Founder: Ryan Diew
Season: Appeared on the season 9 premiere
Trippie is an airport navigation app. The app, which is currently available for free in the App Store and Google Play, seeks to “revolutionize” the airport experience for both new and frequent travelers alike.
According to their website, the app provides interactive navigation for airports, ensures a timely departure and features airport restaurant menus and photos. The app “takes the turbulence out of navigating airports” by providing maps, guides and more.
When Diew originally appeared on “Shark Tank,” he came in asking for $100,000 for 10 percent equity. Many of the sharks saw issues with the app or its premise. Lori Greiner didn’t think the app solved the right problem, while Robert Herjavec didn’t see any competitive advantage. Mark Cuban didn’t view it as a full business, but recognized the entrepreneurial struggle. All five sharks went out without making an offer. Ultimately, he left without a deal. Before leaving the tank, however, Diew explained that he didn’t have a “rich uncle” that got him to that point—a comment that rubbed the sharks the wrong way. Cuban told him to stop patting himself on the back, but also challenged Diew to prove him wrong.
Diew spoke with Business 2 Community about Trippie’s experience on the show and what their next steps are. Take a look at the Q&A below:
Q&A with Trippie’s Founder Ryan Diew
What was your strategy for navigating “Shark Tank”?
My strategy was to show the Sharks that although my product was really early stage, the amount of progress I had been able to make on the app while being a full-time Division-1 athlete and a full-time student was worth a chance at investment. With limited time and limited resources, I was able to teach myself how to make a fully functioning app that had been in four airports. Since the pitch, we’ve grown to 22 of the largest hub airports across the world.
How has Trippie changed since the episode was first recorded? Since it aired?
At the time that we recorded the episode, we were in four airports. Now Trippie is in 22 airports across the world. Trippie’s U.S. airports are responsible for 82 percent of all U.S. air traffic. Since the show aired, our userbase grew substantially and we were able to get a lot of amazing feedback for future iterations of the app.
Is there anything you would have changed about your time spent in the tank, including your pitch and valuation?
I wish that I would have held my cool a little bit better. This business is my baby and I’m just so passionate about it so to fail at getting a deal on such a huge stage was tough for me. I’ve learned from that situation though and it has helped me grow so much as an entrepreneur and as a person.
Who’s your favorite shark?
Although he gave me a hard time, 100 percent Mark Cuban. He is the realest Shark, in my opinion, and doesn’t sugarcoat anything. I’ve looked up to Mark since I was a 10-year-old Dallas Mavs fan. I hope I can take his feedback and get the opportunity to prove Mark and the rest of the sharks wrong.
Despite not getting a deal, do you think “Shark Tank” was the right move for your business?
Yes, although it was definitely tough to deal with the aftermath of my controversial pitch. I learned that the internet can be a pretty cruel place. I mean if you had told me that I would have pitched on “Shark Tank” like six months ago, I’d think you were crazy. I had no intention of going on the show before they reached out. So I take the whole thing as a learning experience for me. Millions of people got a chance to see my product and brand and the exposure has helped so much. I’m thankful for the opportunity.
What are Trippie’s next steps?
Right now, just to keep evolving and expanding. We expanded from four airports to 22 in under four months so we’re expanding quickly. We have some amazing features lined up very soon.
Where do you see this industry in 5-10 years?
I see indoor navigation as the future. Indoor navigation is huge because it breaks down navigation from the “places” level to the “things” level. With indoor navigation, we are not just finding places but we are showing users how to acquire the “things” inside of these places.
What would you say to people who want to start their own business?
Go for it! Like what’s the point of busting your ass to build up someone else’s dream? Go make your vision a reality.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who want to make it on “Shark Tank”?
Have an interesting backstory. Remember it’s entertainment.
Anything else you’d like to add?
The label of an entitled millennial could not be further from the truth for me. I’ve worked hard for everything I’ve gotten and don’t expect to be given anything. Essentially, the point that I was trying to make was that without many resources and time I’ve been able to make a solid product—so imagine if I had more resources. Just wanted to clear the air with that one. That portrayed narrative really bothered me the most.
Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length
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