RokBlok Kickstarter

Company: Pink Donut’s RokBlok

Founder: Logan Riley

Season: Appeared on season 9 in the week 9 episode

RokBlok is a portable record player. The wireless music accessory is simply placed on top of any vinyl record to deliver a “vintage sound” through a built-in speaker.

“Simply place RokBlok on top of ay record to instantly listen to your favorite vinyl, anywhere,” according to their website. The record player, which also features Bluetooth connectivity, is currently available to reserve for $89.

When Riley originally appeared on “Shark Tank,” he came in asking for $300,000 for 15 percent equity. The sharks liked the modern twist on a retro device, but Mark Cuban worried that true vinyl record enthusiasts wouldn’t actually transport them. He went out, as did Barbara Corcoran and Lori Greiner. Kevin O’Leary, however, saw its potential in a niche market and offered $300,000 for 50 percent. Robert Herjavec also made an offer of $500,000 for 100 percent of the company. Additionally, Herjavec offered to hire him for two years at a six-figure contract with an additional royalty of $5 per unit going forward. Ultimately, Riley accepted Herjavec’s offer.

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

Q&A with RokBlok’s Founder Logan Riley

What was your strategy for navigating “Shark Tank”?

My biggest strategy was overcoming my nervousness and making sure that I had confidence in myself. Understanding that this was going to be one of the most important moments in my career, it was crucial that I did my best to be true to myself and to not get caught up in the fear of possibly humiliating myself on national television. It was also very important to me that I had my pitch and my numbers memorized to the point that I was reciting them in my sleep.

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

The gigantic increase in traffic and orders was the biggest change since airing. Orders went from three to five units a day to around 100 to 200 units a day after the segment aired. To keep up with the demand, we were able to grow our team to help support our customers, manage our day to day needs and to ensure better quality control checks of RokBlok as they leave the factory.

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

Looking back, I would have probably spent a bit more time talking about the growth of the vinyl market and how RokBlok could serve as a bit of a gateway to getting more people into (or back into) vinyl. I feel explaining more about where the market had been versus where it is today could have helped the sharks better see that this resurgence in vinyl is much more than another short-term fad.

Who’s your favorite shark?

Robert has always been my favorite Shark. He has a great eye for design and functionality that I feel gives him a real advantage into finding the next big thing. In addition, he gives very constructive criticism, which never comes off as rude or insulting, in my opinion. With this said, I think all of the sharks are amazing in their own way. I love hearing how and why their opinions differ in some situations and find it really interesting when they all agree on something.

Do you think “Shark Tank” was the right move for your business?

“Shark Tank” was absolutely the best move for RokBlok. Whether you get a deal or not, I believe that the best thing about the show, is you get the ability to present not only your product, but the entire story behind it. There are very few opportunities out there for entrepreneurs to share both their successes and their struggles in front of so many people.

What are RokBlok’s next steps?

We have started to partner with musicians and other organizations for all sorts of fun projects. We are looking to help continue finding new ways to showcase both RokBlok and the resurgence of vinyl in popular culture.

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

I believe the vinyl market will continue to grow steadily in the next decade. As music streaming has taken over and CDs are beginning to make their exit, I think the tangibility element of physical music media will be something consumers will want to hold on to for years to come.

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

The best advice I can give is to not be afraid to try. I meet a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs who have really great business ideas, but are intimidated by making them a reality. I believe a common misconception about business is that the only way to build a successful one is to have years of experience or schooling and lots of money. There are so many different ways to start almost any type of business and you may be surprised to find that the first step is often something as simple as a Google search. I’d say start small. Start cheap. But most importantly…START TRYING.

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

In my opinion, to make it on “Shark Tank,” it would help to have a unique product that demands the sharks’ (and the world’s) attention, a large enough market to sell it to and (most importantly) the ability to hustle and do whatever it takes to sell, promote and support your product. If you can show that you have all of these elements in your in-person casting call or video entry, you could be well on your way to presenting in front of five seasoned investors and 7 million people cheering you on in their homes.

If you do make it in front of the sharks, I’d say the most important things are to be confident in yourself, know your product, know your market and most importantly KNOW YOUR NUMBERS.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Appearing on “Shark Tank” was one of the most exciting (and slightly terrifying) experiences of my life. It’s done amazing things for RokBlok and has opened more doors that I could have possibly imagined.

However, in my opinion, being on the show is not the only way to benefit from “Shark Tank.” I believe that watching the show can be very helpful for entrepreneurs to get an idea of the questions you should prepare for when presenting your business (or business plan) in front of investors, potential business partners and even sometimes customers. Questions that you hear all of the time on the show, such as, “How did you determine your valuation?,” “What makes this a business and not just a product?” and even questions about who you are and why you started your business are all questions you will most likely be asked at some point and could be important to have answers for.

I think it can be helpful to try to find an episode with a product that is similar to yours, or serves the same market, and try to answer questions the sharks ask the entrepreneur, but as it relates to your business. You may also hear a lot of great strategies or insights from both the sharks and the entrepreneur that is presenting that can be helpful for your business.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length

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