Flipstik Before Shark Tank
Flipstik is an adhesive product that was created to allow smartphone users to attach or prop up their phone anywhere, on any kind of surface. The device was made using synthetic setae, which is a technology of NASA, and it can hold up to 2 pounds. To use this device, all the user has to do is remove the back film, stick the Flipstik onto the back of their phone or phone case, and attach the phone to any surface needed. Additionally, if and when the Flipstik gets too dirty, it can easily be cleaned with alcohol cleansing pads or some soap and water. At this time, this product is sold at $15 each and can be purchased from kiosks around the St. Louis area.
Flipstik was founded and created by Akeem Shannon. Prior to his invention, Akeem attended Harvard University as a student studying chemical engineering; however, he did end up losing his scholarship. Following that, he moved back to Missouri, where he then got a job working as a salesperson for a technology company known as Square. Although this job was going great for him, he decided he wanted to start a business of his own. More specifically, he wanted to create a product of his own, thus leading him to create the Flipstik. But how did he come up with the idea?
The idea came to him during a late night phone call between him and his uncle, during which time the two had had a conversation about an adhesive that NASA had been looking into during the 70’s. The two started thinking about the adhesive and it’s features; Akeem then thought about how great it would be if something like this could be used for phones. He figured that such a product should be able to adhere to pretty much any surface. These thoughts gave him the design and concept for the Flipstik. A tool that is like a tripod but cheaper and more compact.
After launching Flipstik, Akeem started a Kickstarter campaign a year later in 2018. During the campaign, he made a goal of raising about $1,865; however, he was able to raise $10,310. Which was great, considering it helped get his business started. In that same year, Akeem got the product trademarked and patented himself. After another year, Flipstik participated and won a competition with CES Retail Pitch and soon after made more than $100,000 in sales. While this sounds pretty successful for a newfound business, Akeem would like to get the help of a shark in order to get Flipstik distributed nationwide.
Flipstick on Shark Tank
Akeem Shannon enters the Shark Tank in search of a $100,000 investment and a 20% equity in his product, Flipstik. But Akeem didn’t show up with some basic pitch; instead, he pitched his product with a rap that he wrote himself. Entertained, the sharks watch his pitch and check out their samples while hearing all about the product and how it’s used. Akeem demonstrated how great Flipstik is by covering the product in three different messes, then proceeded to wipe the Flipstik clean and attach it to glass. Although the sharks loved the overall pitch, they weren’t too intrigued when it came to the sales of Flipstik.
To Kevin O’Leary, this sounded good. He offers Akeem $100,000 for a 20% equity in the business. Akeem told the sharks that, within the past year and a half prior to the episode, Flipstik made $115,000 in sales, along with another $1,500 a month before the episode aired. While some of these lower sales may have been because of the pandemic hitting, Akeem needed a shark’s help with getting them increased. With that, he explains to the sharks that each Flipstik is $0.58 to create and that each one sells for $15. After hearing about the $1,500 in sales, Kevin then drops out of the deal.
Barbara Corcoran is the first shark to go out, saying that she doesn’t think this concept with bring much value. Following her, Daymond John goes out as well; however, his reason is due to him already having an investment with another business within the technology industry. Lori Greiner, on the other hand, is interested in Flipstik and thinks she is the best shark to choose as she has worked with visual products. She offers Akeem $100,000 and a 25% equity. Akeem ends up accepting Lori’s offer after hearing how certain the other certain the other sharks were about their partnership.
Flipstik Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
After a successful appearance on Shark Tank, Flipstik seems to be doing well; however, it has not been said whether or not the deal with Lori Greiner has been closed yet. Nonetheless, Lori has definitely helped Akeem Shannon and his Flipstik product reach greater success. In fact, Lori has helped Flipstik with it’s online presence, as well as she was able to get the product selling on Amazon. Since their release on Amazon, the Flipstik sales have increased. As of 2023, the business has a net worth of $5 million, which continues to increase as well.
Soon after Akeem finished his Shark Tank appearance, he actually won two awards. One of which was $50,000 from a non-profit Arch Grant in St. Louis, and the other being another $50,000 for funding from the UMSL Accelerate’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Accelerator. Earlier this year, it was announced that Flipstik is now being sold in hundreds of Target locations around the United States, along with Flying J and AT&T stores. There have also been mentions that Akeem and his team are currently working on negotiations with other big retailers. These retail deals were set to be announced early this year.