This week’s episodes of Shark Tank highlighted a number of business considerations that any entrepreneur needs to know – from partnership strategies and business valuations to customer promises.
We’re also happy to see as the season continues, more and more businesses are securing their brand through trade mark protection with five out nine this week.
WeedSniper – protecting your gardens with their IP
Omid Rad brought us Aussie ingenuity at its best with his WeedSniper – a device that kills weeds with a micro-dose of herbicide and both child and pet safe. Omid has been perfecting his inventions for ten years and has secured patents for the way his device works. He’s clearly not new to IP protection and also owns registered plant breeder’s rights (PBR) for plant varieties.
HairLuxe – promising customers a miracle
The Sharks had some great lessons learnt after hearing from Oran, founder of HairLuxe. His product came with a customer promise that it ‘gives you hair’ to help with those bad hair days. The Sharks saw this as a big call, and expressed that honesty and integrity is important and to do what you say you’re going to do.
Another other concern was that he is only spending 20 per cent of his time on the business, and unless a founder is not 100 per cent focused most investors will look the other way. The hair industry has big competition, so it’s important to know you’re market and know what you’re competitors are doing.
Maria Nicola – 10 Way Necklace
Forget diamonds, is Maria Nicola’s 10 Way Necklace going to be a girl’s best friend? Although it’s not unique enough to be patented, jewellery designers like Maria can use design rights to protect their creative.
Hit With Me – Tinder for tennis
Founder and social tennis player Sam Begg entered the Shark arena with his Hit With Me app, which brought up a lot of conversation around choosing the right business partners. Shark Steve Baxter bowed out early for on fundamental reason: if you’re a tech start-up, you should have the tech skills in-house.
The structure of your team with relevant skills is important no matter what sector your business is in.
Kisa – Keep It Simple Always
The Sharks were impressed with the partnerships between co-founders Dmitry, Dennis and Leon from KISA – the Keep It Simple Always phone made to make life easier for anyone with less ability. KISA isn’t only good at keeping it simple when it comes to phones but when it comes to intellectual property. We’re glad they kept it simple and have their trade mark and patent protection sorted.
Phones aren’t always easy to use and that’s where there’s KISA. IP isn’t always easy to navigate but you can start here by choosing the right IP.
Sofi Spritz – the citrus drink that didn’t leave a sour taste
An all-Australian wine spritz by the Italian-style of Aperitivo, balanced with sparkling water, citrus and herbal extracts. Sounds alright to us! Tommy from Sofi Spritz impressed the Sharks bubbling all the way to the top with his partnership strategy, ensuring he has advisors and experts by his side.
But has he valued his business properly with an estimation of $130k in five years’ time? In last year’s season, Steve Baxter shared his advice on valuing your business: ‘Don't be scared of your valuation, own it but be prepared to move’.
Parkhound - how to pull the *parking*brake on a deal
The Sharks may swim in packs, but these hounds work in parks. Parkhound allows people to lease out their car spaces. With their IP in check and knowing their market landscape and who their competitors were, what stopped them from securing a deal?
Once again, valuing your business was important. If you’re seeking investment, don’t compromise on how much equity you’re willing to give away, but at the same time be reasonable in your ask or you’ll come to a screeching halt and won’t drive away with a deal.
MUP – Fitzy and Whipper words cannot espresso
With around one million coffees sold every day, the genius invention MUP brought Nova’s Fitzy and Whipper to the tank with a coffee cup that comes with a mint to rid that unwanted morning brew breath aka ‘death breath’. The duo had the sharks wondering where they had bean all their life and Baxter looked like he had a latte on his mind.
Even though all four Sharks offered half a million for minimal equity, Fitzy and Whipper seemed to know the MUP was going to be a bigger deal than them.