Back on season 9, episode 2 of Shark Tank, which aired fall 2017, Ryan Diew appeared in front of the sharks to pitch his app called Trippie, which “takes the guesswork and turbulence out of navigating the world’s busiest airports.” He asked the investors for $100,000 for a 10 percent stake in his company, but they all passed, citing various reasons like they didn’t think the app solved the right problem or that it didn’t seem like a full business.
In light of ABC News special Shark Tank: Greatest of All Time, which is taking a look back at some of the most unforgettable pitches over the years, here’s what happened to Trippie after its Shark Tank disappointment.
Diew Kept Expanding Trippie Without Shark Tank’s Help
On his way out the door when he initially appeared on Shark Tank, Diew commented that he didn’t have a “rich uncle” to help him out and shark Mark Cuban challenged him to prove them wrong.
In a 2017 interview with Business 2 Community, Diew said he did just that with his app that is designed to help travelers navigate through often busy and sometimes confusing airport terminals.
“At the time that we recorded the episode, we were in four airports. Now Trippie is in 22 airports across the world. Trippie’s U.S. airports are responsible for 82 percent of all U.S. air traffic. Since the show aired, our userbase grew substantially and we were able to get a lot of amazing feedback for future iterations of the app,” said Diew.
Diew did acknowledge that he should have kept his cool a little better when faced with the sharks’ rejection, but it was hard because he’s “so passionate” about his work and it was hard to be told no. Still, he said it was a great opportunity even if they didn’t invest in his product.
“[A]lthough it was definitely tough to deal with the aftermath of my controversial pitch … I take the whole thing as a learning experience for me. Millions of people got a chance to see my product and brand and the exposure has helped so much. I’m thankful for the opportunity,” said Diew, though he added that his portrayal of an “entitled millennial” on the show “could not be further from the truth.”
“The point that I was trying to make was that without many resources and time I’ve been able to make a solid product — so imagine if I had more resources. Just wanted to clear the air with that one. That portrayed narrative really bothered me the most,” said Diew.
In 2018, Trippie Won a Tech Done Right Competition in Oakland
Trippie has continued to expand even after that 2017 interview. In December 2018, Diew won a “Tech Done Right” pitch competition hosted by Oakland Startup Network; Trippie won $10,000 from being named “Crowd Favorite” at the competition.
Then a few months later, 42 Silicon Valley, a software engineering school in Fremont, California, named Diew one of its Top African-Americans in Tech, citing the fact that he learned how to build an app largely by watching things like YouTube tutorials, which “aligns with the 42 pedagogy where students are encouraged to use a diverse array of online resources as learning tutorials.”