Drip Drop Before Shark Tank
The founders of Drip Drop, best friends Oliver Greenwald and Sam Nassif, from Denver, Colorado were aged just fourteen when they appeared in the Shark Tank, and in doing so they became the youngest entrepreneurs that had ever appeared in the tank without the company of an adult. But their confidence and composure in the tank not only impressed the Sharks, but it also showed that these two young men were confident and well-prepared for their appearance, which is no real surprise when you consider that the pair began their business career when they were aged just ten.
For me, being ten years old is but a distant memory now, and a hazy one at that, but one thing I do have a clear recollection of is my love of ice cream at that age. In those rare but glorious summer days in the England of my youth, the rarity of a day without rain could only be improved with that most delicious of all sweet treats, but for Oliver and Sam, at that age they had a flash of inspiration and launched their plans to produce a product that not only made an ice cream cone a less messy business, it was a sweet and tasty treat in its own right too.
The road that eventually led them to the Shark Tank began when they were at a local ice cream store and saw two small children with clothes and hands covered a sticky drips from their ice cream cones that they were waving about carelessly, in the way that small children do. Oliver and Sam watched the children’s mom try to clean up her toddlers with a mass of napkins, no little effect, and they were suddenly struck with the idea that they should do something to solve the problem of messy cones.
Oliver and Sam may have been young, but they settled down to brainstorming ideas for a solution, and eventually they came up with a unique and original idea that would end those sticky drip problems forever. They created an edible wafer ring that fitted around the edge of a cone, thereby catching all the drips, and it had the added bonus of being a perfect accompaniment to an ice cream cone.
Drip Drop On Shark Tank
Oliver and Sam entered the tank dressed smartly in matching shirts and bow-ties and announced that they were seeking a $50,000 investment in exchange for 20% of the Drip Drop business.
The young entrepreneurs began their pitch, a smoothly researched joint effort that was both entertaining and impressive. Oliver told the Sharks that everyone loved Ice Cream, and Sam chimed in by adding that the drips from a cone created sticky hands which required loads of napkins to clear up, which he emphasized by throwing a few napkins into the air.
Oliver revealed the Drip Drop, while Sam told the Sharks it was an edible, useful and environmentally friendly add-on to the traditional ice-cream cone. Oliver added it was such a simple solution that ‘only a kid could have invented it’, which raised a smile from the sharks.
The Sharks were already looking impressed by the performance of Sam and Oliver, but there was more good news to come. The entrepreneurs ran through a few of their variety of flavors before Oliver told Kevin that he had no need to worry, as no-one would be stealing the Drip Drop concept, and with that he flourished a framed certificate and told the Sharks that the idea had already been fully protected and awarded a patent.
The Sharks loved to hear that Drip Drop was securely patented and Oliver continued by announcing that even though he and Sam didn’t have drivers licences, they had ‘This Baby’, the Patent Certificate, and Sam asserted that it was ‘A Chick Magnet’, which brought a hearty round of laughter from the Sharks.
Sam and Oliver had come prepared with a selection of flavors for the Sharks to sample the Drip Drop and they handed them out while the Sharks praised the pitch. ‘Great Job’ Robert told the pair, and all the Sharks seemed to agree.
Robert Herjavec asked how the pair had originally come up with the idea. Sam explained that the idea had originally come about as part of a school competition in fifth grade in which they were required to find a problem and offer a solution. It was then that they had observed the messy children with their mom at a local store and they had had their moment of inspiration. They had devised the concept of the Drip Drop and won second prize in the school competition, and as a prize the school had offered to pay for the patent.
Robert asked what aspects of the Drip Drop were protected by the patent and Oliver explained it was the size and shape, and after further questions from Barbara Corcoran, confirmed that it was a basic design patent covering the functionality of the Drip Drop design.
Lori Grenier inquired what the pair had done with their idea so far, had they sold any or approached any Ice-Cream retailers for business? Oliver had an impressive answer ready for her. He explained that they had spoken to several food industry experts who had advised them to licence the Drip Drop product out to larger ice-cream manufacturers , as they would already have an existing customer base and the strategy would require no additional marketing and advertising costs in order to promote sales.
It was a smoothly delivered answer and Robert said admiringly ‘You’re smart guys’, he asked if the pair had approached any manufacturers yet. Oliver explained that in order to take advantage of their one big chance they really wanted to get the assistance and backing of a Shark partner, not only because of the investment that a partnership would supply, but also because of the invaluable assistance in helping with the licensing negotiations that a shark would offer, as well as opening the doors to big manufacturers in the first place.
Mark Cuban wanted to know how the prototype Drip Drops were produced, and Sam revealed that they had originally used 3D printing technology in order to create a silicone mold that they could simply fill with their raw mixture, and then just pop into an oven.
So far Oliver and Sam had impressed the Sharks with their professionalism, enthusiasm and knowledge of their product, but Kevin O’Leary as usual wanted to get down to the numbers, he asked what the cost and retail prices of the Drip Drops would be.
