Ski-z is a company and a product by a pair of entrepreneur partners from Aspen, CO, and Lafayette, LA, that has created a patented new type of ski strap with a wheel so that skiers can wheel their skis to the mountain rather than carry them. The entrepreneurs claim that skis can get heavy and that with their new invention, skiers can now drag or push their skis easily to the lift, even across the snow!
The Ski-z costs $3.50 per unit to manufacture and sells for $19.95 at retail. The business currently has $350,000 in inventory paid for by mortgaging the Louisiana entrepreneur's home.
When the business started in five years before, in 2013, the Ski-z sold $230,000 in just four months. However, between then and 2017, the entrepreneurs experienced a series of personal setbacks. The Aspen entrepreneur was diagnosed with prostate cancer while the Louisiana entrepreneur went through an unexpected divorce. Following that Louisiana was rocked by a hurricane. They had no sales between 2014 and 2015. They project earning $575,000 by the end of the year in which the episode was filmed as they were in talks with a major sports equipment distributor though no sales had yet been made.
In terms of ownership, the Colorado entrepreneur owned 25%, the Louisiana entrepreneur owned 50%, and the Louisiana entrepreneur's new wife owned the last 25%.
Making A Deal
Daymond offered the entrepreneurs their $50,000 in return for 20% but they hesitated in response. Normally this would be cause for a shark to leave the deal but it gave Barbara enough time to come in and give the entrepreneurs exactly what they were looking for at 15%. And, yet, still they hesitated.
When pressed for the reason for their hesitation, the entrepreneurs asked Barbara whether she would also be willing to make a $50,000 line of credit to fund orders a part of the deal. She scoffed, stating that if the orders were there, then of course she'd provide the credit but that if they wanted it to be part of the deal, they should have been upfront about it. Still, she agreed and gave the entrepreneurs exactly what they were looking for with no bite to their valuation.
Normally your Stats Shark would point out some aspect of the deal that wasn't appealing. However, in this case, he feels the need to point out that this product will never be popular among die hard skiers and will either accidentally be bought for them by well intentioned gift givers but never used or sold primarily to people who only hit the slopes once a season. Your Stats Shark is a skier, you see.
The reason this product will not appeal to serious skiers is that there is no place to put it when a person is actually skiing. Once it comes off the skis, where does it go? It can't go into a pocket in a person's ski clothes because, if they fall and land on it, then they will certainly be breaking bones. If you ski with a backpack for water and other supplies like the Stats Shark does, a person still wouldn't put it in there as a fall that flips a person around might also result in broken ribs at the least and a broken spine at the worst.
It's just a ski strap so it probably can't be locked up to a ski rack while someone is skiing. The only real option is to put it into a locker but die hard skiers, especially of the sort who haul their own skis on and off a mountain every day often don't use lockers, carrying only what they need to ski with them and some money to buy something hot in the middle of the day and a beer or three at the end. They don't change their shoes in the lodge. They wear their ski boots up. They walk from the car or bus straight to the lifts.
So where does this go?
It certainly seems like a clever idea but the people to whom it might appeal would see it as just one more thing to carry and have to deal with. Your Stats Shark humbly submits that the market for it is just too small and niche to make this a worthwhile deal.