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‘Shark Tank’ investor Barbara Corcoran explains why every 20-something should spend a week using only cash

When Barbara Corcoran set off on her own after college, moving from New Jersey to New York City to try her hand at selling real estate, she lived off money she didn't have. Between bouncing checks and charging purchases she kn...

By | 2016-07-20T15:00:00-05:00 March 21st, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

How this ‘Shark Tank’ entrepreneur negotiated hard for a $2 million deal with Kevin O’Leary and Lori Greiner

vengo shark tank

Vengo Labs founding CEO Brian Shimmerlik not only had the confidence to demand that "Shark Tank" investors Kevin O'Leary and Lori Greiner adjust their joint offer before he would accept their $2 million, he had the tact to pull it off.

Shimmerlik and his cofounder, Steven Bofill, left the Tank with $2 million in venture debt, to be paid over three years at 7% interest, in return for just 3% equity of their digital-vending-machine company.

Before arriving on set last summer for a Season 7 taping, Bofill told Business Insider he "never thought they'd get to a deal like that.

Shimmerlik and Bofill entered the pitch room seeking $2 million in exchange for 12.5% equity. They explained how they started Vengo Labs in 2011 as a way to revolutionize the vending-machine space.

Each Vengo machine is a compact, wall-mounted device that carries six products it advertises with video demonstrations and text.

The intention is to create something akin to an online-shopping experience but with an immediate reward, located in places where target consumers spend time already — like college dormitories.

The two entrepreneurs were able to garner interest in their idea from high-profile investors in their hometown of New York City, including Gary Vaynerchuk, David Tisch, and the NYU Venture Innovation Fund.

Before their "Shark Tank" appearance, they raised $3.4 million over a seed and Series A round.

vengoVengo operates by selling a unit to a vending-machine company for $2,500, breaking even, and then charges the purchaser of the unit a $20 monthly fee for access to the machine's cloud-based software and maintenance insurance.

The owner of each unit can then arrange with Vengo to place their own products in the machine, as well as make use of the company's network of partners, including brands like Hershey's and skin-care company Kiehl's.

Each brand is charged a monthly fee of $200 per unique product per machine per month — not a cheap price, but one that Shimmerlik said comes with an attractive margin for each partner.

Shimmerlik and Bofill told the Sharks that their business model would lead to $1 million in revenue in 2015, at a loss of $300,000, but that their growth would cause them to break even the next year.

Mark Cuban, Daymond John, and Robert Herjavec didn't want to get involved, but O'Leary kicked off negotiations among himself, Greiner, and Shimmerlik. Here's a summary of how it played out:

  • Kevin O'Leary: Would you like to make a debt deal?
  • Brian Shimmerlik: We don't have any, but I'm open to it.
  • O'Leary: I'll give you $2 million in venture debt as a three-year loan at 7% interest, and I'll get 6% equity in return for the risk. The three years will be sufficient to test proof of concept.
  • Shimmerlik: How did you reach that 6%?
  • O'Leary: I just asked for it. It seems fair.
  • Lori Greiner: I like the concept, but I think the design needs work to be more appealing and useful.
  • Shimmerlik: Kevin and Lori, would you be interested in splitting a deal?
  • O'Leary/Greiner: Sure.
  • Shimmerlik: We like the debt terms, but the 6% is much too high. We'll give 1%.
  • O'Leary/Greiner: We'd be working too closely with you for just half a percent each. No way.
  • Shimmerlik: That's my final counter.
  • O'Leary: We can do 3% equity.
  • Greiner: No, we should each get 2%. Let's have 4%.
  • Shimmerlik: We've already worked with investors and we know that's below market value.
  • O'Leary: Sharks can't be held to those same standards. We are much more involved than a typical investor and can get you tremendously valuable exposure. And you'll be getting not one Shark, but two.
  • Shimmerlik: That's a good point. I'll make just one more counter: 2.5% equity.
  • O'Leary/Greiner: We'll do 3.5%.
  • Shimmerlik: That's still too much for us. My final offer is 2.5%. We'd love to work with you.
  • O'Leary/Greiner: Our last offer is 3%.
  • Shimmerlik: Deal.

Shimmerlik told us that the negotiation process went well for him because there was mutual respect between himself and the investors rather than condescension, and that it was fun working out a deal. "I could tell O'Leary loved it," Shimmerlik said.

Following their "Shark Tank" appearance, the Vengo Labs team secured an additional $2 million from Armory Square Ventures in October. Vengo is planning to use its war chest to expand its reach to 1,000 units in four cities across four continents, and expect to make $2 million in revenue this year.

Shimmerlik explained that what makes the partnership with O'Leary and Greiner so appealing is not only their star power, but also their investments in a wide variety of Vengo-friendly products, like O'Leary's Bottle Breacher bottle opener.

"It's wild," Shimmerlik said of the "Shark Tank" experience. "Totally."

SEE ALSO: 'Shark Tank' investor Barbara Corcoran says blowing $67,000 was probably the happiest day of her life

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NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' star Robert Herjavec on the challenges standing in the way of entrepreneurs

By | 2016-03-21T15:00:00-05:00 March 19th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Barbara Corcoran to ‘Shark Tank’ entrepreneurs who made $2 million in 3 months: ‘Pretend you’re poor’

barbara corcoran

PiperWai cofounders Jess Edelstein and Sarah Ribner were underdogs when they pitched their all-natural deodorant to the investors on "Shark Tank" last summer.

