American entrepreneur Jamie Siminoff has come full circle.
In 2013, Siminoff appeared on the US version of Shark Tank with a little business called DoorBot that was flirting with failure.
Operating out of his garage, building a video doorbell product that enables people to see and speak to visitors at their door remotely, Siminoff was desperate for investment, having underestimated the cost of taking his invention to the market.
Seeking $US700,000 for 10% of the company at the time, Siminoff was unable to convince the likes of Mark Cuban, Lori Griener, Kevin O’Leary or Daymond John to invest at an acceptable price.
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But, as he recently explained in a blog posted on Entrepreneur, that was just the beginning.
While not securing any investment, the show boosted Siminoff’s market credibility, helping to see his business through the rough.
“The exposure gave us immediate, much-needed credibility and awareness. This critical boost came at a time when it was hard for us to see the light,” he wrote.
Three years later, none other than Richard Branson was convinced of something the other sharks couldn’t see and invested $28 million in the business — more than four times its 2013 value.
Branson got his money back, and probably then some. Amazon bought the newly renamed Ring earlier this year for a reported $1US billion.
As for Siminoff? He’s returned to where the ride started, but in a new, presumably much less stressful, seat as a shark on season 10 of the long-running show.
“I’m the first entrepreneur to have gone from pitching the sharks to sitting in a shark’s chair — something I couldn’t have imagined even in my wildest dreams,” Siminoff wrote.
Siminoff brings a unique perspective to the shark chair as a former contestant, but it’s already pretty clear what he’ll be looking for.
In his view, hard work (multiply your expectations by four), a clear business mission and a good deal of luck (at least he’s honest), are all staples of successful business stories.
But having sat in the chair now, Siminoff told CNBC he gets why his initial pitch wasn’t successful.
“Now that I’m a shark, could someone have pitched us that I didn’t invest in which is going to be the next biggest company on Shark Tank? For sure,” he said.
How the other sharks responded to sitting beside a missed opportunity is another matter.