Prepwell Before Shark Tank
Phil Black had heard on more than one occasion that a parent was having a hard time getting their child into college. In most cases, the child the parent was talking about had scored very high grades. Phil had been at Yale and had an MBA from Harvard Business School. Although Phil himself was not going to use the information, he decided to start taking notes on best practices for getting into college.
Phil then started Prepwell academy which was an online site where students could get the knowledge he had acquired and more. Prepwell was an online mentoring program for parents and students to help them navigate through the stressful college admission process. People would get weekly videos giving them exact advice and timely advice on the best practices to get into college.
Prepwell academy had not had a fast start but Phil still believed in it. That is why he went to Shark Tank to ask for help. This was his second time on the show. This time around, he was on the 18th episode of season 11.
Prepwell on Shark Tank
Phil Black went to the Shark Tank with his 4 sons. He desired $100,000 for 20% of the business. This gave Prepwell a valuation of $500,000. He gave his presentation showing the sharks the benefits of Prepwell. Phil had been on Shark Tank before pitching his Fitdeck playing cards on the 15th episode of the fifth season.
Daymond said that he remembered him but he needed to be reminded of his background. Phil said that he was recruited as an athlete when he left high school. He then played for the Yale basketball team. He was then an investment banker at Goldman Sachs.
Phil was then a navy seal officer and a navy seal instructor. Daymond then asked him how his Fitdeck business went after Shark Tank. Phil said that the business went well and after they were on Shark Tank they sold some more. Eventually, Fitdeck was acquired by a larger business on the East Coast.
Robert then asked him what he did for a living and Phil said that he was a firefighter. He then added that he became a firefighter after the 9/11 attacks and had continued to do so for 14 years. Kevin then asked Phil how he was making money from his business.
Phil said that it was a subscription service and when people subscribed it helped them along the path. Kevin then asked him for some of his sales figures such as the acquisition rate and attrition rate. Phil said that he had about 220 subscribers. Lori then asked him what he normally charged. Phil said that it cost $15 a month.
Mark Cuban then asked him how long he had been in business and Phil said that he had been in business for about 2 years. Mark then gave the opinion that the business would not be successful. Robert then asked him what his sales in that period had been and Phil said that he had realized sales of $150,000 at that time.
Robert asked Phil how he had realized $150,000 in sales with only 220 subscribers. Phil told him that the subscribers were not his only revenue stream. The business also had private company revenue and a journal that they sold.
Lori then asked him how he came up with his idea. Phil said that he came up with the idea after he sold Fitdeck. He saw that parents had a lot of problems with their children getting college admissions correct. Phil started taking notes on the best practices for getting into college. He then started a mentorship program where he was teaching students about the best practices for getting into college.
Lori then left. She said that she thought it was a very smart idea but it was hard to get people involved in this program that would be so long for so many months for his stated price. She said that she was also leaving because she couldn’t relate to the business model that he had.
Robert then left because he didn’t see the business succeeding. He also thought that Phil had a habit of continuing something longer than it should. Daymond then left because he felt that the service was been marketed to people who might not need the education. Daymond also thought that many people were resistant to change even when it was in their best interest.
Mark Cuban then left because he didn’t see the business being scalable. He thought that Prepwell’s subscription numbers were also too low for him to invest in the business so he left. Kevin said that he thought that Phil was a great guy with a bad business. Kevin told him that he could come back to the shark tank a third time but after that, he was out. With those remarks, Kevin left.
Phil then left the Shark Tank without an offer. Phil said that he was never going to give up and he would push it through as he did with Fitdeck.
Prepwell Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
Although it did not get a deal from the sharks, Prepwell Academy is still in the business. It has also increased the number of programs that it offers. A deal from the sharks would have gone a long way in promoting the brand. However, the business was making a considerable profit and so even if it grew at the rate that it had been growing, it would not have a problem.
It was not Phil’s first time in the Shark Tank and it was not his first rejection so Phil was likely to still go on as he had said he would. With only 1,100 followers on Facebook and less than 1,000 followers on Instagram, Prepwell has not had a big social media following.
Phil wants to be a leader in early preparation programs for high school students. Prepwell is currently making an annual revenue of $500,000. Although no deal was given, it has not been the end of the road for the founder of the program.