Emma and Miles came up with the idea of FinalStraw to finally end the high amounts of plastic and trash dumped daily into our oceans. Plastic straws are one of the top items that are present in high percentages in pollution. 500 million straws are dumped into oceans every day in the USA.
What Do They Make?
FinalStraw is the world’s first reusable and collapsible straw designed as an alternative to paper or plastic straws. It is easy to use, wash and folds up into its small container. It can be sanitized easily and doesn’t leave any nasty smell behind, making it undesirable to use.
What Makes Them Unique?
The case in which the FinalStraw is kept is small and can be fit in a car keychain.
Are They Still an Active Company?
The company is still growing successfully with an active website and many positive reviews on Amazon.
How Did the Shark Tank Pitch Go?
Entrepreneurs Emma Rose Cohen and Miles Pepper appeared on Shark Tank seeking $625,000 for 5% equity in their company, FinalStraw.
They began their pitch by explaining how straws make up the highest amount of pollution dumped every day in the oceans and threw five thousand seven hundred straws on the Shark Tank stage to demonstrate how it feels for the ocean creatures to face this pollution every day.
They explained how plastic straws are going out of style and getting banned from cities, and that was the final straw for them to create the perfect alternative to plastic straws. FinalStraw was their attempt to be at the forefront of the anti-plastic movement in the world.
Emma played a video and described how scientists discovered a turtle that had sucked up a whole straw inside its nostril.
Jamie asked about their background, and Emma responded that she had recently completed her master’s in environmental management and sustainability from Harvard. While she was getting her master’s degree, she also worked at Los Alamos National Lab.
Miles was already working on a straw design and connected with Emma through a mutual friend. Emma was enthusiastic to talk about the issue of plastic straws. Together they worked on the brand and came up with this alternative to eliminate the need for plastic straws once and for all.
Lori commented that they came to the show asking for a very high valuation and that she hopes they have a great sales record to back that up.
Emma explained that they launched this company two months ago via Kickstarter and raised $1.89 million. The Kickstarter would fulfill in November, so they have started doing pre-sales on their website and made $15,000 a day through their sales.
They explained that the FinalStraw metal straws were different from paper straws in the sense that paper straws are still a single-use solution. They require a ton of energy to manufacture.
Lori thought that their mission was clear-cut and very inspirational, but there were dozens of straws out there that would prove to be a better alternative to FinalStraw. Their design is good, but they still haven’t sold them and gotten people to use them. She liked to invest in a brand that allowed customers to use their products and then review them, and for that reason, she went out.
Kevin had an offer for them. He remarked that they were not a company yet, just a mission with a working product. He would only invest if there was a guarantee to get his capital back in a specific time frame. He offered them $625K for 10% shares, but with a royalty of $2 per straw until he gets $1.8 million back.
Jamie thought the idea was great, but the real challenge was changing consumer behavior and convincing them to carry another box in their pocket. Mark agreed with him and said that the product needed to provide proper education to consumers and then convince them to buy it. They both went out.
Daymond said that the consumers who would prefer to buy these reusable straws were a very small percentage in a sea of commercial businesses. He said that 95% of the market out there wouldn’t be too willing to increase the cost of their products by eliminating plastic straws and getting FinalStraw, like restaurants and coffee houses. He didn’t think that their company would scale up as much as the valuation they were demanding, and that is why he went out.
Kevin chimed in, saying that as they keep pitching their business, Sharks are going out, and he was feeling frisky that they still hadn’t given him an answer.
Emma responded that they didn’t want the company to “bleed out” right at the very beginning, and Kevin retorted that he would never go against a company he had invested his money in. Emma kept asking others to come up with better offers, and meanwhile, Kevin announced, “I’ll help you out. I’m out.”
Mark said that the competition out there was a huge challenge for the company, but he was going to make a “Sharky” offer to them. He would give them the $625K for 25% of the company. Emma countered with a 12.5% equity offer, and Mark refused.
The two left without any deal.
Our Review of FinalStraw
The FinalStraw comes in great colors and a convenient package that allows you to use it easily, wash it, and then store it back into its tiny case so you can carry it everywhere you go.
Pros of FinalStraw
- The straw can be easily cleaned
- It can be folded up and stored in a bag or on your keychain
Cons of FinalStraw
- The rubber ends on the straws are undesirable to the consumers as they can gather bacteria and other germs on them
- The straw is a bit pricey, which doesn’t make it a preferred option for many people.
Who Is FinalStraw For?
FinalStraw is a perfect alternative to plastic or paper straws for people who want to get rid of the single-plastic straws issues once and for all.
Are There Any Alternatives?
- STRO Portable Reusable Stainless Steel Collapsible Metal Straw
- OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel 4 Piece Reusable Straw Set
Our Final Thoughts
Emma and Miles should have taken one of the Shark’s offers, as their company was still in a very initial stage and needed their vision and partnership to grow through the immense competition and challenges.