Watching this episode at home with the family – we had plenty of laughs. Every week we marvel at how diverse the business ideas are – and equally how commercially ready they may or may not be. I was delighted with the show – it showcases great Australian innovations come from everywhere. Here is my wrap up from episode five.
Joseph Mourad – inventor and hair stylist to the stars. For more than 30 years as I stylist he has pondered why people cannot get a salon quality blow dry at home. His wife /model came on to the set to support him looking fabulous (even with her hair half curled and half straight – some people can carry anything). Joseph had invented a cross between a hairdryer and a straightening irons – he spent close to $800k developing his invention. He had prototype product – beautifully designed devices. However he was only offering the sharks a part of the Australian business. Setting up the infrastructure to commercialize the product would take a considerable investment and infrastructure – there are electronic companies who already have this in place. For me this pitch needed a reality check in many ways.
Rescue Swag – Rachel our founder a salt of the earth woman from far north Queensland, who saw a problem and did something about it with an inventive first aid product, which is ideal for people in remote locations. The presentation was one of the best we have seen… and to cap it off she wove all of our backgrounds into her pitch. (It always helps when you know why you a pitching to whom.) and the technology that she has incorporated into the swag had Steve asking questions…and he learned something he did not know before. I like someone who had done their research. The pitch was fun, inspiring and productive (I think it makes a fabulous gift).
Koala Karma – A sweet drink with herbs to help people who are ‘stressed’. Instantly I was challenged when the founder claimed “we are all so stressed these days’ and recommended that to relax the next big wave is the opposite to energy drinks – relaxation drinks. I was puzzled as to the amount of sugar in the drink. I have no experience drinks but I have watched children (and adults) full of sugar bounce of walls – before they hit them. Janine does have experience in drinks so asked after the clinical trial results– proof that the formulation did in fact mean that people would ‘relax’ as they claimed. When asked who was the target customer they said “people who are stress”… now that is not a market… the packaging looked as if it was for children – yet the amount of ‘herbs’ in each drink was the recommended adult amount. I wish these women well – It is hard to start a business – I think some more planning and market positioning is required.
Hegs – Love it, amazing! Scott presented such a simply powerful story of the need for his pegs with hooks – Hegs. Perfect for apartments and tripling the available space on your clothes line. This is one of those inventions that you think – why did no one think of this before. Patents in place, well-distributed, overseas contracts, professionally run – for sure this was going to be a shark attack. And Scott the founder was articulate, inspired and passionate. With orders in the bag for more than $1million in future revenue… the shark tussle began. And guess what I loved these Hegs so much that of course you can find them at RedBalloon too.
Dyskinesia guitar – This is a man with a passion for music – dentist by day – guitar maker by passion. His invention makes it really easy for people to play some chords on a guitar (even I got up and played a few chords – I thought I was pretty good really) how wonderful and inspiring this man is. A craftsman, gifted and talents, who’s four children must be so proud of their dad. He presented us with a unique incentive of a shark shaped guitar for the magic investor…. a great product. Is the business scalable?