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How Not To Do A Pitch

As Andrew Banks said, “swimming with Sharks is a dangerous business.” Sometimes a dip in the Tank doesn’t go exactly as planned. Before the season finale, here are four pitches that didn’t quite tickle the Sharks’ investment bone.

Kerry Staite, K-Lite, Episode 6

Shark Tank

“Fit and forget, plug and play, just ride away!”

Kerry Staite rode into the Tank with his ‘brightest dynamo bicycle light in the world,’ asking for $50K for 25%. His invention functioned as a dynamo battery powered by cycling that powered a bright light and doubled as a phone charger.

Kerry got into hot water quickly. He called Naomi ‘darling’ (tip: never do this), interrupted the Sharks, wasn’t consistent with what he claimed and didn’t have a compelling business plan. Also he managed to shine ‘the brightest dynamo light’ directly in Naomi’s eyes. 

Shark after Shark dropped out, citing confusion over the technical aspects of the product and Kerry’s business plan. John simply said “You and I together in business… we’d kill each other.”

Darren Smith, Rent Resume, Episode 1

Behind the Scenes Episode 1

$2.5 million for 40%. Let that sink in. Darren had his work cut out for him after this huge valuation. His company was a subscription-based website service for owners to rate potential tenants, running with ‘a couple thousand’ subscribers already.

Red flags appeared one after the other. Naomi Simson asked to see the website interface (as anyone would) and Darren replied – “I can’t show you now, I’m not set up to do that.” His slideshow presentation didn’t play. He revealed half way through that the deal was only for the US division of the company, not the Australian division. And at the time of the pitch he was yet to launch his US division.

Naomi: “So you’re looking for us to take 40% of a business that’s not yet started on a $6.2 million valuation.”

After the rest of the Sharks gave their scathing criticism, all eyes turned to the silent John, who ruminated before declaring:

“I’ve seen some worse ideas... but not many.”

Shae Calissa Teo, Bento Pets, Episode 2

shark tank australia behind the scenes episode 2

You knew you were in for a memorable pitch when 34-year-old Shae walked in with two mini-dogs (Gigi and Coco) in a pram - one sporting an electric-blue mohawk and the other barking its head off. Shae asked for $200k for 10% of her nutritious dog food business (a valuation of 2 million).

Naomi seemed keen for a bite (literally) and sampled some of the dog dishes after Shae said it was safe. Naomi almost immediately regretted this decision as Shae said “Well… I wouldn’t eat it for breakfast.”

She began barking up the wrong tree by quoting her sales figures to the bewildered Sharks. She had $1000 in net profit a month, making $12 000 a year. And her valuation was $2 million. She had effectively over-valued her business by a factor of 166. 

When asked about how she would use the $200k, she gave a strange and lengthy spiel about gaining customers with money. After a paws, Steve said “That is probably about the most confused thing I’ve heard.”

C’mon Steve, throw her a bone.

Nicholas Dogulin and Alex Pirouz, Scope, Episode 4

Behind the Scenes

This one should’ve been left in the oven a little bit longer. Scope acts as a “matchmaker” between clients and website developers, although it took a long time for that information to become clear. As the pitch went on the Sharks were essentially explaining their business to them.

They had unrealistic expectations, a lack of knowledge of their industry, only a few months of activity and a miscommunication of their business model. 

And in a move that left the Sharks' mouths agape, Alex even dared to lay their unpreparedness at his partner's feet. A bold move, rather reminiscent of someone saying their dog ate their homework.

John: “Did you seriously think you were going to get an investment today?”

Be sure to check out the Shark Tank season finale on TENplay