We’re eight days from the ABC Shark Tank talent search!
In a little over a week NextFab will be teeming with inventors, entrepreneurs, and creators all vying for a chance to be on the hit television show Shark Tank.
We had our first of two Shark Tank related events this past Tuesday. We offered entrepreneurs a chance to test their elevator pitch to a panel of celebrity business experts from Wharton Business School, Philly StartUp Leaders, and IP / Business law specialists. Each presenter was given valuable feedback on business stategy, financing, and negotiation.
NextFab member Howie Rosenshine participated in this event and presented his ingenious Shovelution! Howie was gracious enough to speak to us about his experience in front of the mock sharks.
1. How was your experience overall at the mock Shark Tank event?
There is no substitute for standing in front of real live stone faced strangers while trying to pitch your idea, particularly if you don’t do this sort of thing often. So that was quite valuable for me.
2. Do you feel prepared to give your big pitch on May 11th?
Not really, but I certainly do need to practice loosening up and probably speaking up as well.
3. What advice can you share with other presenters?
You should always present ideas, bullets, whatever in groups of three, because people remember best in groups of three. If you have sub items, then arrange them in groups of three as well, etc.
This may take some practice, but it is worth it. It is a simple and effective communications technique.
Remember, three only.
4. How did your idea evolve from shovel to shovelution?
The patent for my auxiliary handle for a shovel was issued in 1995, and it took about a year for the patent office to process it before issuing it. And I certainly spent a number of years during the process of invention and creating and submitting the patent application. I can’t remember how many exactly…my memory isn’t what it never was.
5. What part did NextFab play in the development of your prototype and finished item?
Tomorrow, I am having 2000 custom injection molded pieces delivered for the Shovelution. I did the CAD for those pieces, the 3D printing of the various prototypes on the Stratasys and the modifications necessary for a successful mold run (first try).
6. On a scale of 1 to 10 how nervous are you for the 11th?
I’m pretty nervous, typically.
7. On a scale of 1 to 10 how excited are you for the 11th?
I don’t get excited, typically.
8. Any last tips, tricks, or pointers you can share?
Sure, you know how they say you should picture your audience naked to stop from being nervous during your presentation. Well let’s say there are 3 people you are presenting to for the Shark tank pitch. If you take even 10 seconds for each judge/listener you’ve already blown 1/2 of your allotted time.
So my advice is to skip the naked reconstruction, and use the full 60 seconds for your pitch.
You can always linger afterwards.
Also, can you give us a little bio on you. What makes Howie tick! I mean besides the fact you’re hilariously funny.
I have undergraduate and graduate degrees, in Molecular Biology and Computer Science, from Penn State and Penn, respectively. I spent much of my career at Sun Microsystems (which was purchased by Oracle a few years back) as a software and/or systems engineer, until Oracle decided that I needed a change of scenery.
At heart I am a problem solver. It feels the same to me whether I’m solving a software problem, a hardware problem, a mechanical problem etc. That’s not to say I’m equally good at all of them, or in fact to imply that I’m any good at any of them at all. But that is how I perceive the world.