Week 7

WIN Finalist Selection

GO

Welcome to the first season of Go Pitch Win!   Each week Greg is joined by a guest judge to hear 2 entrepreneurs pitch their business or product.  After hearing the two pitches they will pick the weekly winner to move on to the final 6.  At the end of the 6 weeks, Greg will select the top 3 and then we need you to help us pick the winner!  Once the 3 finalists are announced we will open the voting for you #FreedomBuilders to choose our $10,000 winner!

Host

Greg Mercer, Jungle Scout Founder

Greg is the founder and CEO of Jungle Scout, a suite of tools that empowers freedom builders. As a successful entrepreneur, Greg leads a team of 65+ employees. He is also an influential educator, offering free and inspirational content that has helped thousands of people build their own businesses and freedom.

Guest Judges

Steve Chou, My Wife Quit Her Job

Steve is a seven figure seller, owns the e-commerce store Bumblebee Linens, blogs about his journey at MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, and is the host of a top 100 podcast, My Wife Quit Her Job.

Scott Voelker, from The Amazing Seller

Scott is the founder and host of the Amazing Seller Podcast, a top ranked business show, where he helps regular, everyday people start selling products that make money on Amazon.com in their own e-commerce stores. Scott has built and helped others build six and seven figure brands selling physical products and has now taught and inspired thousands of new entrepreneurs through his take action approach.



Michael Jackness, EcomCrew.com

Mike has been in eCommerce since 2013 and runs 4 brands: IceWraps, ColorIt, WildBaby, and Tactical.com. He's on track to do 8-figures in 2018 and blogs, podcasts, and documents his journey at EcomCrew.com.

WIN 6 Weekly Finalists

WIN - Picking the Finalists

Greg: Hey guys, welcome to today's episode of Go, Pitch, Win. I'm your host, Greg Mercer, and today I'm joined by three guest judges. You guys want to introduce yourself?

Mike: Sure. My name is Mike Jackness. I run a blog and podcast called EcomCrew. You can find us at ecomcrew.com, or EcomCrew on iTunes.

Scott: Scott Voelker, running a podcast, The Amazing Seller podcast, helping entrepreneurs start their own business e-commerce and digital products business, so Scott Voelker.

Steve: Steve Chou. I run an e-commerce blog over at mywifequitherjob.com, and a podcast of the same name.

Greg: Over the past six weeks we've had 12 contestants that we've narrowed down to six, and one's going to be selected for the final grand prize of $10,000.

Greg: Week one, the winner was Nate Littlewood from Urban Leaf. Week two we had Garrison and Shay with The Mason Jar Handle. Week three, Stephanie and Michael won with Poolside Creation. Week four, Robert Wise won with Wise Fox Planner. Week five, it was Gino and Ben from Brand Creator, and finally, on week six we had David from CoolNES.

Greg: Is there one company or person that you guys think easy for us to eliminate right off the bat?

Mike: This is always fun and brutal, because everyone obviously has a great business here. They got to this stage, but as I was listening through, the one that came to me was Brand Creator. I think that they're going to have a little bit of a struggle. The $10,000 probably isn't enough to develop the full platform that they need. I think they're a little ahead of themselves with the amount of funds it's going to take to develop that, so for me, that would be the one that I would probably eliminate.

Scott: I would probably echo that. I'm not going to say too much more on that, but for the same reasons. I didn't find that it was a solution, that someone could just go there and have it bring back all that information. For that matter, I think that it needs to be developed more, and I think they're off to a good start, but I think they just have to do some refining.

Steve: I'm going to choose a different company, guys, just because I didn't want to agree.

Mike: You want to be contrarian.

Scott: No problem. That's how you rule.

Steve: I'm going to go with Wise Planner. I just think that particular product is not really defensible unless you have a gigantic audience, which I didn't feel as though the person had. It's going to be a tough sell, because it's a commodity product and there's lots of them out there already.

Mike: I mean, I know we're not supposed to be eliminating two here at this time, but I probably would echo the same concerns. I think that there's just no defensibility there unless you have a really large audience and a following for that particular type of niche, and planning or whatever already. It's very easily knocked off if people see stuff rising in the ranks with something like Jungle Scout and you're already selling that type of a planner, you could just print your own planner. There's nothing to say copyright or patent that. I don't know, I think that it's-

Steve: I mean, I think Greg could pull it off, like Jungle Planner.

Scott: Beautiful.

Steve: Most mortals I don't think could pull it off.

Scott: I also think on that same note is, there's a lot of planner stuffed into one. I'm not necessarily sure, do we know that people want that? You know what I mean? There might have been some research done, but is it really something that everyone is searching for? I don't know that. It would have to take more research and stuff, but I think there has to be, like you said, some type of following or some type of person that puts this thing out, or an influencer that gets behind it, you know what I mean?

Mike: He had a compelling story when he was talking about why he would want to put all this in one, but the reality is, like you're saying, is not everyone necessarily thinks the same way. It's like, it might fit a small subset of what people are looking for, but definitely not going to have the wide appeal, I think.

Scott: I agree.

Greg: Do you guys think there's anything that Robert could do from Wise Fox Planner to make it more defensible without just growing a large audience that would be looking for this?

Scott: The only thing that I would think of is there would have to be some type of system that he would have in place that he could make his own, you know what I mean? There would have to be something that was proven over time, that by using and following this formula, you're able to be more productive or whatever.

Steve: What I was going to say is, maybe go to a university, partner with a professor who has some clout, and then get that name on there, on the sales page, and do maybe some sort of clinical trial. I don't know.

