Business founder walks onto ‘Shark Tank ‘ with only $39 to his name, secures $200K deal

Shark Tank - Hans Dose Tenikle
Photo via ABC/YouTube

The business founder behind a new, innovative kind of tripod managed to cinch a $200,000 deal with Shark Tank investor Daymond John.

Tenikle founder Hans Dose approached the team of investors, or “sharks,” behind the popular business reality series looking for a $200,000 investment at 10% equity. While he didn’t quite manage to secure the deal he was aiming for, Dose came close, thanks to his creative and marketable idea.

Tenikle tripods serve a very specific, but extremely useful, purpose: flexibility. Tripods are an immensely useful tool for any photographer but can be a real hassle to set up, not to mention haul around. Arranging one in the correct position can also be challenging, particularly in situations where users are looking for a creative shot or working on uneven terrain. Tenikle solves these problems with its innovative design, which uses tentacles as inspiration. These tripods are flexible, malleable, and can stick to any surface, broadly expanding the ways in which they can be utilized.

The idea is a good one. The Sharks immediately voiced interest in the innovative new business, despite learning that Dose has been struggling of late. His numbers are good overall — Tenikle has sold more than 40,000 units to date, netting around $1.3 million in sales — but the company’s sales have been dipping recently. In fact, Dose has only made $9,000 in recent sales and admitted to the Sharks that his company is currently $270,000 in debt.

This is despite the fact that the Tenikle patent was completed all the way back in 2015, and has only improved since then. Dose informed the investors that he has adapted the design multiple times based on feedback, creating a product that is even better now than it was at launch. The nifty little tripods cost only $6.08 to produce and sell for $45.

His recent business struggles have resulted in Dose and his wife, Lydia, living out of an RV on his mother’s property, however, and have drained their finances. While the couple is determined to see Tenikle succeed, Dose admitted that he walked onto Shark Tank with $39 to his name.

The innovative product sparked interest among the Sharks — as well as fans watching the show — and resulted in an offer from Robert Herjavec. He was willing to pay off Dose’s $270,000 in debt with an additional $100,000 in seed money tossed in, but the struggling business owner would need to relinquish a full 60% of his company to secure the deal.

Daymond John jumped in next with his own deal: he offered the requested $200,000 investment for one-third — or 33.3% — of Dose’s company. He even dropped the number slightly, ultimately settling on a $200,000 investment for 30% of Tenikle. After living the dream and refusing Herjavec’s offer in true Shark Tank fashion, Dose tried to talk Daymond John down to a 25% investment. The FUBU founder refused to budge, however, leading Dose to ultimately accept his deal.

Fans applauded both Daymond John and Dose online, congratulating them for coming to a deal and sharing their interest in the company’s future. One viewer even referred to Daymond John as Dose’s “fairy godmother” and congratulated him and Dose for securing the deal.

Tenikle products are currently on sale on the product’s website, where they are selling for $40 for a limited time. They can also be purchased from a range of online retailers.