I know this might sound fanatical – but I kept a database and notes on every single pitch that we saw during the filming of Shark Tank for TEN. This could be because I need an extra brain – or it might be because some of the businesses we saw were just a little early stage… but as far as I am concerned I really want to keep them on my radar… just in case I get a second chance – if nothing else I may well become a customer. Here are my notes from episode two.
Edible Bug Shop Skye Blackburn is a food technologist who has deeply pondered the question of protein production – citing that by 2050 the planet will be supporting 9 billion people and we need to find a more efficient way to produce protein than the current methods of meat production. She grows bugs and harvests them – grinding them into a powder – that can be used as an additive to all sorts of recipes. We all tasted it and confirmed in baked goods it was undetectable – there was no moving John – he was not letting anything pass his lips. Fabulous story – Janine has an obvious distribution channel to take this established business main stream but will the bug bite? If you want to try the products – click here. (I note that a sample pack is only $30) now that is worth the experience.
Lambdatron – We were all really excited as soon as we walked on set and saw that we were about to be offered a ‘drone production business’ – James had been in business for some years but had been developing a drone that could travel for up to six hours and carry a pay load of up to 5 kilos. I would love to get into this highly speculative but massive potential business. I had to consider if this was the product and strategy to take me there.
BentoPets: What a great idea – the elements of Japanese nutrition for pets – the display looked fantastic and inviting. When Shae arrived on set pushing her two little dogs in an expensive pram – I was instantly confused. Shae started talking about her passion for her dogs, she said the food was so good that people could eat it. I thought well let’s just see about that. I smelled it, gave a tentative taste then ate a piece. It was quite bland really and just as I did she said – “oh you wouldn’t have it for breakfast or anything it is kangaroo” – too late. I’m sure that I turned green. BentoPets – a great business – but it was hard to get a clear vision of where Shae wanted to take it.
Throat Scope – This is one of those inventions where you say “hasn’t someone already thought of that. An oral cavity inspection device – ie a torch built into a Perspex tongue depressor… there are so many uses for this product for vets as well as medical doctors. The existing wooden product costs about 2 cents and is biodegradable…. there is a lot still to be done to get this product ready for market. This business woman has passion, persistence and a deep sense of purpose, but would people pay for it.
Conveyor Tray – why did no one think of this earlier! A proto type of a conveyor belt that can be fitted to the tray of any a truck. It was not overly expensive to make or install. We had two first class inventors on our hands – with a product that could improve work place safety for so many people – this product would make a great license product to the big play Toyota. They were offering 51% of their invention, which is highly unusual.
There was tears, laughter and joy in this episode. The point is that the shear diversity of how people come to innovation is fascinating… join us again next Sunday night on TEN at 8.00pm