Shark Tank returned to Australian television screens last night and the first episode of the second season of Channel Ten’s reality show for entrepreneurs didn’t disappoint; two of the three founders who pitched their businesses to the sharks walked away with a deal.
First to enter the tank on last night’s episode was Mick Spencer, a 25-year-old entrepreneur from Canberra who is the founder of custom sportswear business, On The Go Custom Sportswear.
Spencer, who founded his company from his parent’s garage, was seeking a investment of $300,000 from one of the sharks in exchange for a 10% stake in his business.
On The Go allows businesses and sporting clubs to customise sporting apparel and accessories, using a digital platform.
While RedBalloon founding director Naomi Simson and Greencross founder Dr Glen Richards bowed out of a potential deal early on, Spencer impressed the remaining three sharks: Boost Juice’s Janine Allis, technology investor Steve Baxter and recruitment specialist Andrew Banks.
Allis, Baxter and Banks all offered Spencer the same deal: $300,000 for a 20% stake in the business.
Showing his negotiation skills, Spencer asked the three sharks if they would be willing to work together and all invest in his business.
To his delight, the sharks agreed but offered a combined $600,000 for a 35% stake in the business. Spencer counted with an offer for 30% of the business for the same price, and after another offer from the sharks of 33% equity, the four settled on an offer that would give the sharks a combined 30% share for their $600,000 investment.
In a blog post published last night Allis described Spencer as “one of those guys who has the tenacity to succeed”.
“Sometimes adversity can make you stronger and more resilient and he certainly has had to overcome some personal battles when he was younger, which involved severe short sightedness and bullying.
“People react two ways to challenges in life: they either become a victim or [it] makes them stronger, and after you meet with Mile, you know that the latter is true with sheer determination to get his business to the next level.
“The business is on trend as personalization is really where many products are heading. He was well prepared and knew his numbers and more importantly, he had a plan,” she added.
“Just tell us the numbers”
The second entrepreneur to pitch to the sharks in last night’s episode was less fortunate and ended up walking out of the tank without a deal.
David Lambasa is the creator of Clever Score, a portable score board for sports events.
While Lambasa’s invention clearly impressed the judges – and prompted a basketball shootout between Allis and Richards – he lost the shark’s interest from the start by only offering an opportunity to invest in the international part of his business and later, by not clearly answering questions about the business’ financial performance and his plan for the future.
— Steve Baxter (@sbxr) May 8, 2016
Lambasa’s original pitch asked for $200,000 for a 25% stake in the international aspect of his business.
Glen Richards, the only shark to put a deal on the table, offered $200,000 for 50% of his entire business, plus a $75,000 salary for Lambasa.
However, parting with half of his business proved to be a step too far for Lambasa and he turned down the deal.
All in for Sharknado
Linton V Harris was the final entrepreneur to pitch to the sharks on last night’s episode and despite some initial doubts from the judging panel, Harris managed to secure a first in the shark tank – a deal that involves investment from all five sharks.
Harris’s business is a portable, live production based on the movie trilogy Sharknado. The energetic production, which the sharks got a taste for as Harris entered the tank last night, is designed to be staged at theme parks and, according to Harris, is set for success when the fourth Sharknado film is released later this year.
While it appeared Harris’ shark-filled vision was not to the judges’ taste, Andrew Banks managed to convince his fellow sharks that a $475,000 investment for 50% of the business made financial sense.
One by one they agreed, although Allis and Simson said their involvement was conditional on Banks overseeing the due diligence on the deal.