Next into the tank are Mike Fox and Pat Hughes of The Wingman, seeking $200,000 for 12.5 percent equity.
The Wingman is a new kind of life jacket. According to their website, it is “the world’s thinnest and most versatile inflation vest and the first inflatable life jacket designed for high performance in water activities like surfing and swimming.” The U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket features patented zipper technology, an over-the-shoulder ripcord, pack straps and many more innovative features. It is available in four colors and regularly costs $250.
The sharks give them a try and after guest shark Sara Blakely fails to buckle the life jacket before pulling the ripcord, it becomes stuck (and inflates near her ears as it’s being removed). The duo hopes to make a life jacket that auto inflates in the future. In less than a year, they have done $120,000 in sales with no current retail distribution.
Lori Greiner thinks the life jacket is “smart” and admits that she would wear it, but adds that it’s too early for an investment. She goes out, followed by Blakely given the risk of liability. Daymond John finds it too niche and Mark Cuban thinks the market is far too competitive. They also go out.
Kevin O’Leary likes it but admits that the business is “embryonic.” He decides, however, to offer $200,000 for 50 percent. The protectable parts of the life jacket that are covered by a patent do not change O’Leary’s valuation. The duo counters him at 20 percent, which O’Leary quickly declines. Their second counteroffer of 25 percent fails and they ultimately walk away without a deal.
Social Media Reacts to The Wingman’s Appearance on “Shark Tank”
— Jacqueline E (@helpbusinesses) January 22, 2018
— Mia (@mep757) January 22, 2018
Wingman Pretty cool idea, pretty funny Sarah #SharkTank
— Lance Becvar (@Dadsonpowermode) January 22, 2018
— Patricia McCarthy (@Excel_Diva) January 22, 2018
— Holloman Consulting (@ConsultTampaBay) January 22, 2018
— Vanessa Parker (@thepinkboss) January 22, 2018
Each week on “Shark Tank,” budding entrepreneurs have the opportunity to pitch their emerging businesses to multi-millionaire and billionaire investors, known as sharks: Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks; Daymond John, fashion mogul and founder of FUBU; Kevin O’Leary, self-proclaimed Mr. Wonderful and founder of O’Leary Financial Group; Barbara Corcoran, real estate maven; Lori Greiner, queen of QVC; and Robert Herjavec, technology guru and founder/CEO of the Herjavec Group.
Philanthropist and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, Spanx founder Sara Blakely, Skinnygirl Cocktails founder and Real Housewife Bethenny Frankel, Vitamin Water founder Rohan Oza and former MLB player Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez are also slated to appear as guest sharks this season.
“Shark Tank,” which is based on “Dragons’ Den,” is produced by Mark Burnett and first debuted in 2009. To date, the sharks have invested more than $100 million in various companies after engaging in numerous bidding wars and shark fights. A new episode airs each Sunday at 9 p.m. on ABC.
Would you use The Wingman? Sound off in the comments section below!