Last May, Wayne Sikorcin and Scott Smith were lucky enough to get an appearance on "Shark Tank." Sikorcin, a moldmaker by trade, had invented a nifty device that made tying water balloons fast and easy. Sikorcin and his wife Laura own Craftsman Tool & Mold Co., a company that specializes in large, close tolerance mold bases, in Aurora, IL. Craftsman built the molds for injection molding the device and enlisted the help of their sales person, Scott Smith, to help them market and sell the Tie-Not.
As most inventors know, it's one thing to invent a new product but quite another to market and sell the product. However, they made some headway with it. Then they were chosen to appear on "Shark Tank," the ABC show in which self-made millionaires and billionaires listen to pitches from inventors and then decide whether or not to become investors.
"It went fantastic," said Smith when I spoke with him recently to see how the Tie-Not was doing in the marketplace. "We had tremendous response after our appearance on "Shark Tank," even though we didn't get an investor."
The segment on the show lasted seven minutes, Smith explained, but the negotiations actually went for an hour and a half. "They knew we had a deal with Walmart for the Tie-Not but they didn't put that into the equation for the valuation," Smith said.