Your Closet

Briella Brown

She is amazing. Smart, lovely and a gun. I have three sons, and my daughter is far too young to start to look at designer clothes (thank goodness). I was talking to Oliver’s friend who was a girl and she told me that she went to five formals in one year, which meant a different dress for each formal! The girls I have met though my boys, know their brands, so Briella is onto something. Formals are only one market, there are also weddings, races and many events that women have to dress to impress. So Briella had a great solution.

Behind the scenes goss: This pitch went for well over an hour, and the models looked amazing, one of the girls however fainted. I noticed at the corner of my eye that one of the girls was wobbling, and actually fainted, the dashing Dr. Glen heard my cry, launched and caught her before she hit the deck. Luckily she was fine and the unfazeable Briella continued her pitch.

Briella is extraordinary young lady who is going to be a great business women.

Tip: Great ideas often start with a problem that someone wants to solve and this is what Briella has done. It is making sure you have a curious mind to keep your options open and ideas will present themselves. You just have to have open eyes.
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Superfood Sushi

Marshal Renner

The food industry in Australia is huge and I have not seen a vegan-only Superfood Sushi business, but there may be a reason for this. There is a market for Vegan products but it is quite small. People love their protein, and want tuna, chicken, salmon in their sushi – they are the biggest sellers. The concept was a concern for me based on lack of protein..

Some of the sharks were not a fan of the product (ie the meat eater Steve), and the sales did not really show that the customers are coming in droves.

The good news is that the margins would have been good as normally, in food the biggest cost is the protein. But without sales you have not got a business ?

The valuation was very high for 5 months trade – $1.1 million, and they did not really know how big their market was.

Products were actually tasty, which is a huge tick (despite Steve hating the product). Will be tracking the business to see how they are going over time.

Tip: Know your size of your market. Research your customers to make sure you are supplying them what they want.

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Red Burlesque

Adam Coutts

Now the first issue I had with Red Burlesque was that I am not a customer. I am not a fan of lipstick at all, I wear a bit of lip gloss, however, that wouldn’t stop me from investing, if the business was great.

The app was good fun, and seeing Andrew with Red lipstick on was very funny, I do not think they got his colour quite right.

Then we talked about my favourite subject which is ownership of your name (trademarks), which every business person at some point will discover is the most important thing that you can develop. To my surprise they did not own their name, and they ‘hoped’ in the future that they may be able to buy it.   You can never know your competitors strategy and for him to think that he could just go and simply buy the name is foolish.  His whole concept is based around the name Red Burlesque, so he was fairly firm on this name.   All the brand equity that he is developing is worth nothing if you do not own the trademark..

Tip: The first thing you do before you start to spend money on a business is find a name you can own in Australia AND overseas. Many businesses have spent thousands on marketing building their brand only to discover someone else owns the name and all that money is wasted. Register your trademark. 

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2 wheel

Demetrias & Utah Rejtano

LOVED this product, it was cool and you do not need snow or water to use it. Very cool. Not bad revenue and they had already sold 350 units, which told me that there is a market for it.

I was getting excited about the product and opportunity THEN he spoke about his deal with a third party. Contracts are important to make sure you understand the deal and the restrictions for the future.

The royalty itself per board did not seem that bad, but he made a critical mistake by not insisting on minimum sales. What I mean by this is that the person who has the right to make and sell the product needs to sell a minimum amount, or they lose the right to continue to have the right to distribute the product. What I have seen in the past is that a company tells you that they love your product and that they are going to do this and that, and then when you sign they do not live up to their promise and there is nothing you can do. You’re signed and tied into them, even if they sell nothing.

The other issue was the he did not have the right to grow the product in any market other than Australia. This means that he is limited in his growth.

Great product, but his past contract really inhibited me from investing, and all I could see were legal bills to try and unwind the contracts to make the deal viable.

Great that he got a deal with Naomi.

Tip: Do not sign contracts unless you understand them fully. This is a common mistake. Take signing documents very seriously, and take the time to truly understand what you are signing and the future consequences.

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