Solsource is a company from Burlingame, CA, that has made a solar grill that can cook food with no other source of energy but the sun. This, says the entrepreneur behind the grill, will save not only money on buying charcoal but that it will also prevent the carbon emissions that come with burning fuel.
Making a big claim, the entrepreneur says that "as long as you can see your shadow you can cook with Solsource". The sharks are also told that the Solsource grill heats up to five times faster than a traditional charcoal grill. And, though it doesn't come with one, a temperature guage can be added.
The way a user can moderate or increase the amount of heat their Solsource gril produces is by either covering or uncovering solar ray collection panels.
The Solsource comes in two different sizes, $249 per grill for the small one while the large is $499. The entrepreneur claims that, when sold direct to consumer, the company's margins can be as high as 80%. It is projected that Solsource might earn as much as $500,000 in sales by the end of the year.
The entrepreneur is a doctor who had conducted a research project in the Himalyas. While there, he was inspired after seeing the pollution in people's homes that came from their cooking fuels. His first models were all sold in the Himalyas where the Solsource was bartered in exhange for farm goods and was delivered to his customers via yakk or motorcycle. This only ended because of ethnic conflict in the region and that fact that the entrepreneur almost died twice from parasite illnesses.
Since returning to the States, the entrepreneur admits that he sees the consumer market as a way to fund his R&D into new products For example, Solsource has developed a solar and battery powered hybrid that was developed to let people cook even at night.
Making A Deal
The sharks expressed some skepticism at first about the idea of having a battery powered product. But, eventually, the entrepreneur was able to overcome this and convince Mark to come on board his company. Literally. While Mark originally wanted 5% equity in the company, the entrepreneur was able to talk him down to 4% and a board seat instead.
When coming into the tank, Solsource valued itself at an astonishing $16,600,000. With Mark taking just 1% more than had been originally offered, he effectively bit $4,000,000 off the value and left the company valued at "just" $12,500,000, still a fair amount of money but not quite as astronomical as before.