ZUUM is an electric shoe business founded by Chico Guerra and Mason Buechler. The duo appeared on the latest episode of Shark Tank to pitch their business, in the hopes that the distinguished panel of Sharks would invest.
ZUUM shoes are a lightweight transportation device that’s powered on electricity. “Our core vision is to reinvent the way people think about traveling,” their website states. “ZUUM shoes were invented for all kinds of fun around the house, trips across the neighborhood, those short commutes to work, and so much more.”
Did Guerra and Buechler win over the sharks? Can their shoe design become the future of lightweight transportation? Here’s what we know about the business and the men behind it.
1. ZUUM Offers Self-Balancing Electric Skates for $300
ZUUM shoes offer an eco-friendly alternative to motorcycles and gas-powered scooters. They are a self-balancing electric skate, which means that they are powered on electricity and are simple to move around in. The Bulletin reports that ZUUM shoes have a top speed of 8 MPH, and they are both water and dirt resistant.
ZUUM shoes be worn nonstop for an hour and a half, and can be fully charged within 2 hours. Due to their lightweight design, they are also easy to operate and portable to transport when they are not being worn. To move forward in the shoes, you simply lean forward, and to move back you lean backwards.
You can purchase ZUUM shoes through their official website or Amazon. They cost $300 plus tax and can purchased with either black or blue designs. You can check out the different colors by clicking here.
2. Guerra Was a Sales Representative Prior to Co-Founding ZUUM
Guerra attended Corban University, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance. His Linkedln profile states that worked as a salesman at various companies, including Saint Nicholas Photography and Deltek. For the former, Guerra wrote that he managed registers and checkout lines and “achieved highest sales rank within company with personal sales exceeding $7,000 in total time employed there.”
Despite his accounting background, Guerra’s passion has always been for entrepreneurship. He participated in a real estate startup and he founded his own DJ business in 2018, which he dubbed Guerra Entertainment. The business is based out of Portland, Oregon, and specializes in weddings and birthday parties. That said, Guerra maintains that there is no celebration that’s “not worth celebrating” to him.
“I am a creator, innovator and connector,” he adds in his Linkedln bio. “It’s my goal to start/found multiple businesses, while also using those businesses to supplement my ultimate goal. My ultimate desire is to create businesses in impoverished difficult areas of the world.”
3. Guerra & Buechler Founded ZUUM As a Means of Reducing Our Carbon Footprint
Guerra and Beuchler founded ZUUM in 2018. The former told The Bulletin that they wanted to find a way to reduce mankind’s carbon footprint, and that creating a product that was both aesthetically pleasing and eco-friendly was the way to achieve it.
“Growing up in a city like Portland has instilled a passion for sustainability and innovation into each of our characters. When we wanted to bring those two worlds together, the idea of ZUUM emerged,” Guerra told Red Bull. “The inspiration for ZUUM came from our desire to disrupt and innovate on top of the current personal electric transportation market.”
Guerra and Beuchler also run a YouTube channel where they offer tutorials on how to use the ZUUM shoes, and how to maximize speed without losing control or falling down. You can check out the tutorial and other videos by clicking here.
4. ZUUM Shoes Have Raised Over $25K on KickStarter & IndieGogo
Guerra and Buechler launched an IndieGogo and KickStarter campaign for ZUUM in January 2019, and they have already managed to raise $25K. Guerra said that their initial shipment sold out quicker than they planned, and he believes the popularity of the shoes is indicative of a growing desire for alternative transportation.
“There’s a fast growth in pop culture for alternative automotive transportation,” he explained to Red Bull. “ZUUM envisions being a quality provider to consumers for that. Not only for hover shoes but e-bikes, e-boards, e-scooters, and e-unicycles alike.”
ZUUM shoes were featured on a list of the Business Insider‘s 12 Most Innovative Transportation Products on Indiegogo. The outlet claims that ZUUM shoes are an improvement on their predecessor, the hoverboard, as the solid rubber tires used to make the shoes are more durable than those used for various hoverboard products.
5. None of the ‘Shark Tank’ Panelists Made an Offer for ZUUM
Shark Tank Blog reports that Guerra and Beuchler have had to contend with imitations and similar designs, and they wanted a Shark Tank investor to help them stay competitive. They were also looking to expand their brand visibility, and get into chain stores.
Guerra and Beuchler asked for $500K for 20% of their business. They do not have the rights to the technology, and they told the panel that they plan to use the money they are asking for to make custom designs. Mark Cuban felt that their accessibility to the technology (which is manufactured in China) did not them unique enough, and pulled out.
Barbara Corcoran and Lori Greiner also said they were out on the grounds that Guerra and Beuchler do not have a strong enough game plan. None of the Sharks wound up making an offer. Afterwards, Guerra said they will continue to push ahead with their business, and will take the criticisms that the panel gave them to heart.