Matthew Wilson, Special to USA TODAY
Published 10:01 p.m. ET Oct. 27, 2019
After 10 seasons and 2,000 pitches, ‘Shark Tank’ sharks talk about the best, worst and funniest pitches they’ve heard.
Harrison Hill, USA TODAY
Riding in on a golf cart, Tyler Stuart and John Krosky entered the tank asking for $300,000 for an 8% stake of their company Golfkicks. Gone are traditional golf cleats. By inserting plastic cleats into the sole of the shoe, Golfkicks can turn any sneaker, flip-flop or boot into golf shoes.
“The problem we tackle is people are just tired of golf shoes,” Stuart said. “They’re ugly, uncomfortable, expensive.”
The Denver entrepreneurs sold out their first version of their product, and the two are working on a more durable, improved version that doesn’t require digging small pilot holes in the shoe’s sole to insert the cleats.
Shark Daymond John was initially skeptical of their $3 million valuation for the company, but initial sales of $120,000 turned him into a believer.
Highlights and lowlights: ‘Shark Tank’: Investors recall show’s best and worst pitches, and the one that got away
“That makes sense. Why don’t you ask for a cool $5 million?” John said. Because he’s not a golfer, John didn’t think the product was a good fit. “Why does anyone play golf? Because I hate it. Here’s my general thought about it. You want a partner who’s obviously passionate about that stuff. I don’t relate to this business at all.”
Guest shark Mark Higgins agreed.
Navigating the tricky distribution system associated with golf products made shark Kevin O’Leary pause. Based on Stuart and Krosky’s valuation, Mr. Wonderful didn’t think Golfkicks was worth the required effort: “I’m looking at it saying,‘I wish it wasn’t $300,000.’ Because it’s a product. It isn’t really a company yet. The way you structured the deal makes it hard for me to maneuver.”
A passionate golfer, shark Lori Greiner liked the company’s product but found it a risky investment. Greiner would give them the $300,000 as a loan with 8% interest rate for 5% of the company. She also wanted a $1 royalty on every until sold until the loan is repaid.
“Listen, you’re brand new,” Greiner said. “You’re just starting. You don’t even have down the final iteration, which I would think you have that coming any day.”
Given Golfkick’s high margins, John questioned why she asked for such a low royalty, and when Stuart and Krosky didn’t immediately respond, Greiner decided to increase it to $2 per unit for keeping her waiting.
Shark Mark Cuban found a royalty to be ridiculous. Though not a huge fan of golfing, Cuban saw value for the company in the realm of kids sports. He offered them the $300,000 for a 15% stake: “Once you get into kids sports, that’s where I think your grand slam is.”
Stuart and Krosky countered with 12%, but agreed to a deal with Cuban for a 13% stake.
“We’re going to make some money,” Cuban said. “It’ll be a lot of fun, guys. I might even get back on the course.”
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