Greg: Cool. Let's jump back to Brand Creator real quick. If you were those guys, that was one that Mike and Scott quickly called out, that you don't think will move on to the final round. What do you think they could be doing differently that would make you guys like that particular product better?

Scott: Well, I think it's a great idea. When I first started hearing it, I was like, "This is good, I like this," because a lot of people do struggle with branding and color and all that stuff, right, that goes into a brand. Your story, your mission, your purpose, I love all that stuff. I was hoping it was going to be more hands on, not just some checklists and it's going to give you back a template-y thing. For me, I'm not sure how it would even happen.

Scott: I don't even know how he would do it, but if someone could figure that out, I would be a fan of that and I would also recommend it because I have people in my audience that could use that because figuring out your colors, your logo, your branding, that can take a lot of time. You, a lot of times, want more input. I was hoping for that, but that's what I would need.

Mike: I just don't think the AI is quite there yet. I don't think there's a thing that can be all-encompassing, just hand you over a plan without some human input. Once you start adding the human input into it, you got to start charging more for it and it's like their whole case study was "We're going to have something that's a freemium that we're going to charge small amounts of money for and it's a no-brainer." I also think that some of this already exists. We also owned another project in a past life that was in graphic design, and I believe that there's something that's similar with creating logos already that exists. I think that there's already some previous stuff out there. I just think it's a hard row to hoe, and that's why I was saying off the bat, I just don't think that 10K is going to even cut into that development cost at all.

Steve: I mean, now the large companies in Silicon Valley, they start with these grand dreams, and that's actually what they have, and perhaps their idea's a little bit ahead of their time. What I would probably start doing if I were them, is maybe a little bit more consulting work until they have enough data to feed into the AI engine. Maybe over time 10 grand's not going to even make a dent in that sort of work.

Mike: I mean, you have a background in Silicon Valley. What do you think as far as development costs that it's going take to get off the ground?

Steve: To make it completely automated?

Mike: Yeah.

Steve: 10 grand, you might be able -

Mike: You're talking a half million or something, right, or-

Steve: Probably more than that, yeah.

Mike: A million, yeah, for sure.

Greg: Okay, I think we're in a general consensus then, and we can go ahead and strike out Brand Creator and Wise Fox Planner. Thank you, guys, but you've been cut. That was my little Shark Tank moment.

Greg: Yeah. we're left with Urban Leaf, which is Nate Littlewood, The Mason Jar Handle, as well as CoolNES and Poolside Creation. As a reminder, Urban Leaf was a device inserted into a wine bottle to grow herbs out of the top of it. The Mason Jar Handle, just as it says, a handle that screws on a mason jar. With Poolside Creation, Stephanie and Michael's product, is a tritan unbreakable wine glass, and David's product, CoolNES, is a patented face protector to protect you from the sun, and he also has a few other products. Out of these four companies, which ones do you guys like? Which ones do you think doesn't have as strong of a future?

Mike: I'll go first, I guess. If we're looking to eliminate one more out of that four, I would probably eliminate the Poolside Creations one. The other three, I think the reason it's going to be fun to debate, it's going to be tough, I think with the other three. We'll see where these guys' heads are, but I'm looking for defensibility, a patent, something unique that's never been done before. I think that Poolside Creation actually has the best potential as an Amazon FBA business, which we all do. I'm excited for them and I think that they're going to be very successful, but one of the things that they mentioned in their interview that I watched, they're using a just off-the-shelf, private-label product I think they found at the Canton Fair or something similar, and they're looking to get exclusivity in the US and trying to get the manufacturer to be able to do that for them. They don't have that yet, and even if they did get it, again it's not really defensible. There's other poolside or unbreakable wine glasses out there. It's a great niche. They won into something that's competitive, they're crushing it. Like I say, I think that they're going to be a successful business, but I think for a part in this show, looking for something unique, something that has a patent. I think that's the future of e-commerce anyway, something that also maybe has some customizability to it like The Mason Jar Handle. I'd be curious what the other guys think, but I would probably scrap that one.

Greg: Real quick, what do you think? Michael's a Sommelier. Do you think there's a lot of potential for him to create more tritan wine glasses that are shaped like the different high end wine glasses, like a pinot glass and a cab glass and a chardonnay glass and all those types of things? Do you think with that added experience in that particular field, he has an unfair competitive advantage?

Mike: I do, but I just don't think that he's got anything that he can patent. He can pick the best of the ones ... Again, I think it's a great business. I don't think that they're going to have any problem being successful. I think these other ones, there's some question of whether or not it can ever take off, because we'll talk about that. Just the approach I was taking as I was thinking about who should get this $10,000 and who even needs it really to get their business off the ground.

Mike: I think that these guys are already well on their way and it's more just a private-label, me-too business even though they have a high-quality product. I'm being hypocritical because I feel like I'm the same way. I'm looking for things in our business that we can do to differentiate and defend more, and I think even if you're picking great stuff, it's going to be tough to ... There's no patent or defensibility long term, that's my concern.

Scott: I look at that also, but then I also look at the product. How do you know it's different by just looking at it? It's hard to know that, so even though it is a great product and you and your co-host that day held it, and it was like you could tell, but I couldn't tell. It's going to be a play on getting it into people's hands. Not saying it can't happen, do a free-plus shipping something like, you know what I mean? You can definitely get it in people's hands. You good? Can I move on?

Mike: Yeah, yeah, absolutely, yeah. No man, you're good.

