There was a touch of fairy dust in the air with deals all round for the final episode of season two of Shark Tank Australia last night.
Episode 13, the final for the season gave us a way to grow vegies for those without green thumbs, a tool to tighten the screws on workplace safety and a world of furniture at our fingertips.
It was great to see all the businesses had ticked the IP box, so let’s find out how they did it…
Lil Fairy Door – A fairy tale ending
Sally from Lil Fairy Door is bringing a little bit of magic into the world with her fairy doors. It was great to see that they have chosen to protect their brand with trade marks.
Her sales were impressive and Steve Baxter jumped in so quickly he didn’t even ask where Sally was from. In the end Sally caught the deal-fairy with Naomi and Glen for 650k for a 20% stake in the business.
Vegepod – Planting the seeds of success
Next into the tank was Sydney based inventor, Matt Harris with his Vegepod. His invention provides a simple and easy way to grow vegetables at home.
The Vegepod Container Gardens give you the size of a raised garden bed with the benefits of container gardens, and the protective cover helps to keep the bugs and wildlife off your produce. The greatest businesses can be born from failure!
Matt’s invention has its *I Pea* sorted and is protected by an innovation patent which gives him eight years of protection from the filing date. An innovation patent is a relatively quick and inexpensive way to obtain protection and is a great way to protect an invention with a short market life that might be superseded by newer innovations. If you are considering a patent it might be worth looking at the difference between a standard and innovation patent and see which one suits your business strategy.
Be like Vege Pod & don’t leak your IP too early. Remember, when it comes to patents don't go public too soon.
With the IP in check the business is sure to grow and it’s little wonder Naomi made a deal. Our key take away from the sharks? Have your business model and structure sorted. What’s more - When it comes to making business decisions you need to distinguish between a love for the product and a love for the business.
Torque Safe – The nuts and bolts of IP protection and striking gold
Mining, Construction and Earth Moving repairs are a high risk environment and Torque Safe has designed, engineered and manufactured a safety switch for hydraulic torque wrenches, providing safety for the technician.
It was great to see that Torque Safe have their IP underway, with two trade marks and a provisional patent for their invention. Torque Safe avoided digging themselves into a hole and had their IP in check!
The shark’s only hesitation seemed to be around who would run the business if they only invested for the 15%. Not the first time we’ve seen the investors query a business’ structure before putting up (or not putting up) their money. Ultimately the product Torqued to the sharks and they tightened the screws on a deal.
Don’t let your competitors get the dirt on you! Before applying for any patent, you may want to file a provisional application. Think of it as a placeholder. It is an inexpensive way of signalling your intention to file full patent application later on. However, filing a provisional application on its own does not give you patent protection.
A word to the wise from Naomi: ‘Lots of people think about ideas but don't actually do anything. People who are driven by passion change the world’.
One World Furniture – going global
We were promised Shark Tank had saved the biggest till last, as they sure delivered. With 300 new products every 6 months and top designers like Jamie Durie supplying their products, it’s no wonder Janine and Glen jumped at the chance on a deal with OneWorld. OneWorld already has thousands of products in over 3000 stockists in 3 countries and is a diverse range of home furniture and designs. Most of the conversation was around numbers and how much ownership they were willing to sell. Which unfortunately isn’t our field of expertise. But what we can say confidently is, if you’re planning on selling designs (be they yours or commissioned) you should know where the rights and ownership lies first.
Taking your IP and business global like One World? We have a world of information on importing, exporting and country specific tips and tricks on our approaching a global market page on our website.
Plenty of Aussie ingenuity and diversity in the tank for 2016 that’s for sure. We’ve loved being a part of it for a second season and can't wait to see what's in store for season three!
If you've got a great idea or a growing business, Shark Tank is casting for season three! Head online for more information: http://SharkTankCasting.com.au