Update: The gloves came off during Shark Tank and there were no deals for BearTek. The Sharks seemed worried that the company was too focused on one product – gloves and they all expressed concern about BearTek’s valuation of $10 million.
To view the episode:
A TECH Fort Worth client is jumping into the Shark Tank on Friday night.
Founders and cousins Willie Blount and Tarik Rodgers have taken their BearTek Gloves, smart gloves that wirelessly control the users’ devices, into the Shark Tank, an episode ABC will air Friday Feb. 5 at 98p.m.
BearTek Gloves is the second Shark Tank appearance for a TECH Fort Worth-affiliated company. In April, 2014, Shark Mark Cuban made an investment in Ilumi’s color-tunable, LED smart bulbs. BearTek Gloves and Ilumi were also both TECH Fort Worth Impact Award honorees and both were coached by TECH Fort Worth before their pitches to the Cowtown Angels investment group.
Designed for outdoor adventure enthusiasts, the wearable technology integrates Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities into a premium glove operated by tapping your thumb to various touch pads embedded along the sides of the glove finger. The technology is synchronized into luxury class gloves that allow you to perform modern-day tasks such as answering your phone, operating a GoPro, change your iPod playlist and adjust Bluetooth volume without touching your device.
“After reaching a certain level of traction with our development and sales, we said, ‘Let’s do it!’” Rodgers said about the Shark Tank venture. “It’s a much longer and detailed process than we ever imagined. That nerve-wracking walk down the corridor, doors swinging open, standing on the rug facing the sharks and them staring you down is hard to imagine until you are there. It’s really dramatic.”
Blount, a former active duty Marine, is director of information systems for the United States House of Representatives, Office of the Legislative Counsel. Rodgers earned a degree in mechanical engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and completed his MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He lives in Dallas.
BearTek is prohibited from discussing any aspect of its Shark Tank experience, but announced earlier this week it is launching an IndieGoGo campaign.
“Shark Tank is publicity and a potential investment,” Rodgers said. “IndieGoGo is even more publicity to launch Generation 2. Why let the simple 15 minutes of fame fade when you can leverage that into 45 days of public success?”
BearTek is making a special offer on their website just prior to the Shark Tank appearance: order now for a special offer before the gloves sell out Feb. 5.