More people than ever are deciding that launching their own business and becoming an entrepreneur that is responsible for their own success in life is the way forward. At every turn, there are new businesses revealing their launch strategy or explaining how they have become successful thanks to raising capital or employing a growth hacking secret. Another way that startups have propelled themselves to the next level is appearing on shows such as ‘Shark Tank’. One example of how this can help a business reach new heights is Keen Home, a company that produces and sells smart devices for the home.
Nayeem Hussain and Nathan Meryash came up with the idea for Keen Home while they were studying for their MBAs from the New York University’s Stern School of Business and founded their company. The pair entered their company into the 2012-2013 Entrepreneur’s Challenge and this got them noticed by those in the tech industry. TechCrunch invited them to take part in the Disrupt Startup Battlefield.
The duo built a prototype of their Smart Vent product just before the competition and also developed many other aspects of their business, such as creating a website, developing their brand, and writing a business plan. Their entrance into the competition led to articles about the company and this, in turn, grew interest in Keen Home and the concept of this brand.
The media attention caught the eye of one of Shark Tank’s producers and he encouraged them to apply to appear in the series. It was several months before they heard that their application was successful, and they appeared on an episode in October 2014.
Shark Robert Herjavec was impressed with their company, which sells home smart devices, and described it as being a trillion-dollar idea. He invested $750,000 into the business on the back of their pitch. This was one of the highest valuations in the history of the show.
Hussain and Meryash knew that when the show was aired, they would have an influx of interest in their products. Even if they had not got the deal with Robert Herjavec, they knew that the exposure from the show would raise the profile of their company and this was why they had agreed to appear on the series in the first instance.
In preparation for the growth in interest, the duo set up a Shopify store for pre-orders and hired extra staff to manage the customer service aspect of their business. Their predictions were correct, and they saw a big influx in sales when their episode of Shark Tank aired. Therefore, the preparations they had made were all worthwhile. According to Hussain, their website received 672 percent more hits in the hours following the episode than they would usually expect in a full day.
The successful pair has said that their appearance on Shark Tank has had a lasting impact. Although it gave their business a boost in the weeks immediately following the episode in which they appeared, the longer lasting effect has been the interest from other media channels. For example, their pitch was written about by 16 news channels.
The direct result of this is the continued interest in their business. Their website traffic has increased by five times since the show aired and their pre-orders also remain strong. This has obviously led to financial success for the duo and their fortunes look set to rise, meaning that Herjavec’s predictions about them having a trillion-dollar idea may not be as far-fetched as it may have seemed.
Although Hussain and Meryash were already on the road to success with Kewen Home prior to appearing on Shark Tank, neither of them can deny the benefits that appearing on the series has had for their business. They have spoken openly to encourage other entrepreneurs to consider doing the same to raise the profile of their companies.
They have advised other entrepreneurs who are thinking of getting investment in this way that what you do prior to the show is essential. They have also said that you need to prepare well to respond to the questions and also prepare for the attention your business will receive. Their final piece of advice is to take action as soon as you have the investment in place to make the most of the momentum.