When Jackson Mann of Minneapolis, Minnesota, entered the Tank to pitch the Sharks on his Vibes startup promoting “high-fidelity earplugs,” he requested for $100,000 for 20% of the corporate. His presentation was easy: Primary earplugs, the sort you’ll be able to simply seize at most pharmacies, are removed from optimum for listening to music. No matter whether or not you are taking part in in a band or taking in a live performance, they simply dampen the sound with none regard for its constancy. He proved this by having his hometown’s McNasty Brass Band play for the Sharks, who had been wowed by how a lot the Vibes earplugs lowered the quantity with out muffling the sound.
With additional scrutiny, although, it grew to become clear that this was not a enterprise that had a lot attraction to the Sharks as an funding alternative. For starters, there was no proprietary know-how. Mark Cuban did not suppose there was a large enough market and dropped out, solely to be joined by visitor Shark Chris Sacca, who felt no one would bear in mind to purchase the earplugs until they had been bought at live shows, which he noticed as a big distribution hurdle. (Cuban, talking as an area proprietor, additionally added that he felt that promoting Vibes at arenas was a non-starter and that they had been too costly to continuously give away, as nicely.)
Barbara Corcoran bowed out over Mann’s iffy salesmanship, and Lori Greiner adopted, feeling that the earplugs can be too troublesome to market. That left Kevin O’Leary, who provided a non-negotiable $100,000 funding for 3% fairness and a $2 per unit royalty till he made his funding again. However Mann knew stepping into that he did not need one in every of “Mr. Great’s” trademark royalty preparations, so he left with out a deal.