Loctote entered the Shark Tank in Season 8 with their drawstring bag that is designed to keep your belongings safe. It is made with a steel reinforced locking strap and brass lock and is slash proof to protect your valuables.
We interviewed founder Don Halpern who said the business idea was born on the beach in St. Croix. It took him about a year and a half to make the first prototype. So far, he’s sold thousands of the bags and is planning to introduce them into major retailers in the future.
Here’s what else he told us about…
How the Idea Came About
The idea behind Loctote came as a result of a family vacation in St. Croix. My wife and kids had all gone back to the room for the day, and I decided to stay out on the beach and do some snorkeling. Before heading out into the water, I put my phone, earbuds, and cash in my shoe, which I covered with a towel and left on a beach chair. I swam out about 100 yards, and when I looked back to shore, I saw an individual shuffling through my stuff on the beach, and then walk away with something in his hand. I yelled to him, and swam back to shore as fast as I could, but by the time I got there, both he and my stuff were gone. This was a real downer for the vacation, and I decided that I needed a solution to prevent something like this from ever happening again.
Advice for Future ‘Tank’ Contestants
Know your stuff. Know all your numbers, how your business operates, and your strategy — and be prepared to defend them. Don’t go in with a ridiculous valuation, or you will spend all your Shark time defending it. Finally, be respectful and don’t argue. You’re not going to change their minds, even if you believe that they are wrong about something. Just accept that they have a different set of background experiences than you that has shaped their world view.
His Experience with Kickstarter
It was great, almost surreal. We set the funding target for our 50-day campaign to $18,000, which we hit on day three. We knew we were on to something when we got a phone call from a casting director for Shark Tank less than two weeks into the campaign. By the end of the campaign we had achieved 4,750% of our goal.
Running a Business in Ohio
The business climate is friendly and supportive. There is a lot of great talent because of all the colleges and universities. The cost of living is low. However, it’s hard to find a nice day or a dramatic backdrop for outdoor photo shoots. There are not a lot of high-profile celebrities living here for us to develop marketing relationships with.
Plans for the Future
We are building a brand of ultra-tough theft resistant lifestyle products. Our development pipeline is packed with innovation. We’ve even started developing our own textiles that are mind blowing. Over the next six months we have some ridiculously cool stuff coming out. Stay tuned.
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