Float N Grill Before Shark Tank
Mikey Bashawaty was the one who came up with the Float N Grill. Several years ago, when he was still married, he decided to buy a boat- right before his wedding. While the boat was nothing special, it gave him an easy way to get to the local lake’s sandbar.
After a few trips, however, he realized that there was a lack of food options at the lake- that they could only eat chips, cold subs, and sandwiches. He narrowed it down to the size of the boat, which limited their food options as it could only fit three people and their cooler.
One day, after spending several hours at the sandbar, he and his friends decided that they wanted something else to eat- something other than cold sandwiches and sub- while they were at the lake. So they set off to create a grill that could float on water. It took several tries but Mike eventually created a prototype, which he showed to his friend Jeremy.
Amazed, Jeremy did a quick search online to see if anything similar was available but to his surprise, there wasn’t. That’s when the pair realized that they had an actual product idea- one that they could turn into a business.
And it proved to be popular among the local lake-going community. Before long, they had sold more than a hundred of the floating grills. They even received a patent for the product and got a Kickstarter campaign going in 2017. However, the latter wasn’t very successful as they only managed to raise $860 out of $200,000.
But they didn’t let that deter them. Wanting to expand the business, they decided to try their luck auditioning for Shark Tank, and to their surprise, they “kept making it past the next round.” Before they knew it, they were flown into Las Vegas to film their episode in 2020.
Float N Grill On Shark Tank
Mike and Jeremy walk into the tank and greet the sharks. They let them know that they’re from Plymouth, Michigan and that they’re seeking $200,000 in exchange for 20 percent equity in their company, Float N Grill.
Jumping into their pitch, the pair paint a picture for the sharks by asking them, “wouldn’t it be great if they could make their own food at a lake without having to leave the water?”. They then let them know that they’ve created a solution. With that, they take off the sheet that’s covering their product on the display table- the Float N Grill.
Seconds later, they take off another sheet and it reveals another grill- one that’s floating on water. As the camera zooms in on the product, they explain that the Float N Grill is lightweight, easy to use, and has tons of features that allow you to cook safely without ever having to go back to land. They also let them know that the product is patented and that it comes with a unique weight displacement so that it will never flip over in the water.
With that, the pair ends their pitch by asking who’s interested in the business.
Almost immediately, Mark asks the friends if they were on Instagram recently. Jeremy explains that they had a post that went viral back in 2018 and that it had started catching traction again just a few weeks ago. Mark smiles and tells them that he saw the video.
Robert is the next shark to speak and asks the duo to tell them more about the post. Mike tells him that they threw the video on Facebook and that it had reached 4.7 million people in 72 hours. The sharks are impressed. Lori asks about the video and Mark excitedly explains that they were flipping a burger while in the water.
Lori then asks how they came up with the product. Mike explains that he had bought a 16-foot jet boat and had started to get used to sandbar life but wasn’t a fan of the food options as it almost always involved cold subs or sandwiches. Pointing at the product at the front, Lori asks about the grill’s heat source and how it works.
Standing next to the tank, they explain that the grill comes with a 1-pound propane tank and a remote mounting hose. As he demonstrates how it works, Robert asks if the base of the grill is solid or if they have to blow it up. They tell him that the base is made of food-grade HDPE plastic and that the grill has a 1,200 BTU burner and can fit up to eight burgers at a time.
Mark then asks about their numbers; how much it costs and how many they’ve sold so far. They tell him that the Float N Grill retails for $229 and that it costs them $126.88 to make. Mark notes that it’s expensive but the pair explain that they give the customers free shipping, which is actually put into the cost.
Mark goes on to ask about their total sales. Jeremy tells them that their total gross sales for the year so far is $19,400. The sharks are noticeably disappointed at the low number but the pair emphasize that it’s because they’ve spent zero dollars on marketing. Asked about the number again, they reiterate that they’ve made over $19,000 and that they’ve just launched a little over a year and a half ago.
The sharks are still displeased at the number. Kevin notes that they haven’t even sold 100 units yet and that the sandbar community has “rejected” them. Mike asks if he goes to the sandbars and all Kevin says is that he hasn’t seen anyone using the grill in the sandbar.
The pair immediately defend the product and say that “it didn’t go viral for no reason.”
Guest shark Daniel Lubetzky, the founder and executive chairman of Kind, says he expected the conversion rate to be higher given the number of views that their videos received on social media. Jeremy quickly explains that there’s more to the story.
