Bear Minimum Before Shark Tank
Camping outdoors is a fun way for people to pass their time whenever they take a few days off from work. It can be done by the individual or the group and people get to learn more about nature as they leave their artificial homes for the organic surroundings of the outdoors.
Cooking is a part of camping and there is a wide variety of pots and pans to choose from. Unfortunately, most cooking utensils available take up too much space. Heidi Santiago and her husband, Cory Santiago, wanted something more compact and went on to develop a lighter cooking pot that was easy to pack. They called their invention the bear bowl.
The bear bowl is a cooking pot that can be folded making it easy to pack. More than that, it is easy to fold and unfold so in case of an emergency such as a bear attack, the person can simply snap it open or shut in a few seconds and move on to doing other things.
Heidi and Cory started the Bear Minimum business to sell their collapsible cooking pot but they ran into a lot of problems. At some point they even had their dealer disappear with their savings. The couple turned to Shark Tank hoping that they would get a trustworthy investor who also had the skills to help them steer their business to success.
Shark Tank invited them to be on the first episode of season 10 to make their pitch.
Bear Minimum on Shark Tank
Heidi Santiago and Cory Santiago sought $100,000 for 20% of Bear Minimum giving the business a $500,000 valuation. They started their pitch by showing the sharks some of the options people could choose from when they went camping. They then showed the problems that those options had before presenting the bear bowl. They then showed the sharks the benefits of using the bear bowl and then gave each shark one to review.
Kevin wanted to know the material that the bear bowl was made of and he was told that it was PTFE fiberglass. Kevin then asked if they had patented it and he was told that they had a utility patent but they had not yet been granted the patent. Kevin asked if there were any counterfeiters and he was told that he had not been counterfeited yet.
Lori asked him if he had been in the market yet and he said that they had done a Kickstarter with a target of $1,000 but they had raised $40,000. Lori then confirmed some of its aspects such as that it had a metal bottom. She asked Cory what temperatures the bear bowl could withstand. Cory said that it could withstand up to 550°C but it could not withstand a lot of direct flames.
Cory then said that the product was very popular among campers. The sharks then talked with the Santiagos about how campers liked to buy things. Jamie then asked Cory what his background was.
Cory said that he had worked in manufacturing for most of his career He had at some point been out of employment and his wife who worked with a touring theatre company also taught music from time to time. Jamie asked them how much they invested and Cory told him they invested about $90,000 including the money from the kickstarter.
The Santiagos also said that they had sweat equity but they didn’t say how much. Heidi then said that she was working 5 jobs. She then listed them down. As she listed them down she broke down in tears.
Lori asked Heidi why she was crying and Heidi said that at some point both of them were unemployed but had brought a product to the market. Unfortunately, their middlemen went with their money. At that time they had put all their savings into the business. However, they had not given up and they would do whatever it took to make the business a success.
The sharks applauded her honesty and said that it was not a bad thing that they shared their failure. Too many people went onto the show not being honest enough about the setbacks that they had faced doing business. Daymond then added that he now understood why the Santiagos were on Shark Tank.
Kevin then asked them what they would do if they got the $100,000. Cory said that he had a manufacturer overseas who was ready to start production. They knew that it would cost $6.90 to have the finished product in the United States and it was to have a sales price of $29.90. They would then look for distributors such as camping stores.
They were asked if they had done any shows yet and they said that they hadn’t. Lori recommended that they do. Jamie wondered how they would prevent themselves from making mistakes out of inexperience as he too had made some mistakes. Cory said that he had established a relationship with a distributor in Canada who worked with all the big box stores. They also were planning to do a lot of online marketing.
Cory said that he was trying to build a brand. Jamie said that money is not the biggest problem. Mark then asked who their business partner was and they said that they had a few. Mark asked them to clarify and they said that they had advisors who owned 10% of the business. Daymond then asked Cory if this was his full-time job.
Cory said that it was his full-time job and he drove a Lyft car at night. Kevin then left because he was not the kind to use the product. Mark Cuban followed suit saying that they weren’t business people and it was a difficult position to invest into. Jamie then offered them $100,000 for 25%.
Kevin and Mark recommended to Cory that he take the offer. Lori then left because she did not have as much knowledge about the camping space and Jamie knew more than her. Daymond then offered $100,000 for 33%. He said that he could reach out to people but they would ask for some share of the profits so he might end up giving them some percentage of his.
Cory and Heidi then took Jamie’s offer. Heidi’s final remark was that people should not give up on themselves even when they make mistakes.
Bear Minimum Now in 2023 The After Shark Tank Update
From the partnership with Jamie, Bear Minimum and its bear bowl have enjoyed a lot of publicity. The product was successfully launched and now retails on its website. The bear bowl is also available on many online and concrete shops such as Amazon, Walmart, Grim Workshop, and Myshopify. The bear bowl is available to both local and international customers.
Bear minimum has been featured by several other camping reviewers such as Touch of Modern, The Grommet, and Survival Frog. It has also increased its range of products to include different sizes of the bear bowl. On Amazon, it has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating from 146 reviews.
Bear Minimum did launch its social media and has 4 social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube. Its Facebook page is its largest and it has 5,000 followers. It has nearly 2,000 followers on Instagram. Its Twitter and Youtube pages have less than 1,000 followers.
Bear Minimum is making an annual revenue of $100,000. Bear Minimum is located in Spokane Washington and they would eventually move their manufacturing to the United States. It now provides the whole world with a compact way to carry their camping gear.