We all love a success story; now I find quite regularly that the first question that I get at speaking engagements is “whatever happened to the businesses you invested in as part of Shark Tank?”
When we are on set – I am looking for not just the business idea, and does it meet with industries or trends that I think are in a growth phase, but also the entrepreneur themselves… are they cut out for this very long journey. I hate to break the news to you – but there is no such thing as an overnight success story.
Let me use Vegepod as a case in point. Bunnings is currently rolling out Vegepod nationally in time for spring sales. This is so exciting. But in some ways it is a trial… will customers love it? The test of any product is ‘what do customers think’.
The challenge with that is; as Henry Ford once said: “If I had asked my customers, they would have asked for a faster horse.” So whilst customers are the source of any businesses success – ultimately we have to look at trends, society and shifts in behaviour to work out if a ‘new concept’ is likely to get traction.
Matt, the founder of Vegepod, is a guy who just gets things done. An inventor with a passion – but he has also picked a growing trend – home grown vegetables. Matt has solved so many problems with his product. His product evolution aligned with my view on growing trends towards raw food and healthy living.
As a recent ambassador for the NSW Government’s ‘Get Healthy at Work‘ program and Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s ‘Steptember’ fundraiser, you can begin to see what I think also makes good business sense.
So let’s talk about why Vegepod is doing so well, so quickly.
There have been numerous reports citing that the number of overweight children in Australia has doubled in recent years. What this means is that a quarter of children are now considered overweight or obese. This is at epidemic proportions – and it is not getting any better. Unhealthy food choices, lack of physical activity and family eating habits are all considered to be contributing factors.
Housing trends are seeing more and more people moving into apartments, meaning the loss of the backyard and veggie patches. VegePod answers this problem, they provide a great space to grow your own herbs and vegetables in a safe place free from the little mites that love your food as much as you will – nothing tastes better than eating your own home grown beans, or spinach, or tomatoes, or ….. oh I could go on.
Food choices and lack of physical activity are causing our society some concerns. It’s great to see so much education about these problems, and it is even greater when you find a product that is delivering great results for the health of our community. VegePod can help our kids grow vegetables as part of a schools’ program or at home, turning any novice gardener into a pro – it’s a wonderful way of getting kids moving, and introducing them to a healthy eating program by doing it themselves and being aware of what they put in their body.
Shark Tank has been a great experience for these businesses; from their great product to their determination to succeed and their willingness to work with a mentor and take on advice and direction from those who have done it before, they have become a success story. They have kicked their goals and they continue to do so. Even those businesses that don’t get invested in, what they do get is amazing exposure, and I have heard great stories of what that exposure has meant to these businesses and where they have taken that, to their own credit. Applications for season 3 are open now – will you be my next success story?