Sam told him that the estimated cost of each Drip Drop would be 3.2 cents, and they believed they would be able to sell them on to large Ice Cream manufacturers for 10 cents per unit. Robert Herjavec inquired what the price of a standard cone was, and Sam revealed that it would usually cost about 5 cents. Robert responded by asking if the pair were concerned that they would be ‘almost’ doubling the price of a cone for large manufacturers. It was the first moment of pressure for the young entrepreneurs, but Sam dealt with it well, telling Robert that he and Oliver believed that the value that the Drip Drop added to a traditional cone would be well worth it to manufacturers.
However, Barbara Corcoran had noticed another small problem by now, she observed that her sample cone, complete with Drip Drop was now dripping quite badly, but Sam once again dealt with the point smoothly, pointing out that the Prototypes were just home made at the moment, if they were ever able to secure a large production run, they would be able to ensure that the Drip Drops were all perfectly made to the exact specifications required. Oliver added that they wanted to use part of any investment to hire a food engineer to help iron out any problems with the design and perfect the drip catching functionality of the product.
Mark Cuban believed that the Drip Drop could be successful, he told Sam and Oliver that the more people that used the product, the more new customers would want to try it for themselves. Mark saw word-of-mouth advertising as the best way to grow demand for Drip Drops, but he also believed that in order to grow sales to a substantial level would require a huge amount of work, and due to that reason he was dropping out of the negotiations.
Robert Herjavec liked the concept of the product, and believed that if the entrepreneurs were determined enough, they would be able to secure a licensing deal with a manufacturer. He reminded Sam and Oliver that they had a patent, they had got on to Shark Tank and that they shouldn’t sell themselves short. He told them not to be afraid to contact manufacturers and pitch for an opportunity to discuss their product, but for Robert the business was in too early a stage for him to invest in, and with that he was out too.
Kevin O’Leary was next to speak, he told the pair that the great thing about ice cream cones is that they were a timeless product, they would still be the same in one hundred years, and therefore Sam and Oliver could simply finish their education, and restart their efforts with the Drip Drop later, secure in the knowledge that they had that all-important patent. Kevin believed that in order to secure a licensing deal with a manufacturer would be a fair amount of work, and ultimately Kevin wasn’t prepared to take on the extra workload and he was dropping out too. But he told the entrepreneurs that he would get Barbara to give them the $50,000.
Barbara Corcoran wasn’t so sure about that, but Lori was the next to drop out. She told the entrepreneurs that she believed they could grow their business without a Sharks help, she didn’t want to take 20% of the business away from them, and for that reason she was out.
Barbara was the last remaining Shark now, but she had concerns about the quality of the design, and the taste of it. She had found her sample somewhat tasteless, and believed that frills could be added to the design to make it more attractive and professional, but even with those problems she was prepared to make an offer. She would supply the requested $50,000, but in exchange for an equal third share in the business, contingent on the design and taste of the Drip Drop being improved before the deal was completed.
After a very brief whispered discussion Sam and Oliver were quick to accept, and the new partners exchanged a hug. As the pair left the tank the other Sharks unanimously wished them good luck for the future.
Drip Drop Now In 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
As far as we can tell, their deal with Barbara was never finalized. They also struggled to get a manufacturer on board (they had hoped to get a licensing deal with Jay Cone by the end of the summer but it never happened). Having said that, they did manage to get Drip Drops into all three locations of Glacier Ice Cream & Gelato, a Denver-based ice cream store.
As of 2023, however, Drip Drop is no longer in business. Their website has gone dark and their social media pages haven’t been updated since 2019. While they never made any official announcements, given all that has happened, our best guess is that they weren’t able to grow the company in the end, especially seeing as how they weren’t able to land a licensing contract. The fact that their deal with Barbara fell through probably didn’t help either (let’s face it, most teens don’t have a lot of funds to spend on a business).
So, what are Oliver and Sam up to now? The former officially left the company in early 2018. Not long afterward, he developed an app called “Make Shit Happen”, which provides individuals with 5-minute social change tasks for when they’re on the toilet. From the looks of it, however, it’s no longer available on the app store.
That’s not the only thing that he’s been up to either. He also cofounded a sold-out NFT collection, which helped revolutionize sneaker culture. Not only did he work on the website, but he also created original graphic art and animations for the project. On top of that, he has been working as a product design summer intern at Zoom- a position that he had also held last year- where he’s helping to launch a new whiteboard product. He also contributed some graphics for the Duke Men’s basketball social media page on the side.
As for Sam, he’s currently working as an Investor Relations Associate at Gate 5. According to his LinkedIn page, he has helped design a working pitch deck for investors and have helped to create illustrations and graphics for various marketing materials.
That’s not all, he’s also a Venture Analyst at 7BC Venture Capital, a position that he’s held since May 2022. Prior to that, he ran a toy business called ‘Dotboxtoys’ on Amazon where he transported and sold thousands of units from Chinese manufacturers.