FitFighter Before Shark Tank
Sarah Apgar was called to Princeton when she was going to college. Unfortunately, the tuition money was a problem and Sarah had to find a way to pay her fees. The Reserve Officers Training Corps offered a scholarship to those who were willing to join the military after their college period was done. Sarah was one of those who took the scholarship and so after her time in Princeton, she joined the military where she was a second lieutenant.
After her time in the military, Sarah would join the local volunteer firefighters in her area. She was located in Dartmouth at the time. While she was there, she noticed that there was a gap in firefighters’ training and some of the training was not very practical. Sarah decided to devote her time to finding a way to make the training more relevant.
Due to her effort, Sarah managed to invent the FitFighter which was a weighted hose that could be used for strength training. The FitFighter was supposed to mimic a firehose charged with water so a firefighter would have more experience with their tools and use them better in a real situation. The FitFighter was a success and its first client was the Fire Department of New York.
Although the business had grown, Sarah needed some help developing a better business strategy and securing some more money to grow. Sarah applied to be on Shark Tank to get this. Her application was successful and she was called to make her pitch on the 5th episode of season 12.
FitFighter on Shark Tank
Sarah Apgar went onto Shark Tank seeking $250,000 for 15% of her company FitFighter. This gave the company a valuation of $1,666,666. Sarah started by giving them a brief history of herself. She then showed the sharks how the FitFighter worked. Each shark had been given a FitFighter steel hose weight before the presentation so after explaining how it was used, she asked the sharks to join her in a brief workout to test it.
Robert broke his table as he set his weight down. Daniel Lubetzky asked why the experience was so enjoyable because it felt much better than the other workouts. Robert then said that the workout was so hard. Sarah said that it was made from a real fire hose and the intention was to mimic a firehose with real water.
Sarah said that when she joined the fire department she noticed that there was a gap between the fire department, the gym, and what happened on the ground. She started by mimicking a hose that was filled with water without it necessarily having water. Her first major client was the fire department of New York City.
Lori then asked her what she had done in the military since Sarah had said that she had experience there. Lori also wanted to know what had motivated her to be a volunteer firefighter. Sarah said that when she went to college, the RTC would pay her tuition fees if she joined the military. For that reason, after she finished college, she joined the military as a second lieutenant.
After her training, she was sent to Mosul where she supported the 101st division. At the age of 23, she was a platoon leader and she lost her youngest soldier while in command. The soldier that she lost was 19 at the time of his death. Sarah said that at that moment she had to prove herself as a leader because she needed to get everyone, including herself, through the ordeal.
Sarah would later leave the service but she would never forget the community and its camaraderie and she would work to honor the memory of the soldier that she lost. Sarah would go on to do her MBA and at the time she was pregnant with her first child, a baby girl. At the time, she wanted to have that sense of camaraderie back so she joined her local volunteer fire department.
Kevin then asked her where she found time to do her MBA. She said that she did it at the Tuck School of Business in Dartmouth. Robert asked her how much she had raised and Sarah said that she had started the business with $210,000 with funding from friends and family. She had also put in $50,000 of her own money.
Sarah had a production partnership with Sorinex exercise equipment in May of that year. Sorinex is one of the largest exercise equipment manufacturers in the United States and is contracted by the US Army to provide new equipment for the new army combat fitness test.
Kevin then asked her what her distribution strategy was. Sarah said that in the previous year, they had $45,000 in sales proving the concept worked. Mark Cuban then asked her to who she had sold it to. Sarah said that she had sold it to trainers, coaches, and small boutiques. Mark then asked her what period she had done business for when she realized the $45,000 in profit. Sarah said that it was from July to the end of 2019.
Mark then confirmed if that was all her sales and she said that it was all her sales. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a certain market was shut down. This led them to develop their direct-to-consumer sales stream. In that April-May timeframe, they realized $40,000 in sales. This was in a ten-week period.
Kevin asked her how she acquired her customers. He asked if she had done digital sales on platforms such as Facebook. Sarah said that they had done that and that they had also launched an app on iOS. The iOS app had a library containing more than 150 books developed by her training partners. They also had a live online training platform.
Kevin then asked if they charged for the app and Lori asked for a more detailed description of how it worked. Robert asked her how much he would pay for it. Sarah then said that their app was a free download. However, they had a $19 per month option where people could get complete workouts. Mark Cuban then asked her how many subscribers she had and Sarah said that they had 302 subscribers.
Mark Cuban told Sarah that she was spread all over the place and drowning in opportunity. He thought that the path she was on would lead to failure and for that reason, he left. Kevin then left because he was already working with a company that was in that space and he would be competing with himself if he invested in her.
Robert then left saying that although he thought she was doing well, he wasn’t sure if she could make the transitions necessary to gain a competitive edge over other businesses. Daniel told her that he thought that the business had a lot of potential. For that reason, he gave her 2 offers. Daniel said that if Lori would join him, Sarah would get two sharks and she would get 30% for $250,000. However, if Lori was not interested, he would offer Sarah 25% for $250,000.
Lori said that she would not join Daniel in his offer. She thought that he would bring a better deal to the table. Sarah asked Daniel if he could accept $250,000 for 25%. Daniel refused to accept the offer. Sarah then took his offer. As Sarah left she said that with a partner like Daniel, they could make a better plan and be an example to women and girls.
FitFighter Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
So FitFighter got a deal from Daniel and the business has continued to operate as it did. It is selling the FitFighter on its website. The business has expanded its line to also sell FitFighter merchandise such as t-shirts, tank tops, and hoodies. The FitFighter hose is also available on Amazon where it has a 4.5-star rating out of a possible 5-star rating and this is from over 200 reviews.
FitFighter has also partnered with other businesses so that it sells its products but under the FitFighter brand. FitFighter has collaborated with Fire and Ice as well as Yoga by Melmarie. It is selling the Steelhose shaker with Fire and Ice and sells Yoga classes with MelMarie. It also offers certifications for those who can complete their training and become part of their community.
FitFighter has an Instagram page that has over 6,000 followers. It also has a Facebook page with over 300 followers. Firfighter has had other rounds of funding after the Shark Tank episode and has raised $2,500,000 since then. It is located in Washington DC and is making an annual revenue of $1,000,000. The business does look to be enjoying steady growth thanks to the right investments and an effective plan thanks to the right partnerships.