Entrepreneurs Chris Ellis and Josh Aviv took their company, SparkCharge to the Sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank to see if they could score an investment in their technology.
The founders pitched their product to Sharks Lori Greiner, Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John as well as guest Shark Blake Mycoskie. The premiere episode of the season was filmed in Las Vegas in August 2020 with extensive COVID-19 safety protocols in place.
According to the episode synopsis, the men are “two tech-savvy entrepreneurs from Somerville, Massachusetts” who “put the pedal to the metal when they show off their portable electric vehicle charger.”
Here’s what you should know about SparkCharge from Shark Tank:
1. The Co-Founders Have Diverse Backgrounds
Co-founders Joshua Aviv, Chris Ellis and Richard Whitney come from diverse backgrounds, according to their LinkedIn pages.
Aviv graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Arts in economics in 2015 and went on to receive a certificate in Data Science as well as a Master of Science in information management, which he received in 2017. He has worked as a researcher, a communications and web development assistant, data and marketing supervisor, and is now the CEO of SparkCharge.
Chris Ellis is the chief technology officer at SparkCharge. Ellis attended Onondaga Community College and later the University of California, San Diego where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering.
Richard Whitney is the chief engineer at SparkCharge. He attended the Rochester Institute of Technology where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in electrical engineering technology in 2016. He has been full-time at SparkCharge since January 2018.
2. They Have Raised Over $5 Million
Long-time Shark Tank viewers know that sometimes the sharks hesitate when companies have raised too much money before getting onto the show, and that may be something that SparkCharge runs into while in the tank.
According to All Shark Tank products, SparkCharge raised $5 million since its launch in 2017.
Since electric vehicles are growing in popularity, it’s possible that the Sharks will still see this product as something they want in their portfolio, however.
3. The Product Comes in Four Sizes
At the time of writing, the SparkCharge is available to purchase in four different sizes, which consumers will choose from depending on their independent needs, according to the SparkCharge website.
The “Level 1 Package” is the smallest of the SparkCharge products and will offer drivers an additional 24-30 miles of range when used. The “Level 2 Package” is just a bit bigger, offering 10.5 kWh and adding 36-45 miles of range in one charge.
The two larger chargers are the “Level 3 Package” and the “Level 4 Package.” The Level 3 offers 48-60 miles of range, and the biggest charger offers 60-75 miles of range per charge.
4. The Co-Founders Watched Every Episode of ‘Shark Tank’
According to an interview with WKBW News, the founders watched every single episode of Shark Tank in order to prepare for their appearance on the show.
“We actually prepared by watching every episode of Shark Tank,” Ellis told the outlet. “From the moment we decided it was the right time to apply for the show we started watching Shark Tank to understand what we needed to do to secure a deal on the show because it’s really what it’s all about.”
Aviv told the outlet that being on the show was a “thrill” and also called their time in the tank a “great learning experience.”
5. TheyAim to be Sustainable & Eco-Friendly
According to the SparkCharge website, the company is very interested in sustainability, social impact and the democratization of energy.
“Our commitment to sustainability is inherent in everything we do – from our company culture to the lifecycle of our product,” the website reads. “We endeavor to create closed-loop systems to keep our ecological and carbon footprint as small as possible, and actively combat the causes of climate change.”
The website states that each portable charging station can last four years or more depending on how often it is used by the consumer.
Shark Tank airs on Fridays at 8 p.m./7 p.m. central on ABC. Tune in to see if the Spark Charge founders get a deal.