We interviewed Matt Crooke and Ken Lerner about their company.
Here’s what they told us about…
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How the Idea Came About in 2013
The idea came about when my father had a dream a few months after the events of Sandy. He said, ‘I had this strange dream about a device that will protect cars during floods and storms and I think you need to look into it.’ I took it to heart since my dad doesn’t normally talk about his dreams to me so candidly. So I took the idea to my friend Kenny Lerner. He said, ‘That’s it. We can make that. This is the big one.’
We started prototyping shortly thereafter looking at different compositions of materials. My old 2005 Hyundai Tiberon became the test dummy. We built several tanks and inexpensive above ground pools to test the various bag plastics. Early tests left me with a very wet and soggy car. i think we went through four or five phases of materials to get the right strength and consistency to withstand the compression you’d deal with in a high tide scenario. We got it right about six or seven months later.
Trying Out for the ‘Tank’ in NYC
Last year I was in the process of settling into my relocation in Wilmington, North Carolina having left New York for warmer climates. Kenny called me around May or June and said, ‘So I stood on line in the rain for nine hours to try out for Shark Tank at the Manhattan try outs. I think they are interested.’ I said, ‘Yeah, right.’ I didn’t believe it. But they contacted us. And somehow a year later, here we are! Kenny pulled off a miracle for the business and we are super excited to see it come to fulfillment.
Lori Easing Their Nerves
I think Kenny was very nervous but he ultimately came out swinging for us. Honestly I was nervous until I saw Lori. When we got into the room, she gave me this wide smile as if to say, ‘You’ll be fine,’ and the fear just melted away. It was like she understood what we were feeling without saying anything. She has a very calming way about her.
Future Plans to Help Storm Victims
Our plans are to make the dream come true and get this product out there. We want to save peoples property, protect their investments and ultimately give back to the community. Once we get going we want to donate a portion of the proceeds to help victims of catastrophic storms and their families. At the end of the day that’s what it’s all about, helping people.