

It’s a great question because the first recording was a huge learning experience for us. The product itself hasn’t changed but we’ve spent a lot of time getting better at how we talk about the product, how we explain it using more graphics and the overall presentation on our website store.

Is there anything you would have changed about your time spent in the tank, including your pitch and valuation?

There are plenty of things I could have done better, but even if I had, you never know how they’re going to edit the show. They edit 45+ minutes down to 12, and there’s no telling what kind of story they might tell. All in all, I was pleased with the way it came off—most importantly, you could see that all the sharks liked the product. They just thought my valuation was too high. And that was ok. None of them seemed to have a sense of the rapidly growing sleep market and they weren’t going to bite on a valuation that was based mostly on potential. We’re after an investor who is strategic and I’m not sure we’d have found that in the shark tank. The visibility, however, was huge for us. We sold out of product within six weeks of the broadcast.

Who’s your favorite shark?

I can’t say I have one. They’ve all accomplished a lot in their lives and would probably all be interesting people to sit down and have a beer with. I’d say Lori seemed the easiest to relate to.

Despite not getting a deal, do you think “Shark Tank” was the right move for your business?

Without a doubt. But then, we got lucky. I could never have planned on everyone jumping on the bed and oohing and aahing over the product as they did! Made for great TV.

What are DreamPad’s next steps?

That would take pages to answer. We’re a clinical and consumer solution to sleep. We plan on completing the current capital raise, raising awareness and continuing our donations to first responders and war vets who need help sleeping. In the meantime, of course, we’re selling the product through our dreampadsleep.com website and through resellers.

Where do you see this industry in 5-10 years?

I have yet to meet anyone who can answer that question with any degree of detail, it’s moving so quickly. The only thing I can say with certainty is that the sleep problem will become increasingly well publicized. I think it may follow a similar, but faster, trajectory as healthy eating did…i.e it will entail a lifestyle change. And I believe there won’t be any silver bullet, or panacea, for sleep and stress. We’ll need a number of viable solutions to help people of all ages and situations sleep better. I think the next big topic in the area of sleep will be pediatric sleep—it’s even more serious than the adult sleep epidemic.

What would you say to people who want to start their own business?

Go for it. Give it all you’ve got. But if you have one and it’s possible, keep your day job!

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who want to make it on “Shark Tank”?

I would recommend they pursue it as something that would be a sweet bonus but not a central part of their strategy. It’s a long shot. But preparing for it is good practice for communicating your product’s value and if you get lucky, it can be a huge help to launch a business.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length