The Twister Before Shark Tank
Alfonzo Dowe is a police officer turned inventor as a result of his deep love for golfing. Having 20 years of playing the sport under his belt, Dowe understands the frustration that comes with having dirty golf balls. However, it wasn’t until a clump of dirt ruined his game-winning shot during a grudge-match that he finally sat down and thought out a solution for this particularly irksome issue. After some trial and error while trying to get the design right, Dowe finally came up with The Twister.
The Twister is an easy to carry golfing accessory that makes quick work of tidying up dirty golf balls that have been recently used. The science behind the small mechanism is its water-tight chamber that allows for cleaning solution to be stored without dripping and sloshing all over the place. When a golfer wishes to give one of his golf balls a quick clean, all he needs to do is to take out The Twister and place the ball in between the cleaning bristles. Then, after the device has been sealed shut, all it takes is a few shakes and twists before the ball is clean.
The idea behind it is very simple and convenient, making it easy for regular golfers to avoid having putting mishaps like Dowe had the misfortune of experiencing, but there was one issue. Like most new business adventurers, Alfonzo Dowe did not exactly have the proper financial standings to launch a company on his own. Additional backing was going to be necessary if his invention were to ever make a standing. So, thanks to ABC, Dowe was given his chance to appeal to business multi-millionaires by making his appearance on Shark Tank.
The Twister On Shark Tank
Alfonzo Dowe Sr. enters the Shark Tank looking for $85k for 40% of his company. He begins by explaining to the sharks why having a clean golf ball is necessary in the world of golfing. According to Dowe, golf balls that are free of residue and dirt not only perform better, but last longer as well. Most players usually just take a damp towel with them whenever they venture out onto the golfing range to wipe off the balls, but that often proves to be rather inconvenient and that is why Dowe came up with his very own, portable golf ball cleaner.
In an attempt to demonstrate how his product works, Dowe sets up a theoretical golfing story where the golfer makes it to his final shot and, to his dismay, the golf ball is dirty and that could be detrimental to this all important shot of the game. Fortunately with Dowe’s handy product, it’s just a matter of taking a few quick steps to your bag and grabbing The Twister before the problem is solved. Dowe takes a model of his product and unscrews the top. Then, after placing the golf ball on the bottom half of the chamber, he twists the lid back on and gives it a little shake. To get the cleaning done, he then twists the lid back and forth to get the golf ball within nice and clean. Once Dowe if finished, he takes the golf ball out to reveal that it’s spotless and looks brand new, which earns the approval of the sharks.
Robert Herjavec inquires on the sales of his product and discovers that Dowe has only made a few thousand in profit as the result of only being able to sell them at flea markets and, on occasion, through his website. Dowe also confesses that he isn’t much of a businessman, but rather a police officer instead. Where his knowledge on the law and judicial system is plentiful, his business experience is lacking and that is why he needs a partner in his company.
The manufacturing cost for one twister is $6 dollars while the retail sales price is $19.99. Herjavec admires the fact that this particular golfing accessory is sturdy and well made, which stands out in contrast from all of the other “silly” accessories he has encountered before. However, Kevin Harrington speaks up to say that he has sold golfing products before, but only products that effectively enhance scores. Herjavec begins to say that the market Dowe is trying to appeal to isn’t in fact the golfer themselves, but is abruptly cut off by Dowe who begins explaining statistics. There are around 68 million golfers worldwide, and even more people who are loved ones of a golfer. According to Dowe, these loved ones would be jumping at the opportunity to buy this gift for said golfer. However, Harrington then deems The Twister as a seasonal product that would get the majority of its sales during Christmas. Dowe counteracts this by saying there are also a large amount of other occasions where his product would still make the perfect gift. Harrington still isn’t convinced though, and decides not to invest.
Barbara Corcoran is the next to make her comments and makes it very clear that she is not a fan of this particular sport. However, she does see a lot of potential in the product, stating that it would be a good corporate promotional item. Despite seeing the potential, she does not invest based solely on the fact that she hates golf. After she makes her decision, Herjavec quickly jumps on the bandwagon and also decides not to partner up with the Delaware police officer. Kevin O’Leary asks what exactly the invested money would be put towards only to find out that it would be put toward inventory, which completely turns him off and finalizes his decision to pull out. That leaves Daymond John as his only hope, who also ends up not investing into the company because he is unfamiliar with the golfing market. Sadly for Dowe, that means he must walk away from the tank empty handed.
The Twister Now in 20156- The After Shark Tank Update
Even though Alfonzo failed to strike up a deal with one of the sharks, that did not keep him from getting his product out there. He continues to make direct sales through his website (http://www.thetwistercleaner.com/) and a few other large marketing websites like Amazon and Ebay. After the airing of his appearance on Shark Tank, that definitely did help give him an advertisement boost and allowed for more sales to be made. Though his story probably isn’t the most successful one, Dowe still manages to sit pretty on his business in spite of not receiving any additional help from an investor.