Scott: I'm going to go along with that, but I'm also going to add one that I'm on the fence with, and it's The Mason Jar. I love the idea. I think it's fantastic. There's a lot of work going on right now to get it to people's hands. There's a lot of production that's happening, and I think that can all be fixed, but I'm looking at one product. I'm looking at, could we have other accessories? Probably, but I'm also looking at it's a social media play, that's how I see it. I don't think anyone right now, maybe in two years they are, but I don't see anybody searching for that as much as someone seeing it and being like, "That's really cool," or like you were saying, in certain areas, it's going to be more popular, like the country sets, right? In South Carolina, where I'm from now, it would go great. Mason jar, it's a big thing.

Steve: I just like the personalized aspect of it. You can counter to a whole bunch of different occasions, like weddings, special occasions all across the board. That's something that a lot of people aren't willing to do on Amazon per se, because there's a lot of custom work involved. In that aspect, I think it's much more defensible.

Scott: In that play, it's a little different, right, but then also it makes the business a little bit more complex, which is fine, which is fine. I think David said they had orders for 300 or 400 for businesses, so it's almost like you're creating a product now that could be used as even gifts for business events, right? That's cool, but I'm looking at it as, again, I'm not ruling that one out 100% right now, but that's the only one I was thinking of. The Poolside Creation, I would say also I agree with you. I think they're going to do great as a private-label brand, but the way that they could step that up is they would have to get other influencers behind it to help them and to make it known that it is. Like you said, adding in those other specialty glasses would be another thing. That's my take on it.

Steve: Yeah, I mean, my take is with Poolside Creations, I think someone came up to me maybe a couple months ago and wanted to sell these unbreakable wine glasses, and I just looked on the front page of Amazon. They all look exactly the same. There's no differentiation. The thing is, you might find a good product and it might be good for a couple of years, but unless it doesn't really stand out, pretty soon the knock-offs will start coming and your profits will erode over time unless you have that defensibility. Even if you start releasing different versions of the same thing, they're just going to look like other wine glasses that are already out there.

Greg: You do a lot of customization at Bumblebee Linens, right?

Steve: Yeah.

Greg: Do you feel like that's pretty defensible from Amazon, since that is where they haven't really gone down?

Steve: I think that's our value add and it's actually a real pain in the butt to embroider, because we have these machines, but they jam up. We had to have someone running them and that sort of thing, and in volume I don't see that there's a whole lot of people that are going to be willing to do that sort of thing.

Mike: I actually look at the complexity as an opportunity moving forward. We're working more and more towards doing that stuff. We're actually getting ready to get into some customization stuff ourselves. I think that in the future you either look at where the puck is going kind of thing, and more and more people are going into this crowded FBA space. We're all providers of content on how to do this stuff. I think there's still a really amazing opportunity there, I mean, for years.

Mike: I'm always thinking years down the road and I think of the frustrations I've had in my business, which is you release a great product, people see that, and then they start doing something very similar. If you have something that has a patent and more defensibility or customization, these things, I think that's going to help longer term and help you have a more reliable, long-term, sustainable business. I'm a fan of those Mason Jar Handles, talk more about that.

Scott: I'm a fan, it's just I'm looking at the business as if I was to go into that business. The 10,000, is that going to get them to that next level? Not sure. I love the product. I'm going to be a customer of the product. My wife will be a customer of that.

Mike: Is that one you would knock off at number four here?

Scott: I don't know. I'd want to talk more about the other ones. It's on the fence for me, but I love the product, I love them, you know what I mean? It's a great story and all that, but that's just one that I had some extra questions on.

Steve: When we're rating these companies, are we taking into account the founders' personalities as well, or are we just talking about pure business numbers?

Greg: It's hard not to, even if we're trying to, right?

Scott: The one thing that I'm taking into consideration though too, as well, is even what's the mission? What's the thing? Some of the ones that we'll talk about afterwards, some of them have a cause, a mission, a purpose. We're talking about Brand Creator, they're doing that for brands because it's so important. It's an advantage now when we can add a personal story of why the product was created, what purposes. CoolNES was created also because his father had cancer and he knows what that does.

Mike: You talk about a person, I mean, the guy is a hustler. He reminds me a lot of all of us actually. He’s great.

Scott: Yeah, he's great, but I mean, I'm looking at that aspect, too, but I think totally, whoever's creating it because that's also the person that's behind the business, so yeah, I do think so, the people behind it.

Steve: The CoolNES guy, just give him money, it doesn't matter what the product is, he'll probably be successful, right?

Greg: Just out of sheer hustle and drive?

Steve: Yeah.

Greg: Let's talk about CoolNES a little bit. What are you guys' thoughts on it.

Mike: I mean, I resonate a lot with it. I'm a big tennis fan, been a tennis player.

Scott: You play tennis?

Mike: I do. Not as much anymore. I was really into it when we lived in Cayman. That's all I ever did, all I ever thought about and you're out in the sun all the time. I actually started playing night tennis because of the sun actually.

Scott: Really? Okay.

Mike: Yeah, but when you go to the US Open or even at one of these big tennis events, you're out in the sun all day long. I'm a very fair person obviously. I can really relate to that product. I think that tennis and golf especially, these are outside all the time sports. I look at the Amazon listing, I listen to your pitch, and the message is like spaghetti. That's one of the things we can talk about. The product itself and the potential, I think is definitely cool.

Scott: Yeah, I think his thing is really getting focus and I think from there, once he does that, and he starts focus on that one niche, I think he could do really, really good things. There's a huge play there, but he's got a great cause, too, you know what I mean? He's doing it for the right reasons-

Mike: Yeah he has a ton of connections, but anyway, that's-

Scott: I think the connections are the key, right?

Mike: Yeah.

Greg: If you were David, what would be your next steps to get CoolNES to the next level and continue to scale the company?

Scott: Focus, right? I think he needs someone that he can bring on that can help him focus. Digital marketing I think is a big thing for him. He's got great connections to get stuff in people's hands at these golf tournaments and stuff, which is phenomenal, but he needs them to get it on their social platforms or their list of people and then get that behind it. I think he needs the focus to figure out what niche it's going to be.

Scott: Is it going to be golfers? Is it going to be kids' activities? I know my kid, in playing baseball, my wife always, "Put the sunscreen on your neck, it's going to get burnt, it's going to get burnt." You can make these cool for kids. If that took off, like Under Armor, all that stuff, it's like crazy. You could tap into that market. I think sports, but you got to focus on what sports you're going to go after.

Scott: I think if you made it really cool, kids would start wearing it and then, you know what I mean? I would just try to figure out what's going to be that focus and then just really drill down on that. Maybe not go so wide with all those other areas, we can spread there later, but just not now.

Mike: We were joking just before we recorded this. When I looked at the Amazon listing, I thought it was a gang thing or something. You get this-

Scott: Mask-

Mike: There's not one picture there for sports when his pitch was "Play tennis," and obviously again will resonate with a lot of the tennis stuff, and there's not one shot there of a guy hitting a tennis ball. He was talking about how he had the number eight player in the world wearing, or the coach wearing it at the PGA. That's not there. I think if you try to make it everything to everybody, you end up, like you said, with focus problems.

Scott: I agree.

Mike: I think you just drill it down, "This is a thing for tennis or golf or outdoor sports," and it would do a lot better.

Scott: He has a patent on that, too, I believe, right?

Mike: It was provisional, I think.

Scott: That's another plus.

Steve: Yeah, I mean, I felt that the guy was all over the place and when I saw the picture of the product on the website, my first thought was, Asian people wear these welder's masks. I don't know if you know what I'm talking about. They're terrified of the sun, right? This product, especially those pictures, Chinese people right off the bat would flock to this product, guaranteed. They have these bathing suits now that cover the entire body. He could start with sports, but I think the larger market actually is just Asians in general.

Scott: I wouldn't know that.

Mike: I actually saw the full body suits in the Philippines this time when we were at a resort.

Steve: Wow, that was just a random aside, though.

Scott: I mean, I think the potential for this product is really large.

Mike: I think you got a product on your hands. You can do the Asian bodysuit.

Steve: I'll be the Asian face of CoolNES.

Mike: - to be the face of the brand.

Steve: I could, there you go. Think of the possibilities. I don't speak Chinese. That's the only problem.

Greg: Would you guys continue to, if you were David, are you saying you would just double down on this face mask, the one that he has the provisional patent on and that's picked up part of his success?

Mike: Talk about focus, I didn't mean to cut you off, but he was mentioning focus. He was talking about getting into other products as well, and you were trying to ratchet him back on the episode, so yeah, I think that's another focus issue.

Scott: He was talking about possibly going after just using Jungle Scout and finding some random products that could relate to it, to lead people to his products. I think there's other ways we can do that without doing that one thing. I think only looking at the Amazon channel for his free plus shipping offer would be amazing. Then leading up to that, especially whoever you're targeting, Moms whatever for the kids or whatever, but yeah, I think there's a ton of potential for digital marketing with this thing.

Scott: Then building up, and then additional products, I think you also have, because he's got all the materials and stuff. Now you just have to adapt it for different parts of the body or different uses, so yeah, I think he's got a great thing there.

Greg: I agree with you guys. That's the most defensible product, since he has the patent on it, so say probably the most unique. I think probably what he found was, he's been trying to hustle, do whatever he can to sell his product for the past couple years, and then he just puts it up on Amazon, all of a sudden it just starts selling well. He's like, "Man, this is way easier. I should just launch a bunch of products on Amazon instead of having to do all this work to get these other products to sell." I mean, what are your thoughts around that?

Scott: I think it's the 80-20, right? You can sell over here and you can sell over here, and you might get a few hundred sales over here, but you got to double down on where you could ... Now, that being said, I wouldn't double down and just say, "I'm going to sell on Amazon." I would do that, get it up and running, but then I'd start focusing on that next thing, not things.

Steve: He probably was influenced by the million-dollar case study. Yeah, I mean, I would just use that money that he's making on Amazon and just work on his brand. Cash in on Amazon for sure, but still use that cash.

Mike: Absolutely. Pay the $10,000 and sponsor an athlete or something, get the word out that way or something, but stay on one product.

Scott: Yeah, absolutely.

Greg: I do love David's commitment to his company. What did he say? He made one real estate commission?

Scott: $100,000.

Greg: And bought 50,000.

Steve: That was awesome.

Greg: Spent all his money on 50,000, he was going all in.

Scott: At that point he's like, "I've got to sell these things, so let's go do it." He is a go-getter. The only problem is he'll do everything and from that, that makes you do little, because now it's spread out among so many different things. I just think it's focus. We all struggle with that. I mean, I'll say here on camera, I do, but I've got a team now that helps me, "No, no, Scott, back over here."

Greg: Let's talk about Urban Leaf a little bit, Nate Littlewood's business. Again, this is a little, you can call it a plug I guess. It goes in the top of a wine bottle, it has a seed from a type of herb in it that starts to grow. This one again is either patented or patent-pending. What are your guys' thoughts on this product and this company?

Steve: I thought it was more like a gift type of product, not really a practical thing, so I would think that around the holidays it would sell pretty well, but maybe throughout the rest of the year it's more of a hobby type of gift.

Greg: He started out his presentation about world hunger type of thing. I'm looking at this and this is an awesome gift. I can see people buying this thing for a gift, but I don't know if we're going to quite be curing the world's food problems.

Steve: I mean, it's probably good for a cup of tea or ... Right? I hadn't seen the product.

Greg: Yeah, it can't grow vegetable plants other large plants. It's small herb-type plants.

Scott: Right, and when I first seen that, that's what I was starting to think that it would have been. I think it would have been better if you could have had vertical garden or something like that, like a lot of people don't have a space. Then you're talking about food, but not just herbs. I love the idea, I think it's creative. I think he's done 80,000 dollars so far, at least that's what it was, so great start, but like you said, I think the cause is great that you're trying to go after a cause. I don't know if this will help that cause. It'll help it a little, but it's not necessarily to me as big as they want it to be. I think you got to shift that a little bit. I think having the cause is amazing, because whenever you tie a cause to something, it definitely does resonate.

Steve: The cause conflicts with the people he was targeting. He was targeting people with small apartments and whatnot, right?

Greg: Yes, yes.

Steve: Even to grow a salad, I think you just need the room to do that right?

Greg: Yeah.

Mike: I also thought that they had a focus issue as well. They started getting into this whole concept of a marketplace and other stuff. I was just like, "I don't know, man." I think, I mean, I'm very passionate about the cause myself. I think that our food supply is a wreck and people need to be eating more fruits and vegetables. Having the stuff around you makes you think about it and takes away the cognitive dissonance we have with our food supply, but I also didn't get how is this product going to become a seven-figure business? I don't know, it didn't quite mesh with me all the way.

Steve: I could see it turning into a seven-figure business.

Mike: Can you?

Steve: Certainly not coming close to the grand vision that they had.

Mike: Maybe not an eight-figure business then, or mid-seven figure.

Scott: I think it would take some adjusting. I think it would just be pivoting into another area. They've got the right idea, but now we have to get it to a little bit of a bigger market, I think.

Mike: I think looking at product by product here, the things we're talking about right now from the CoolNES to The Mason Jar Handle to Urban Leaf, which one of those one products can sell the most? I think we probably can all agree that the Urban Leaf one probably is not the one that will be able to sell the most in that one sku.

Scott: Does he have more than one sku?

Greg: I might disagree with that.

Scott: Does he have more than one?

Mike: That's interesting. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

Greg: I think he only has one right now, but he's expanding to more. I think the Urban Leaf product has a huge addressable market. When we think about, what are those things called, chia pets? All types of little, novelty, growing type items like that, I can see that potentially having a larger market than the CoolNES or The Mason Jar Handle. In my opinion, The Mason Jar Handle probably has the smallest, but yeah, I think a lot of that's how you position the marketing. I mean, I think if I was him I don't think there's anything wrong with just positioning it like a cool novelty item. It's fun for your kids to watch these little plants grow out of a wine bottle.

Scott: Yeah, I agree. I think it's like, what's that fish you used to put up on your wall and the thing would talk? My father had one down by the lake. I look at it that way, too, but you're also playing on the novelty aspect of it, and it is definitely going to be seasonal I would think because gift giving. That being said, if it did take, you're absolutely right, that thing would blow up, but you're not necessarily playing on the cause, you're playing on the novelty side of it.

Steve: Right, I could see it doing well on QVC. My Mom would probably buy it. She watches QVC all day. I think we even had a chia pet actually at one point.

Scott: Oh, we had one, we had one, yeah. I think I got one for Christmas.

Steve: Ch-ch-ch-chia.

Greg: They need a cool little tune or a jingle. That's what Urban Leaf is missing, a good jingle. Is there any clear winners or clear losers out of this group to you guys?

Steve: It's tough. I think I would eliminate Urban Leaf, probably, for the reasons we've already discussed, outside of the ch-ch-ch-chia thing.

Scott: Yeah, coming in here, I wouldn't have said that. Hearing everyone talk about it has helped me and I agree with you. I think if their play is novelty, then yes. If it's going after the cause, then no. That's what I'm fighting with. The Mason Jar Handle, I think is cool and I think they can do really well with that, so I've changed my mind on them a little bit coming into this room. I'd like to even be sold more on them, but I would probably at this point agree with Steve on this one as well, just from what we've talked about here today. That's where I’m at. Where are you at?

Mike: I'm on Poolside Creation still, as far as eliminating a fourth.

Scott: It's tough for me because there's a lot of competition there, but if they do the right play, I think they could do it, but they're going to have to get it in the hands of the right people, and they're going to have to have the right influencer touch that thing. I think they can still crush it and blow it up even if they just go out there and hustle, because there's a huge market for that. Wine is huge. That's a huge market and then we get into different styles and it's a whole ... I am on the fence, but I'm thinking if they're not willing to go off of their cause, of their grand plan, Urban Leaf, then I think I have to say probably them.

Mike: Urban Leaf, yeah.

Greg: I think Urban Leaf is willing to go off their cause.

Scott: They are? Okay.

Greg: Nate seemed like a guy who has like pretty strong business acumen in general, so I'd actually be fairly confident in him, in a founder.

Steve: I feel like the whole first half of the presentation was just all about the cause, though.

Scott: That's why it made me feel they were so tied to it, right?

Steve: Right, yeah, exactly.

Scott: I can't change their mind.

Greg: Yeah, you might be right, so it sounds like we might be a little bit divided on that. What about, is there one or two clear winners that we could all agree on? Sounds like Mason Jar Handle, a lot of love for them, a lot of love for CoolNES. Does anyone think that one of these-

Mike: Me, I could pick two top ones. For me if we were going to get down to the debate of who's going to win this thing, for me it would be between Mason Jar and the CoolNES.

Greg: Mason Jar and CoolNES?

Mike: I honestly could be swayed still on either one of those, yeah.

Greg: Okay, what do you guys think?

Steve: Yeah, both of those, too.

Scott: Yeah, I like those, too.

Greg: Urban Leaf's in my top two.

Mike: In your top two, interesting.

Steve: You had a chia pet as a kid? Is that-

Greg: No, I didn't. I guess that's the reason I like them. I felt like I was missing out. Then The Mason Jar Handle and CoolNES would probably ... Those I'm not sure which one would be second and third for me. Or no, I'm sorry, I'm not saying that Urban Leaf would be number one, but I feel like they would be in the top three. Then yeah, I'm not sure which one I like better out of those two, Mason Jar Handle or CoolNES.

Mike: I was sitting here thinking of another way to word this, and I was just like, if I was in a situation where someone said, "Mike, you've got zero dollars in the bank, your business is gone, you got to take one of these four things that we have left, and run with it and make a business of it," I probably would take Poolside Creation.

Steve: Right, it's more immediate return.

Mike: Yeah, so I'm conflicted with that.

Steve: I also like the enthusiasm of those founders also.

Scott: Well, we talked about that, right?

Greg: Great enthusiasm.

Scott: Yeah, we talked about that.

Steve: I mean, they are go-getters.

Greg: They're go-getters, they're hustlers, they're trying to make stuff work. They sent gifts to our office, try to sweeten up the judges.

Steve: Well, they didn't send gifts to my office.

Greg: Well, they should have thought about that.

Mike: There were two things that, I didn't know if I was going to bring it up today, but there was two things that bothered me about that pitch. One was when you would ask what their sales were and they got really coy about it and there was also, I only listened to the audio recording. There was something in some box and I loved the reference to, was it Seven, I think? "What's in the box?" I want to know what's in the box and you're coming to pitch. I think it's always weird. You're asking for somebody to win a pitch or whatever and you're going to not disclose certain information? It felt weird to me. That one thing was just, I don't know. It was just a little bit weird.

Greg: Okay, that's fair.

Mike: What do you think the eight-figure product is here?

Scott: That's a great question, yeah, that's a great question.

Steve: An eight-figure, I'd say CoolNES.

Mike: Brand?

Scott: Yeah, yeah, I think I'm going to agree with you. I think I am, because I think it has a great appeal for ... I'm going in for the kid because my wife was big on "Cover up that neck," right? No sun cancer, so I see that as a big play and I see him having great reach.

Steve: I mean, it has broad base appeal, it really does. To everyone. It doesn't even matter. I mean, especially Asians.

Mike: Can I show you how I think the Mason Jar Handle also is an eight-figure product?

Scott: Yeah.

Mike: Because I agree first of all, just to be on the same page. I agree that CoolNES has definitely got that potential. I think the Mason Jar Handle has the potential as well, because I think it could equally become ubiquitous where you get anybody that has mason jars, and I've lived in communities where every freakin' beverage is drank out of a mason jar, whether it was iced tea or lemonade or adult beverages.

Mike: I love the customization angle of it. I love the fact that you would buy more than one of them. You'd buy them for yourself, get them for others. You probably need more than one. You probably wouldn't just buy one, you'd buy sets of four. Again, I'm not comparing this to CoolNES, because I think CoolNES also can be an eight-figure product, but I really think that the barrier to explain this and people getting that aha moment is really easy. You're right, it is a social media play. We're not talking about, "What's the biggest Amazon business?" here. We're talking about what can be the biggest business. I think that if you saw a really well put together social media video, it would just be like one of these products. You wouldn't have to do free plus shipping or any other crap, you'd just sell them right away. "I want this now."

Scott: You would see it and know. An easy video of it just being put on, drinking it by the pool. Poolside Creations, hey, maybe a partnership?

Mike: There you go.

Steve: I think the overall market size for the CoolNES product is larger than mason jars, right?

Mike: I'm just trying to say that I think they're both ... I'm not even trying to compare both of them. I'm just saying I think they're both potential eight-figure businesses, like just trying to think of different ways for us to get over this hump of what we're going to ultimately pick as a winner, so I was thinking of the angle, what business would I take today. Now I'm thinking, if we look at which ones could potentially be eight-figure businesses, I don't know that Poolside Creation can ever be an eight-figure business. I mean, maybe it could be, but I think it's going to be a much tougher row to hoe. Greg seems to think that Urban Leaf could be. I would be out in that camp, but I do see the potential. I could tell a story really easily of how both CoolNES and Mason Jar Handle could be eight-figure companies.

Scott: No, I agree, and I mean, heck, let's face it, you could take the mason jar thing and you could see that on QVC. I mean, you totally could. I mean, that would sell like crazy. I agree, you guys have sold me, because I was thinking to myself, just social media fine, but you're right. I think it does have a mass appeal to a certain audience, but I think that audience is huge, I really do. The customization part of it, too, that's hard to do, so you're not going to have as much competition. You're going to have knock-offs that are going to come up with handles, we know that. That's going to -

Mike: It's patented, so I mean-

Greg: They believe they have a pretty defensible patent, it's a patent of where the handle attaches to the threads, and they believe it's pretty defensible.

Scott: Okay, so maybe, but you know how that goes. People can work around that and get a lawyer that says, "Just make this one thing," and you're fine. I still think that they've got a really good head start, and if they customize it, that even makes it a harder thing to do. I'm on board.

Steve: I just want to bring something up. Are we taking into account the founders? Because we're giving money to people, we're not running these companies, right?

