There are those stories that make it after airing on Shark Tank and those that don’t. Today, we’ll tell you about the ones that didn’t even with a great pitch and a great product. It’s one of those times that many people don’t realize the market they’re setting foot in, making matters more complicated.
Chase and Bob Hoyt were a father-son duo who introduced the Intelli-Stopper product in the 29th episode of season 5 of Shark Tank. The product was an intelligent stopper that could reseal wine bottles so they didn’t lose out on their freshness. They later started calling it the Wine Doctor because it was catchier and homier than the Intelli-Stopper. The product was this technology involving a silicon cork and a vacuum pump. It could remove all the air from the wine bottle before resealing it.
This product will apply a True Seal to the wine bottle to ensure that these bottles stay fresh and don’t lose any of their flavors. Some people have wine bottles in their fridge for a long time before they eventually end them, so it’s necessary to have some technology to keep the wine from ruin.
Unfortunately, the company and the product are no longer active. They stopped operations in 2018.
With this technology, Chase and Bob Hoyt entered Shark Tank, asking for a whopping $250,000 for 10% of the ownership. The valuation was not something that the Sharks agreed with. They felt that it was too much, given the nature of the product. The duo passed the product and its samples and started with their pitch. They talked about the years they had spent perfecting the technology so that they could preserve wine.
The sharks don’t seem too impressed. Kevin says that he has witnessed every single wine preservation system out there, and the only thing unique about this system is that it comes with a red indicator. This prompted the entrepreneurs to talk about the number and the significant number of sales they were making. They talked about how they made $150,000 in sales and were on track for more than $350,000 for the coming year. They talked about their sales ventures, how they worked throughout the website, and the giant distributor, Amazon.
Kevin seemed to be still not satisfied with the estimation. However, Chase had all the evidence that Kevin would need. He had proof of the concept, market, and even intellectual property. They knew how they would advance the product into stoppers for Olive oil.
However, the Sharks did not take the bait. Barbara said that there are already a lot of wine preservers out there, and she didn’t see enough it to have market share with this product. Mark didn’t know enough about the market and immediately stepped out. Lori said that these products didn’t perform well enough in QVC and that she wasn’t interested. Robert also declined to provide an offer. Kevin said that the duo was being greedy, and he wasn’t interested in the work.
Our Review on The Intelli-Stopper
All products can have negative and positive traits. The Intelli-Stopper Walked out without any deals or offers; however, that doesn’t mean it didn’t have any redeemable qualities.
Pros of The Intelli-Stopper
The Intelli-Stopper was a great pitch and a great product:
- The product itself was something people weren’t used to seeing back in the day. Kevin was right when he said there were many wine preservation technologies. But the Intelli-stopper was much more accessible as a product.
- Additionally, the product was also set out for the correct market. The entrepreneurs had done all the homework on the market. The product had innovative and intellectual property rights, meaning it was verified.
- The product breakdown of sales and costs was impeccable on paper and priced the product just right. The sales were impressive for a product with no exposure to the market from external sources.
- The mechanism of the product was one of the most impressive ones in Shark Tank History.
Thus, they had one of the strongest pitches and products in Shark Tank history. They had also thought about product differentiation. They knew how to expand from wine preservation to olive oil and coffee preservation.
Cons of the Intelli-Stopper
The Intelli-Stopper had proper research go into it. However, that was still insufficient to provide the company with enough market share.
- The product was still too costly and easily repeatable by bigger companies with better economies of scale. They weren’t a big company, and the market, such as wine preservation systems, sadly preferred those with economies of scale.
- It would be difficult for the product to compete with others of its kind as it wasn’t that novel in terms of technology.
Some pitches don’t work out regardless of how well thought out they are.
Who Is the Intelli-Stopper For?
The Intelli-Stopper is for anyone who enjoys having refrigerated wine over days. It’s for all the wine moms and the new moms and dads who are exhausted from taking care of their children and need some refrigerated wine that doesn’t make their stomachs turn. If you’re more of a wine sipper than a chugger, this invention is the best thing for you. It also saves both money and wine since you don’t have to worry about the wine going bad.
Are There Any Alternatives?
There are many alternatives for Intelli-Stopper. The most common is recorking the bottle and keeping it in the fridge, which doesn’t require any extra capital. Vino Seal and Zork are some of the best alternatives. However, they also don’t completely seal the top in a vacuum seal as the Intelli-stopper did. Thus, it could be why the Wine Doctor or Intelli-Stopper was as famous as it was during the time.
Our Final Thoughts
We think the Intelli-Stopper was one of the best pitches in Shark Tank history. It was also one of the best products that the five seasons saw. It felt out of place because they could not immediately sell the judges on the technology and were unsure how to contribute to the already established brand, which stopped them from investing. However, the company stayed in business for a long time. Thus, we think the pitch and the product were impressive and essential.