They could claim $100,000 in sales — not bad for a company just under a year old — but it was far from enough to convince most of the Sharks that PiperWai could compete in such a crowded field.

Barbara Corcoran admired Edelstein and Ribner and decided to make a deal for $50,000 in exchange for 25% of the company. When the episode aired in December, the tiny company made a big splash. In the past three months, PiperWai has brought in more than $2 million in sales.

The sudden explosive success known as "the 'Shark Tank' effect" can actually be a curse to a business whose owners aren't prepared for it, and so Corcoran stepped in to guide them. Her advice to Edelstein and Ribner, she told Business Insider at a Zebit event on Tuesday: "Don't spend the money. Lock it up. Pretend you're poor."

PiperWai wasn't built on a major investment. "What got them from Point A to Point B is not money, but creativity, intelligence, and chutzpah," Corcoran said. "And that's exactly what's going to build them a huge empire in the future."

piper wai

Corcoran has also taught them the value of moving quickly and boldly. When the original PiperWai manufacturer couldn't keep up with the spike in demand following the "Shark Tank" episode premiere, resulting in weeks of back orders, Corcoran encouraged the cofounders to fire their unreliable partner and find a new supplier.

"And fortunately for me, they're women that listen," Corcoran said. "I can't say that about all my entrepreneurs."

She said that many "Shark Tank" entrepreneurs become reckless with their money during the sales spike following their episode premiere, as if the "Shark Tank" buzz is everlasting. It's why she's telling them to remain disciplined and focused, and to not let the flow of income distract them from building a foundation that can be scaled.

"They'll have a huge business — you wait and watch," Corcoran said.

SEE ALSO: 'Shark Tank' investor Lori Greiner explains the 7 things she looks for in a pitch

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NOW WATCH: How Barbara Corcoran uses 'manterruptions' to beat the other sharks

By | 2016-03-28T10:05:24-05:00 March 17th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

‘Shark Tank’ investor Daymond John shares 9 business books he thinks everyone should read

daymond john

As a 14-year-old, Daymond John had yet to be diagnosed with dyslexia but knew that he struggled with reading.

But there was one book — Napoleon Hill's 1937 classic "Think and Grow Rich" — that so enthralled him that he not only pushed through it, but decided to read it again every year.

In John's own book, "The Power of Broke," he writes that the tome profoundly changed his mindset from focusing on what he didn't want to become to instead concentrating on what he did want to become. This shift allowed him to start the FUBU clothing brand in his early 20s and then grow it into a multimillion-dollar business, he says.

In a recent Reddit AMA, the "Shark Tank" investor shared several books that he thinks every new entrepreneur should read. We've collected them here along with some books John previously told Business Insider had changed his life.

SEE ALSO: 'Shark Tank' investor Daymond John says this daily ritual changed his life

'Think and Grow Rich' by Napoleon Hill

When the legendary businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie met Hill as a young journalist in 1908, Carnegie decided he liked Hill so much that he would use him as a vehicle for distributing the strategies he considered responsible for his success. This essentially launched Hill's career as one of the founders of the personal-success genre.

Hill's greatest work, "Think and Grow Rich," was first published in 1937 and became one of the top-selling books of all time. It's a collection of insights derived from interviews with Carnegie, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford that teaches readers how to develop the drive and habits necessary to maximize one's potential.

"The main takeaway from that was goal-setting," John says. "It was the fact that if you don't set a specific goal, then how can you expect to hit it?" One of the fundamental ideas in the book is determining your purpose in life and working toward concrete milestones.

John says that "Think and Grow Rich" made him realize that when he didn't set very specific goals for himself, he could find himself making excuses for why he wasn't working as hard as he could.

Find it here »



'How to Win Friends & Influence People' by Dale Carnegie

John says that he's a fan of all of Carnegie's books. Carnegie was a contemporary of Hill's, and his writings on how to maximize success have had just as much longevity.

Carnegie's most widely read book is "How to Win Friends and Influence People," first published in 1936. It is a collection of advice on self-promotion and describes how the most influential people listen more than they speak.

Warren Buffett famously took Carnegie's class on the subject when he was 20 and still has the diploma he received for it in his office.

Find it here »



'Who Moved My Cheese?' by Spencer Johnson

Johnson's parable has been a consistently best-selling business book since it was released in 1998. It tells the story of two mice and two sprite-like people living in a maze where the location of the cheese suddenly starts changing every day.

When Johnson wrote the book, companies around the world were adapting to the rise of a more accessible internet and new ways of doing business. Its lessons on how to let go of a fear of change, however, are timeless.

John says that he used to think that throwing money at a failing business would somehow save it, but at this point in his career he understands that he needs to take a more measured approach.

"Money's not going to make it any better. It may make the opportunity come faster, but it also can hurt you if you think that money's going to solve it," John says.

Find it here »



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

By | 2016-03-15T09:49:15-05:00 February 29th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments