Tag Archives: Shark Tank

ULI Arizona Shark Tank Flyer art

ULI seeking real estate proposals for ‘Shark Tank’ event

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Arizona District Council is seeking proposals from local real estate entrepreneurs to showcase and pitch their projects at the popular ULI Shark Tank event.  Real money and expert deal making advice is at stake for successful candidates with real estate development experience, an active and interesting deal to discuss, and the ability to make a concise and captivating presentation.

 

All proposals will be evaluated by a panel of ‘sharks’ including Steven J. Hilton, Meritage Homes Corporation; F. Francis Najafi, Pivotal Group; and Robert Sarver, Western Alliance Bancorporation.  C. Joseph Blackbourn, Everest Holdings, will be the moderator.

 

The top proposals will be selected as the feature presentations at the November 5 event held at The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale.  Presenters will gain exposure to over 200 industry professionals, including a wide array of lenders, private investors, developers, architects, and others, providing both capital and expertise to help bring their project to fruition.

 

Deadline for Submittal:            September 30, 5 p.m.

 

Submit Proposals to:                 Carrie.Martin@ULI.org

 

Requirements:   - Biography and CV of the proposed presenter

- Summary-level outline of the investment request with project description, maps, etc.

- Cover letter expressing interest in participation in Shark Tank

- Finalists will participate in two to three planning conference calls with                                                         ULI staff and the Shark Tank event moderator

 

Benefits to Presenters:   - Constructive feedback from actual real estate icons

- A thorough vetting of all high-level project plans/assumptions

- Presentation experience and practice pitching your deal

- Immediate access to the knowledgeable ULI industry leaders

- Exposure to potential capital investors in the audience

 

More Information:              www.arizona.uli.org

Money TV, WEB

If the Price is Right: Reality TV’s effect on local businesses

An appearance on reality TV can be an effective marketing tool for any business. However, it sometimes comes at a price. There are many considerations for a business to make before exposing itself to public curiosity and scrutiny.

Arizona has seen many of its businesses take the risk of appearing on TV, whether its Amy’s Baking Co. making its now-infamous appearance on Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares” or the bright-eyed youngsters of MistoBox who successfully pitched their business to Mark Cuban on “Shark Tank.”

While the experiences vary, there is a general consensus that the marketing power of reality TV is unparalleled, as not only does it often offer further reach than at the disposal of most small to medium sized companies, it is also completely free.

“Even if you look bad, you still get exposure,” said Connor Riley, co-founder of MistoBox, a company that distributes a variety of artisan coffees to monthly subscribers.

Riley’s experience with reality TV is unique.  His business, which he co-founded with Samantha Meis, was started as a project for the University of Arizona’s entrepreneurship program. They were offered the opportunity to pitch their business to the investors on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” a show where startups can pitch their ideas to celebrity investors Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Barbara Corcoran, and Kevin O’Leary.
Given that the show offers an opportunity to gain much needed capital, there was much more at stake than just marketing for Riley and Meis.  Nevertheless, he said that the marketing has proven to be significantly more crucial to the company’s success than Mark Cuban’s investment.

According to Riley, when the episode first aired his website crashed after having 100,000 unique visitors, 5 percent of which converted into sales.

“Our business grew 300 percent in a week,” he said.  “We’ve had pretty steady growth since and we haven’t had to spend a ton of money on exposure and advertising.”

Riley said, based on his experience, he would recommend any business to give reality TV a shot.

“You have nothing to lose,” he said.

Some would argue on the contrary, however.  One factor that seems to change the experience of the business appearing on a reality TV show is the nature of the program itself.

Howard Hughes, owner or Stand-Up Scottsdale, had a markedly different experience than Riley.

“It was ridiculous to see what story was told,” he said.  “It was just bogus.”

While he agreed that the exposure was beneficial, he said that there are other factors of a TV appearance that often get overlooked.

Last year Hughes appeared on “Bar Rescue,” a show that renovates struggling bars across the country. While he acknowledged the show did bring the bar exposure, he thinks that the actual changes to his bar might have caused more harm than good.

According to Hughes, the show made a lot of thoughtless alterations, including removing chairs and a grill that had to be replaced.

“We still get five to 10 people who come in each week because they saw the show,” he said.  “But, without fail, every single person who has come in, when I give them a tour of the place, they’re dumbfounded by the reality of the changes.”

He speculated that a lot of the changes made were for TV aesthetics, without concern for the actual benefit of the bar.

“They have a story they want to tell, and they’re going to tell that story,” he said.  “Had they aired my disappointment in the reveal, people would have got a totally different story.”

TV personality Zane Lamprey is on the other side of things.

Host of shows such as “Three Sheets” and “Drinking Made Easy,” he has acted as the medium of exposure for many small bars across the country.

While filming for “Drinking Made Easy,” he visited several bars in Arizona including Four Peaks Brewery, Aunt Chilada’s, and Chuey’s Mini Bar.

When shooting for any of his shows, Lamprey recognizes the unspoken negotiation between the show and the business.  In the ideal “win-win” scenario, the show gets free content and the business gets free exposure.
“We wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t beneficial to them,” he said.

There is a third party involved in this negotiation, however.  While the bar would like the show to highlight it’s amenities as much as possible, the program cannot not do so at expense to the audiences enjoyment.

“Our objective is to feature the brewery, but also have fun,” he said.  “The TV show has to be entertaining.”

Lamprey said that he avoids scenarios like the one faced by Hughes on “Bar Rescue” by being as convenient as possible for the bar.  He makes sure that he only films during off peak hours and does not enter with any kind of agenda.

He said that experiences like the one Hughes faced are frequent with other programs.

“If someone says they don’t want to appear on my show it’ almost always after a bad experience with another show,” he said.  “We make sure we’re the easiest show that could ever some through these places.”

Although Hughes said he wouldn’t go on “Bar Rescue” again, he still acknowledged that the free marketing that correlates with a TV appearance is powerful.

“I wouldn’t do a show where they come in and run things how they want again, but I’d do one that just offers the exposure,” he said, adding that despite the annoyance of fixing the damage caused by Bar Rescue’s renovations, Stand-Up Scottsdale still “benefited a little bit.”

The effect a reality TV appearance can have on a business depends greatly on the nature of the show and the business itself.  The rewards can be massive though, particularly for a startup that lacks the funds to subsidize a serious marketing effort.

“The opportunity to get the 6 million or 7 million live viewers is something we’d have to spend millions of dollars to duplicate,” he said.

rsz_uli_arizona_markban_logotype_rgb300

ULI Seeking Proposals for Inaugural Shark Tank Event

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Arizona is seeking proposals from local real estate entrepreneurs to showcase and pitch their projects at the first annual Shark Tank event. Successful candidates will have real estate development experience, an active and interesting deal to discuss and the ability to make a concise and captivating presentation.

All proposals will be evaluated by a panel of ‘sharks’ including; Daryl Burton, Presson Corporation, I. Michael Kasser, Holualoa Companies and Craig Krumwiede, Harvard Investments and moderated by C. Joeseph Blackbourn, Everest Holdings.

The top proposals will be selected as the feature presentations at the November 20th event held at the Montelucia Resort in Paradise Valley. Presenters will gain exposure to over 200 industry professionals, including a wide array of lenders, private investors, developers, architects, and others, providing both capital and expertise to help bring their project to fruition.

 

Deadline for Submittal: October 25, 2013, 5:00 pm

 

Submit Proposals to: Carrie.Martin@ULI.org

 

Requirements: – Biography and CV of the proposed presenter

- Summary-level outline of the investment request with project description, maps, etc.

- Cover letter expressing interest in participation in Shark Tank

- Finalists will participate in 2 – 3 planning conference calls with ULI staff and the Shark Tank event moderator

 

Benefits to Presenters:Constructive feedback from actual real estate icons

– A thorough vetting of all high-level project plans/assumptions

– Presentation experience and practice pitching your deal

– Immediate access to the knowledgeable ULI industry leaders

- Exposure to potential capital investors in the audience

 

More Information: www.arizona.uli.org

coffee beans

Phoenix Coffee Company going to ‘Shark Tank’

Local entrepreneurs Connor Riley and Samantha Meis, the cofounders of MistoBox, are taking the plunge into the “tank” to pitch their business idea on ABC’s hit reality television series Shark Tank on Friday May 3rd at 7 p.m.

On the show Riley and Meis will be introduced to a panel of five wealthy millionaire and billionaire investors (“sharks”) where they will pitch MistoBox, a company aimed at revolutionizing the way people buy and discover coffee. Riley and Meis were selected among 36,000 applicants to pitch their innovative business idea in hopes of getting their venture funded.

“Getting to pitch to the investors on Shark Tank was a once in a lifetime experience. It was so exciting and terrifying all at the same time!” said Meis.

MistoBox, based out of Downtown Phoenix’s revitalized warehouse district, sends subscribers four exceptional coffees each month from artisan roasters across the country.  In order to narrow it down, each month a panel of MistoBox coffee experts taste more than 50 coffees submitted by different coffee roasters to decide which make the cut and are delivered to subscribers’ doorsteps. Subscribers can then brew each of the selected coffees and pick a favorite. When they find one they love, they can head back to MistoBox’s online shop to get up to two full bags of their favorite with free shipping.  It’s just enough coffee to tide subscribers over until their next MistoBox is delivered, and they discover their next favorite!

Local favorite Cartel Coffee, based out of Tempe, was featured just last month. “This was by far one of our most popular coffees featured ever, and it’s local which is great! We love supporting local companies,” said Meis.

You could say Riley, a Phoenix native, and Meis are two adventurers with an entrepreneurial spirit. The pair met while studying abroad in Spain where they fulfilled their need for adventure by running with the bulls together.

A year after returning back to the University of Arizona in Tucson, they were paired up in the Entrepreneurship Program at the Eller College of Management where they were given a class assignment to come up with an innovative business idea. They absolutely loved coffee and wanted to figure out a way to get delicious coffees – from the best roasters – into more people’s homes. MistoBox was born on their college graduation day in 2012 and began with funding from a successful Kickstarter project, an online platform for raising funds and gaining investors for a startup company. Since, the two have moved the company to Phoenix and are expanding their network of coffee-crazed subscribers every day!

“It is incredible the response we’re getting,” said Riley. “In the fast-paced lives we all live, it’s convenient and exciting for people to get these great coffees without having to take the extra time find them.”

Will the sharks “bite” on MistoBox? Tune in to ABC on Friday, May 3rd at 7 p.m. to find out.

coffee beans

Phoenix Coffee Company going to 'Shark Tank'

Local entrepreneurs Connor Riley and Samantha Meis, the cofounders of MistoBox, are taking the plunge into the “tank” to pitch their business idea on ABC’s hit reality television series Shark Tank on Friday May 3rd at 7 p.m.

On the show Riley and Meis will be introduced to a panel of five wealthy millionaire and billionaire investors (“sharks”) where they will pitch MistoBox, a company aimed at revolutionizing the way people buy and discover coffee. Riley and Meis were selected among 36,000 applicants to pitch their innovative business idea in hopes of getting their venture funded.

“Getting to pitch to the investors on Shark Tank was a once in a lifetime experience. It was so exciting and terrifying all at the same time!” said Meis.

MistoBox, based out of Downtown Phoenix’s revitalized warehouse district, sends subscribers four exceptional coffees each month from artisan roasters across the country.  In order to narrow it down, each month a panel of MistoBox coffee experts taste more than 50 coffees submitted by different coffee roasters to decide which make the cut and are delivered to subscribers’ doorsteps. Subscribers can then brew each of the selected coffees and pick a favorite. When they find one they love, they can head back to MistoBox’s online shop to get up to two full bags of their favorite with free shipping.  It’s just enough coffee to tide subscribers over until their next MistoBox is delivered, and they discover their next favorite!

Local favorite Cartel Coffee, based out of Tempe, was featured just last month. “This was by far one of our most popular coffees featured ever, and it’s local which is great! We love supporting local companies,” said Meis.

You could say Riley, a Phoenix native, and Meis are two adventurers with an entrepreneurial spirit. The pair met while studying abroad in Spain where they fulfilled their need for adventure by running with the bulls together.

A year after returning back to the University of Arizona in Tucson, they were paired up in the Entrepreneurship Program at the Eller College of Management where they were given a class assignment to come up with an innovative business idea. They absolutely loved coffee and wanted to figure out a way to get delicious coffees – from the best roasters – into more people’s homes. MistoBox was born on their college graduation day in 2012 and began with funding from a successful Kickstarter project, an online platform for raising funds and gaining investors for a startup company. Since, the two have moved the company to Phoenix and are expanding their network of coffee-crazed subscribers every day!

“It is incredible the response we’re getting,” said Riley. “In the fast-paced lives we all live, it’s convenient and exciting for people to get these great coffees without having to take the extra time find them.”

Will the sharks “bite” on MistoBox? Tune in to ABC on Friday, May 3rd at 7 p.m. to find out.

Michael Levin photo May 2011

Writing a New Book? Here Are the Tools

Success leaves clues.  If you seek the tools for writing a New York Times self-help best seller, look no further than a new NYT best seller, called, appropriately enough, The Tools.

Phil Stutz and Barry Michels are Los Angeles therapists who have written an outstanding book encapsulating their approach to guiding their patients to successful living.  The book is a tutorial for people who want a better life.  It’s also a tutorial on how to organize and write a great book.  So let’s take a look at the tools Stutz and Michels use that you can put to work in your book.

1. Great title.  A title ought to be what the movie industry calls “high concept” – something you grasp and connect with immediately.  Who wouldn’t want tools?  And then it’s a great title because it makes the reader ask questions:  what tools?  Do I have these tools?  Do I need these tools?  What’s going on here?

2. Solid subtitle.  A subtitle must reveal the promise or “unique selling proposition” of the book clearly and powerfully.  Here, it’s “Transform Your Problems Into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity.”  Well, who wouldn’t want that?

3. Killer blurbs.  The title sells you on reading the subtitle.  The subtitle sells you on flipping the book over in your hands to read the blurbs.  And here you have Marianne Williamson and The New Yorker endorsing the coauthors, along with one other respected author and a top Hollywood client.  That’s the kind of third-party verification that sells books.

4. Chapter one asks a knockout question.  Why can’t therapists solve problems quickly…or at all?  Great question, right?  And then we get just enough of the authors’ backgrounds to know who they are.  They’re therapists profoundly dissatisfied with the limits of traditional therapy.  They tell of the pain they felt when their clients went away without solutions…and so they came up with a new approach.  The Tools.  So you have a problem that we can relate to…authors we can relate to…and the promise of a new solution.

5. Clear organizational plan.  One tool per chapter for the next five chapters, and then a couple of chapters to wrap things up.  Within each of the five chapters describing the tools, a vignette involving a patient, an explanation of the tool, a description of how to use the tool, and other uses for the tool.  Simple and clear.

6. Out-of-the-box “case studies.”  A foul-mouthed road comic.  A young, bitchy, sharply dressed fashion entrepreneur.  A gorgeous yet almost fatally insecure actress/model, afraid that her working class background keeps her from acceptance from the well-to-do West LA soccer moms.  They may be composites as opposed to real people, but they feel so real to the reader.  You get caught up in their stories.  You relate.  Stutz and Michels raise the bar in terms of how to craft case studies.  This is essential for anyone writing a self-help book, because these compelling stories keep us riveted to our seats so we’ll actually learn how the tools work.

Authors have it hard today.  Technology has shredded the average attention span.  Bookstores are a vanishing species.  Infinite entertainment options, or just simply playing with your iPhone, compete for leisure time.  So if you’re going to succeed as an author, put down the toys and pick up the tools…specifically the tools that Stutz and Michel provide in their excellent, and excellently planned and executed, book.

And if you aren’t planning on writing a self-help book, read it anyway.  The tools you’ll gain when you read The Tools will absolutely give you a better life.

New York Times best selling author and Shark Tank survivor Michael Levin runs www.BusinessGhost.com, and is a nationally acknowledged thought leader on the future of book publishing.