Neuro Gum Before Shark Tank
Neuro is a company that makes gum and mints that help consumers boost their productivity. The company carries the gum and mints in two varieties. One is used for promoting energy and mental focus, while the other one is used for promoting calmness and clarity. “Energy & Focus” is available in flavors such as cinnamon and peppermint, while “Calm & Clarity” is available in flavors such as ginger chai and honey lemon. The Neuro team has created these supplements with vitamins and natural caffeine to give consumers the kick start they need to get tasks done. Some other ingredients in Neuro’s gum and mints include L-Theanine and Gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is similarly found in green tea. Additionally, Neuro’s products are all WADA, NSF, and FDA compliant, as well as gluten-free, aspartame-free, sugar-free, and vegan.
Founder of Neuro, Ryan Chen, and his co-founder, Kent Yoshimura, founded the business in 2015. Ryan and Kent met while they were both attending the University of California San Diego, studying to get their degrees in Neuroscience, Chemistry, and Economics. Aside from their studies, however, Ryan was training with the U.S. Paralympic team and getting his black belt in Kendo. Meanwhile, Kent was training with the Japanese Olympic Judo team, participating in competitions in Muay Thai, and painting murals in the city of Los Angeles. With all these tasks on their plates, Ryan and Kent became determined to find something to give them the boost they needed to get it all accomplished. While coffee is certainly an option, it’s not very convenient to carry around, not to mention too much coffee isn’t healthy.
Knowing they wanted something healthy and natural, Kent started brainstorming ideas. At first, all they came up with were pills; however, Kent found a better solution. Gum or mints would be a more practical solution given that the package would be small enough to carry daily and the supplements would last long. One day, while in his kitchen, Kent was messing around with some mixtures and he discovered that a mix of L-Theanine, vitamins, and natural caffeine was the perfect solution. Thus, creating Neuro. In 2015, Ryan and Kent launched the business with an IndieGoGo campaign, which raised them $20,571. They then attempted to launch a Kickstarter campaign; however, that failed due to the organization not allowing the product in. Nonetheless, the duo successfully sold 10 million units of their Neuro products. Now, they would like a sharks help in growing and reaching their goal of $100 million worth of sales.
Neuro Gum on Shark Tank
Ryan Chen and Kent Yoshimura enter the Shark Tank, asking for $750,000 in exchange for 5% of their company, Neuro. The duo begins their pitch by explaining their stories and how they got the idea for their Neuro gum and mints. They told the sharks that they wanted an energy booster, but a healthier, more natural version. Ryan, in a wheelchair, tells the sharks about his accident while snowboarding. Despite never being able to walk again, he remains determined in working hard daily and doing the tasks that he enjoys, such as Kendo. The sharks appear to be impressed with his mindset and they are sympathetic towards his background.
Getting right into the sales numbers, Ryan and Kent reveal that, within just eight months, they’ve successfully made $3.5 million in sales. This seems quite impressive given that a pack of their gum only costs them $0.67 to produce and they sell for $3.99 each. Guest shark, Daniel Lubetzky asks the entrepreneurs about their distribution, to which they respond, saying they are lacking and need some help in that part of their business. With this response, Daniel drops out of the deal because Neuro isn’t a company for him. Next, Kevin O’Leary chimes in to ask Ryan and Kent what their plans are for the investment, given that they received one. The entrepreneurs tell him that they want to use it towards marketing their products; however, this response leaves Kevin bewildered.
Robert Herjavec speaks next. He explains that the equity the duo is asking for is too low, which he finds to be too risky. Ryan and Kent then reveal that they have taken their products to several shows, where consumers are able to sample the products. They state that this has been good for getting connections. This triggers Mark Cuban to chime in. Mark explains that taking the products to shows and having them sampled is a risk. He isn’t willing to invest. Lori Greiner goes out as well; she doesn’t think that Neuro is the right fit for her. Nevertheless, Robert decides to offer the entrepreneurs a deal, regardless of his comments about the low equity. He offers Ryan and Kent $1 million in exchange for a 20% equity in their business.
After hearing Robert’s offer, Kevin becomes interested as well. He offers the founders $750,000 in exchange for 5% equity in their business; however, he also wants a $0.50 royalty until the $1 million is paid back. Ryan and Kent seem to ignore Kevin’s offer as they attempt to counteroffer Robert for a 10% equity. Robert responds, saying he won’t go lower than a 14% equity, but the entrepreneurs aren’t happy with that. With that, they reject Kevin and Robert’s deals and Neuro leaves Shark Tank without a deal.
Neuro Gum Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
Following their appearance on Shark Tank, Ryan Chen and Kent Yoshimura appear to have kept their Neuro business going strong despite not getting a deal. Since leaving the tank, the founders have been able to reach an annual revenue of over $6 million, which has doubled what their revenue was during the time of the Shark Tank episode airing. The company continues to sell their gum and mints on their website, as well as on Amazon. Though, the founders have also expanded their products into about 5,000 CVS locations and about 6,500 other various stores. Additionally, Neuro has been featured in a few well-known magazines such as Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes, and Time Magazine.
As for the founders themselves, Kent has started a YouTube channel, where he has been uploading workout videos. He also had the opportunity to paint some murals across old, boarded-up properties. One of which he was able to paint a mural based off George Floyd’s murder following the Los Angeles riots. Ryan and Kent have updated their website as well. Now, brand advertisements, product reviews, and testimonials regarding their Neuro products can be seen on the website. The founders appear to be creating a success from Neuro and it can be predicted that the business will only improve further. They are continuously improving their supplements mixtures in order to produce the most effective, and natural energy boosters consumers will need.