He explains that while they went viral back in 2018, they didn’t actually have any product to sell at the time as they didn’t have an established manufacturer for the grill yet. Just as they are about to continue, Kevin steps in and asks about the $1 million valuation that the pair had given to the company, based on what they’re seeking, and is obviously skeptical given that “no one in the sandbar community is using the grill.”
The rest of the sharks laugh but Jeremy assures him that he’s wrong. He asks Kevin again whether or not he’s in the sandbar community to which he replies yes. Mark jokingly answers by saying that he is always on his speedboat in his Speedo.
Kevin continues by saying that no one in the sandbar community cares about the product. Mike and Jeremy once again tell him he’s wrong but Kevin is convinced otherwise as they have no sales. The pair reiterate that 99 percent of the reactions that they received on their viral post were positive. Mike also adds that they have accessories coming out, which they already have 3-D renderings.
Kevin questions the feasibility of accessories seeing as how they haven’t even sold anything yet. The rest of the sharks laugh again.
Daniel then lets the pair know that he’s friends with the guys from Weber Grills and asks if there’s anything that they could license to them or if there’s something preventing them from doing floating grills themselves. Mike explains the first claim on their patent is for the floating apparatus that supports a cooking element for cooking purposes.
Daniel notes that the claim is very broad. He asks them if they’re familiar with Weber Grills and tells them that he could potentially set up a meeting for them with the company so that they can license the product to them or sell the patent. He goes on to offer them $200,000 for 50 percent equity. Jeremy mishears 15 percent and Daniel quickly corrects him by saying that it’s “5-0”. He also lets the pair know that they can counter his offer
Mike says they respect the offer but that “can’t go that high.” Daniel asks about their counteroffer. Mike tells them that they believe in their product and that they’re not opposed to a partial loan. He then counters with a two-part offer: a $100,000 loan with a 7 percent interest rate and a $100,000 investment for 15 to 20 percent of the company and that they’ll pay him $2 per every unit sold until he gets the investment back.
The rest of the sharks are noticeably impressed by his counteroffer. Robert even notes that Mikey “is a shark.” However, Kevin is quick to say that at $2 per unit sold, it will be impossible for Daniel to ever recover his investment.
Daniel asks the rest of the sharks if anyone is planning on making an offer. Mark and Kevin are quick to announce that they’re out. Lori states that their company valuation is hard to work with and that she is also out. With that, everyone turns to Robert, who states that while he loves their story, he’s not a fan of the fact that they’ve only made $19,000 in sales. Citing that “it all falls apart on that”, he tells them that he is also out.
Mark then points out that they still have an offer from Daniel and that it might go away if they wait too long. Kevin also advises them not to let the opportunity “float away.”
Daniel agrees with Kevin that $19,000 in sales is a warning sign, but states that he’s willing to work with them because he likes their patent and because they’re “fun”. He then reiterates his offer: $200,000 for 50 percent as equal partners because his team will have to work on it full-time for it to work. However, Mike and Jeremy quickly shake their heads and say they can’t do 50 percent.
Jeremy goes on to explain that they already have two other investors. and that they own 30 percent in total – 10 percent and 20 percent because of that, the pair currently own 70 percent of Float N Grill. Robert asks them what they’re going to do and Daniel notes that “they’re very far apart” in terms of their offers.
Mike asks about the possibility of a licensing deal and notes that they are willing to give Daniel 22.5 percent of the company.
Seconds later, Daniel gives them a new offer- a $100,000 investment for a 22.5 percent stake in the company, a $100,000 loan at 7 percent, and 50% of any licensing that they end up receiving. Mike and Jeremy think about it for a couple of seconds before agreeing.
Float N Grill Now In 2024 – The After Shark Tank Update
Unfortunately, the deal with Daniel didn’t work out. At one point, Mikey did tell a reporter that [Daniel’s] team is exceptional and that they’re there for them when they need them. During the same interview, he also said that they were in talks with a major grilling company but revealed no details.
Fast forward to December 2021 and the Float N Grill was featured in Rolling Stone’s holiday gift guide. However, as far as we can tell, nothing ever came out of the licensing deal with the major company.
Not only that but the product itself is also not available for purchase on their website (it’s currently listed as ‘sold out’) as of 2024. The same goes for Amazon. While the grill has a 4.5-star rating on the site, with several users praising it for its convenience, it has been unavailable on the site for a while. One user also wrote that their food rolled over the grill due to waves and that their propane tank has rusted from the water.
Needless to say, it looks like Float N Grill didn’t work out after all. Our best guess is that they didn’t have the funding necessary to continue manufacturing the product without Daniel’s help. The fact that they didn’t land the licensing deal with the unnamed major company probably didn’t help either.