SwiftPaws Before Shark Tank
SwiftPaws is a product for pets that promotes a healthy lifestyle via exercise. This product is an easy-to-setup game of fetch that can be used nearly anywhere. The product contains multiple motorized hoists with ropes through them. The hoists can be activated by powering on the motor. Doing so will then begin moving the attached flag around while the dogs chase it, trying to catch it. SwiftPaws are a great way for dogs to test their coordination while getting a beneficial workout at the same time.
Meghan Wolfgram is the founder and creator of SwiftPaws. Meghan is, and always has been, a lover of animals. In fact, before creating SwiftPaws, she worked within the pet industry for some time, doing a variety of jobs. While she partnered up with different zoos to help cultivate cheetahs and other various animals, she also worked with dogs. During which time she would partner with trainers and behaviorists that specialize in dogs. After graduating from DePauw University with a degree in economics, she began working towards launching her own business. As of dog mom herself, Meghan understands how important exercise is for dogs. She eventually investigated exercise courses for her dogs, learning about how beneficial they are for enriching pets. After conducting research, the founder found out that 50% of the dogs in America are overweight. An exercise course would help this percentage decrease greatly. This led her to think up the idea for SwiftPaws, though her dogs, Pretzel and Piper, were her inspiration for the product.
Pretzel was Meghan’s first dog. Because he was her initial inspiration in creating this course equipment, customers can notice that there are replicas of Pretzel’s paw prints on the bottoms of each SwiftPaws pulley. Meghan’s second dog, Piper, was a recuse from the Southeast German Shepard Shorthaired Pointer Rescue. While Meghan was only planning to foster this dog for the organization, Piper quickly won her new owner over. The entrepreneur ended up officially adopting Piper, giving her a permanent home and a lifelong exercise course. SwiftPaws quickly became Piper’s new favorite outdoor activity.
When Meghan first launched SwiftPaws, she had the intentions of the product being for commercial purposes. Given that, she began pitching her creation and selling the courses to rescue facilities, zoos, and even law enforcement facilities. It wasn’t until 2018 that Meghan decided to launch an at-home version called SwiftPaws Home. The at-home version is priced at $500. It comes equipped with a line winder, lines, flags, three pulleys, a remote, and of course the motor unit itself. Additionally, a tote bag is included in the purchase for easy cleanup and traveling. After launching this second addition, the entrepreneur took part in a Kickstarter campaign, where she successfully raised $73,608. A few months later, Meghan introduced the SwiftPaws Home Plus, which is priced at $700. This version is larger and has a longer battery life after charging. With this, the founder raised $130,166 from launching an IndieGoGo campaign.
After some time, Meghan stopped selling the courses for commercial use; she focuses more on dogs having access to these courses within their own backyards. Given that SwiftPaws has become her only career path, she is hoping to grow the business further. By 2020, the founder already had a few investors interested in making deals with her, though those investors have not been disclosed. She did eventually make a deal with one of them, giving her $500,000. Now, Meghan is interested in the help of a shark. She is hoping that they can help her with scaling.
SwiftPaws on Shark Tank
Meghan Wolfgram appears on Shark Tank with her dog, Piper, by her side. She is asking for a $240,000 deal in exchange for 6% of her business, SwiftPaws. Beginning her pitch to the sharks, the entrepreneur talks about how necessary exercise is for dogs and how some pet owners cannot always make time to play with their dogs. Due to this, she’s created SwiftPaws as a way for dogs to get the exercise they need with or without their owners. Meghan demonstrates how the product works by powering on the motor. Once the flag begins moving about, Piper starts to chase it. The sharks find this demonstration to be amusing; Daymond John and Lori Greiner even come on stage to control it. As the demonstration concludes, Meghan removes Piper from the stage and continues telling the sharks about SwiftPaws.
She shares some news about her first dog, Pretzel, passing shortly before her appearance on Shark Tank. Then, she goes on to explain that her exercise course started out as a commercial-only product until consumers started encouraging her to launch an at-home version. With that, she begins talking numbers with the sharks. Meghan explains that she made $425,000 in 2020; however, she lost $380,000. This loss of money was due to the covid-19 pandemic and a temporary lack of inventory. She then made $750,000 from sales by mid-2021, and she believes she will reach $1.5 million in sales by the end of the 2021 year. She mentions that, if she successfully meets that goal of $1.5 million, she should receive about $140,000 in profits.
Kevin O’Leary states that the SwiftPaws Home was too high-priced for his liking. He is also concerned about how low Meghan’s profit margins are. For these reasons, he will not be investing. Unfortunately, Daymond John followed shortly after, his reason being that he didn’t believe that he could help the founder too much. The next shark up is Mark Cuban. While Mark loves the concept of the product, he doesn’t believe that he is the right investor to help Meghan. Given this, he drops out. Currently, Robert Herjavec and Lori Greiner are the only remaining sharks. Though, Robert states that he won’t invest due to his initial concerns regarding the business’s finances.
The final shark in the deal, Lori, eventually decides to make Meghan a deal. In fact, to everyone’s surprise, Lori ends up giving out her Golden Ticket, implying that SwiftPaws has truly blown her away. With that, she would like to offer Meghan the deal she was asking for; $240,000 in exchange for the 6% equity in the business. The entrepreneur quickly accepts Lori’s deal and SwiftPaws leaves the stage with success.
SwiftPaws Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank
After concluding her Shark Tank visit, Meghan Wolfgram’s deal with Lori Greiner has been said to have closed. Since then, the SwiftPaws business is still in business and appears to be thriving. In fact, within just a day of being featured on the show, Meghan had completely sold out of her inventory, leaving her with $100,000 in sales. While more specific sales numbers have not yet been released about the company, it’s predicted that the founder has done much better. She even introduced new additions to her website, such as new critter attachments and new flirt poles. The entrepreneur held an online watch party after being on the episode, and it has been said that Lori Greiner joined her via Zoom. During this watch party, Meghan had been seen wearing a necklace displaying the golden ticket she had received from the shark. Considering the company has reached an annual revenue of $1 million as of 2023, it’s safe to say Meghan has made a success of SwiftPaws thus far.