Before Shark Tank
Eric Corti and his wife are two people who like to sit back, relax, and enjoy a glass of wine every now and again. However, they are not the kinds of people who can really finish a whole bottle in one sitting and if there is one thing that all wine drinkers know, it is hard to preserve a bottle once it has been opened. Eric and his wife were both growing tired of letting expensive bottles go to waste, so the pressure was on for Eric to come up with a solution for their problem.
After doing some thinking, Corti came up with the perfect way to save the freshness of a bottle of wine after it has been opened. To test his idea, he took a blood pressure cuff and took it apart. Then he attached a balloon to it and inserted the new device inside the bottle of wine. By filling the balloon with air he created the perfect seal to remove all access oxygen from the bottle. After his wife tested it and confirmed that the wine stayed fresh long enough for her to finish the entire bottle, the couple made the decision to invest into Eric’s idea so that they could launch a new business together.
Though they did managed to make a few sales on their own, the Cortis ultimately decided that they were going to need help if the Wine Balloon was ever going to establish any real success. So they took their product to the Shark Tank and hoped to make a deal with one of the Sharks. That way they would be able to get the financial backing and marketing connections that their business needs.
During Shark Tank – Wine Balloon Investment
Eric Corti entered the Shark Tank seeking $40k in exchange for a 30% stake in his business. After giving the Sharks his offer, he dives into his sales pitch. According to him, there are a lot of people out there who would love to have a glass of wine or two with dinner, but so many decide to pass up on indulging themselves because the rest of the bottle will most likely end up going to waste. Even he and his wife could agree that they have poured a lot more wine down the drain than they have into their wine glasses. The reason for this, he argues, is that all of the wine preservers out there do not do their job properly.
That is where his Wine Balloon comes in. His new way of preserving wine will ensure that any opened bottle of wine will stay fresh long enough for someone to finish the bottle. Eric demonstrates how the product works by inserting the balloon into an opened bottle of wine and he pumps air into it by squeezing the cluster of grapes at the other end of the product. The balloon should be filled up until it touches the inside walls of the glass bottle. It is so airtight that he can even tilt the wine bottle upside down. While doing this, he reveals that only a small little air bubble remains in contact with the wine. And whenever the prospective wine drinker is ready to use the bottle again, all they need to do is twist the little valve on the other end of the Wine Balloon to release the pressure.
Lori Greiner is quick to ask whether or not Eric currently has a patent on this product. Currently it is patent pending, but he hopes that the patent will be accepted soon. Robert Herjavec, on the other hand, wants to have a closer look at the item itself. While Herjavec is testing it out himself, Kevin O’Leary inquires on the type of material that the balloon is made out of. The Wine Balloon is composed of medical grade latex, which has been tested and proved to not change the taste of the wine. In addition to that, it can also preserve the wine for about 3 or 4 days after being opened.
Eric is a man full of ideas who keeps most of his potential inventions written down in a notebook while he’s out doing construction management. So far, this product has been the only one that has come to life and he has invested nearly $65k into it. About 6 months ago they began to sell on a small scale and have since then sold 700 units at $22 dollars retail price. In total, it only costs $6.50 dollars to make, but O’Leary points out that he could be mass producing them for $2.00 each. He decides that he will offer Corti the $40k, but only if he agrees to take his product and sell it to the #1 wine preserver company so that they can collect a royalty on it. However, Greiner has a counter offer. What she wants to do is to buy him out for $500k.
Corti doesn’t seem so sure about this particular deal, but Mark Cuban chimes in and goes in with Greiner and together they propose a deal of $600k for 100% of his company. Cuban attempts to pressure him into making a hasty decision by telling him that he needs to say yes right now in order to get the deal, but Corti says that he wants a 3% royalty on their sales on top of the $600k. O’Leary applauds him for this, stating that he is “protecting his future”, but both Cuban and Greiner deny him that request. Corti is persistent though, which ultimately pushes Cuban to back out of the offer.
With Cuban out, Greiner decides to switch back over to her original offer. At least until Cuban agrees to go back in with her for $400k instead. Both Daymond John and Herjavec have decided not to invest, which leaves Corti with two offers on the table. With all that pressure going to his head, Eric cracks and decides to sell his entire company to Cuban and Greiner for $400k.
The Wine Balloon Now in 2018 – Recent Upate
Once Eric and the Sharks were off the screen, things didn’t exactly go as planned. Instead of signing a contract and getting a check for $400k from Lori and Mark, he walked away and decided to pursue marketing his product on his own. All of her hard work got him and his product on another reality television show where he gained a partnership with two other people who work in the food industry. It was after this partnership was made that the Wine Balloon was renamed to The Air Cork, in addition to also going through some re-packaging that made it more presentable on retail shelves.
Since appearing on both shows, The Air Cork has received a lot of attention and has become wildly successful. Various wineries and vineyards buy the product in bulk, but the preserver is also sold in retail locations as well as online. They have created a variety of new designs since the launch of the company and even started a blog about their experiences.
As of right now, The Air Cork is currently backed up with orders and sold out on their website. However you can still purchase it from Amazon.com by clicking the following link. It’s currently a low stock item so if you would like to get your hands on one you should try and purchase it as soon as possible.