Greg: Yeah, I think we have to, because we want to give the money to what we believe will most likely be the most successful company and are going to most use the money to do so, and just like when VCs are making investments in young tech companies, the founder's experience, the founder's will, desire to do well, all this is taken into account. I think we are, too. Garrison and Shay, they are -

Mike: They're awesome.

Greg: It's hard not to like them, right? I mean, they're just like the all-American sweetheart couple. They work hard.

Mike: I had a smile on my face the entire rest of the day after the call with them. They're like, they're so awesome.

Greg: Yeah, they are awesome. They're in their shop, they're doing a lot of the work themselves right now.

Scott: Doesn't she do, isn't she a seamstress as well?

Greg: Yes.

Scott: On the other side of the wall. She was standing on the other side of the wall. We do that as well. They're hustlers for sure, you know what I mean? Like you said, I think you do have to look at that, and I look at them as, they're definitely going to do it, whether you help and we help them or not, they're going to figure it out.

Steve: The CoolNES founder has that hustle also. He just needs someone to reign him in a little bit.

Scott: That's all. He just needs, "Hey, get over here, this lane."

Mike: He's going to drown himself in opportunity. That's what he needs to fix.

Scott: One last question on Poolside Creation. It's Poolside Creation. Why is it Poolside Creation?

Greg: The name, if I remember correctly, came from, because it's an unbreakable wine glass, so it's good for -

Scott: I get it, but now I'm thinking to myself they're for the pool and only for the pool.

Greg: I brought that out because they were talking about launching another brand that was more like winter creations or whatever, but it was like - like branded for a cold environment. I think I'd give them some advice, just ditch all that and just make more of a high-end wine glass company. Forget the whole pool branding part of it.

Steve: The Poolside name actually cheapens it a little bit.

Scott: I agree 100% on that, because I'm thinking to myself, he could sell pool nets and furniture, so I'm thinking they're not going to be known as that, they're going to be known as "Oh, that's where I can get my net for cleaning out my pool."

Mike: Right, pigeonholes them, the name does.

Scott: It really does, and I agree. To me, it cheapened it. It did. I don't think of it as high-level or high-quality. High-quality, but not that name brand feel, you know what I mean?

Greg: That's what they're trying to compare it to like Riedel, which I guess is the really high end wine glasses.

Scott: Yeah, but you don't start that with Poolside Creation.

Steve: Yeah, you don't.

Greg: Same thing with the branding. My wife recently bought some Riedel wine glasses. You open the box, it's really nice packaging.

Scott: An experience.

Greg: Yeah, it's an experience. There's very much more so, just like a Chinese, white label packaging experience and Poolside Creation, I agree. I think the branding and packaging could use some work, if that's what they're going after, which is what I would do, a high end experience.

Mike: I think the only company of all of them that didn't have that problem was the Mason Jar Handle.

Greg: I agree.

Steve: Yeah, that's true, that's correct.

Mike: Anything less, it was like "This is what we want to do. We're passionate about this one thing, we're going to make a ton of these."

Greg: Not create beer mug handles.

Scott: Again, where are we then, right? We've got issues with both of those companies.

Mike: I don't want to break the rules, but I think that we've actually eliminated down the two.

Steve: I have, too, actually.

Mike: I think that if we-

Steve: I think you Mike’s already had me at hello actually.

Greg: All right, it's eliminated down to two.

Scott: We didn't go into this with that, but we just made that happen.

Mike: This is what happens on a live show.

Greg: This is what happens on a live show. I like it. Eliminated down to two, congratulations to CoolNES and the Mason Jar Handle. You're going to move on to the final round, and we're going to let the community vote which of these two businesses deserves the final $10,000 prize the most.

Mike: I love it.

Steve: Oh, really.That sounds good.

Scott: Nice job. That was phenomenal.

Greg: Who do you think of those two, the whole community's listening at this point, who would you recommend that they choose to win the prize?

Mike: I'm not going to pick, but I'm going to give some thoughts on both of them.

Greg: Let's hear it.

Mike: I think that both of them as I was mentioning, I think both of them can be eight-figure businesses, which is really exciting. I mean, to have an opportunity with one product, not necessarily one skue, because the CoolNES thing is probably multiple skus when you're counting colors or sizes or whatever, but one top-level product. I think both of them can be eight-figure products. I think that, let's talk about some struggles. From my mind, I think that the Mason Jar Handle has that supply chain issue that we talked about, so I think that getting that streamlined and making it easier for them to get the final product in, assembled, and be able to actually sell through eight figures of product, and be able to customize that efficiently, is going to be a challenge for them, where I think the CoolNES thing is just super easy. They can just order that, it comes in from China, boom boom on the supply chain. On the education side, it's like how do you educate people with the CoolNES mask versus the Mason Jar Handle? I think there's a lot of interesting things to think of there. The reason I didn't want to pick one or the other, I would love to be involved in either one of those two. Just for the record, I'm not suggesting, don't contact me, they would fire me, if I could be fired from my own business. Yeah, I think that they're both really interesting businesses. I don't want to take up all the time. I have a lot of other thoughts, but I'm curious what your guys' other thoughts are.

Scott: Yeah, no, I agree that both of them have huge potential and now with the Mason Jar, I think again as we went through it, I've learned more even after even listening to their story. I think the only issue on the Mason Jar right now, not even the approach of how are you going to educate and get people to see it? I think that's easy now. I think it's the supply chain, I think it's figuring that out, because before you can dial it up, you've got to have that figured out. If you get all the orders, that's great, but if you can't fulfill them, you know what I mean? I think we got to figure that part out. Are you going to go in the direction of customization 100%, because that's a whole nother animal, or do we start here and just try to get it out to the masses and then we go into that, because that will allow us to at least get that momentum going, feeding the business? Then once we start to feed the business, we can start to expand out on that customization part.

Steve: I notice you used the word "we" a lot there.

Mike: Scott's involved. You guys need to contact Scott as partner with you.

Steve: The reason why I say that is because for me, I think CoolNES has a larger market opportunity, but the founders of the Mason Jar holders, they're more focused, right, so if I'm investing money in them, I'm pretty sure they're going to continue on with their trend, whereas I'm not 100% sure whether CoolNES will start diverging.

Scott: It's a good point.

Mike: Speaking of customization, I was just here thinking about this, you could customize the CoolNES mask.

Steve: You could.

Mike: Sew someone's name on it or a message on the inside of it, like "From Mom and Dad" or something like, "We wish you best of luck in tennis," or whatever, there's some customization opportunity there as well.

Scott: I'm even thinking team sports, like we always customize things like travel teams.

Mike: Oh, man, that would be amazing.

Scott: Yeah, for travel teams, we used to ... Just for the record, you're spending $3,000 to $5,000 for your kid to play a travel sport nowadays. They get all the accessories.

Mike: Baseball team with-

Scott: They get the sleeve, they get everything, it's all your number.

Steve: I was thinking Chinese school, you could have a Chinese logo.

Greg: If you were both companies, how would you spend the $10,000 if you won it?

Scott: I was just going to say, on the Mason Jar, I think it's easy, it's the supply chain. We got to figure that out. I think the other part will be easy.

Greg: Because right now I guess they're like, welding them together out of their home.

Scott: Yeah, we got to figure that out.

Greg: You can definitely get those made in China though. They said there were really tight tolerances, but they just need to find the right factory.

Mike: There's no doubt that can be done in China for a fraction of the-

Greg: Yeah, less than a dollar.

Mike: Then they would customize in the US, I think.

Scott: Yeah.

Greg: I don't know about the customization part-

Scott: Well, they would get the raw here, like the base, like you're doing and then customize here.

Mike: I think on the customization front, that was another struggle for them, and I know this. You want to be everything to everybody. You don't want to ever say no, but you can customize it in black, like silver and gold, here's your two fonts, and that's your options. Now they're literally willing to do anything for anybody. They'll make it in orange and purple, yeah, so I think they have to go with the "Keep it simple, stupid" thing as they're getting started. Things are going to spin up and get hectic, I don't think they even understand. We've all been through this. You start scaling and all the other problems that come from that, and you don't need to have 1,000 different customization request.

Scott: That's a nightmare, yeah. You don't want that.

Steve: For CoolNES, I like what you said earlier, which was maybe get some influencers, with his connections.

Scott: Oh, yeah, he's got them.

Mike: For sure, for sure.

Scott: It wouldn't be just getting them to wear it at their golf tournament, it would be actually them to announce it and mention it and talk about it on their social media. I would go after an influencer that just isn't at the one event, I'd go with one that has a following. I'd find one that has reach.

Mike: Yeah, I agree, because I mean, he's in a position where he can explode the quickest, because the stuff's already in stock. He has 30-something thousand more units in stock, I think?

Greg: Yeah, that's right, he's ready.

Mike: Which is awesome, I mean, margin's good, you can spend money on advertising.

Scott: Great packaging, too.

Mike: I didn't see the package.

Scott: Yeah, it's really good.

Greg: If I was the Mason Jar Handle with the $10,000, of course you need to figure out the supply chain part, but that shouldn't be too cash-intensive. After that, I think I would go after Facebook and Instagram ads.

Mike: Yeah, I think they can work incredibly well.

Greg: Yeah, I think so, too.

Steve: Actually, targeting that would be pretty easy.

Mike: Yes, you don't have to even be really specific. It's people in this state, period. It's simple and I think that a really well-done video, especially if they could get user-generated content where people that have already bought the product, and you show it in uses in different places. It's like you show it going on and you cut to a bunch of, usually during your content you show the other thing. You could show picking up a hot glass and burning yourself. Picking up the cold glass and just wiping off the sweat. It's one of these really easy things to explain. I think that the ad could do really well.

Greg: I think you're right, and the nice thing about that is once you have figured out that system, just pump $1 in, take #2, $3 dollars out, whatever.

Mike: The audience depth is tens or hundreds of millions of people.

Greg: Plenty large enough, right.

Mike: I mean, that's one thing that we struggle with now. I mean, you get to the point where you get a product, it's hard to scale something to eight figures, because you eventually tap out your Facebook audience and you start to see this degradated performance pretty quickly, but I think with that product, they're not going to have that problem.

Scott: No.

Greg: Yeah, I agree. Cool.

Scott: We good?

Mike: I'm excited to see who's going to win.

Greg: Me, too. I can't wait. Clearly it's between CoolNES and the Mason Jar Handle. For everyone listening to this, go to gopitchwin.com and you'll find a poll there, and you can vote for one of these two companies to win the $10,000 prize. Thanks for coming on, guys.

Congrats to our finalists .... The Mason Jar Handle and CoolNES! Go vote for your favorite pitch!

Get the latest episodes...

Don't forget to subscribe on iTunes, Google Play or Stitcher. If you prefer video, visit our YouTube channel.

Do you have a new business that needs seed money? Or a new project that you’re ready to get up and going?

There is a $10k prize for the winning pitch, plus some other goodies that will help you out along the way. Greg and our guest judge will select the weekly winners and YOU will vote on the winner from the 3 finalists.

Get your pitching skills at the ready!

I want to apply
[i]
[i]
[i]
[i]