Spy Escape and Evasion is a company that provides survival training classes for people interested in finding out what kind of training spies receive. The company also sells spy merchandise on Amazon.
Jason Hanson founded the company after leaving the CIA. He was always interested in police enforcement. After being accepted into the Secret Service and the CIA both, he went ahead with the latter. However, he soon realized that the lifestyle wasn’t suited to having a family and therefore decided to leave. He still wanted to retain some connection to the spy lifestyle, which is why he formed the company.
Spy Escape and Evasion first started as a few spy escape classes offered by Hanson at his Concealed Carry Academy in Utah. His first few students were business executives about to go on a business trip abroad. He noticed that these students often returned for more classes, thereforehe expanded his pupil base to include people of all ages and genders.
The company currently offers home and personal defense courses and resources. These include Advanced Spy, Escape and Evasion Driving Experience, and the Ultimate Spy Week to name a few. The website is also connected to a companion store that offers a discount on all the Spy Escape and Evasion products.
Are They Still an Active Company?
Yes, they are active and still in business.
How Did the Shark Tank Pitch Go?
Jason Hanson came to Shark Tank to acquire an investment of $100,000 for a 15% stake in Spy Escape and Evasion. So far, the company had managed to make $306,000 in sales, which meant there was $128,000 in profits.
Hanson started his pitch by showing the effectiveness of the spy training he offered. When Barbara duct-taped his hands, he easily escaped. Jason decided to take this one step further by ziptying Robert’s hands and showing him how to utilize his shoe laces to escape.
However, the Sharks weren’t convinced by the pitch, and they started backing out. The primary concern was the business was a little difficult to access for customers since they’d have to fly out to the ranch where Hanson was offering these classes. They suggested changing the concept to a seminar that could be brought to people rather than require them to travel so far.
Robert made the first offer, a $100,000 investment for a 50% stake in the company, on the condition that Jason would completely change his business model. He argued that this was because he didn’t like the business model that Jason was pitching.
At this stage, Mark seemed interested but then stepped out. Daymond made the second offer of $100,000 for a 45% stake in the company. He was also interested in the seminar business model and suggested targeting moms and people with families in the suburbs as customers. Jason decided to accept the offer with Daymond.
After the Shark Tank episode and investment, traffic to the website increased dramatically, and they managed to make $200,000 from sales in a week.
Our Review of Spy Escape and Evasion
We decided to try Spy Escape and Evasion courses to see how they would fare in real life.
The good news is that the courses were simple, making them suitable for people of all ages. Whether students are interested in trying out spy activities or intending to get into the CIA, the company has courses for everybody. Plus, the products that they offer are reasonably priced and exciting to try out.
The bad news is that the company caters to a niche audience that might not be a sustainable business model in the long run, especially when security agencies are closely being examined. Plus, some of the spy skills might be frustrating for younger kids to learn, particularly breaking the zip tie technique.
Pros of Spy Escape and Evasion
- Suitable for beginners
- Good self-defense products
- Online seminars are convenient to take
- Reasonably priced products
- Interesting courses
Cons of Spy Escape and Evasion
- Niche customer base
- It might be frustrating for young kids
Who is Spy Escape and Evasion for?
Most of the people who take spy training classes from the company are men but it is aimed at everyone who’s interested. Pupils range from young kids to soccer moms.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Most of the Spy Escape and Evasion products are unique, however, there are some other civilian spy items available on the market.
Covert Loader RG is a good alternative. This gear has a special harness mechanism and can be converted from a shoulder bag to a waist pack and even to a chest pack. The harness mechanism is splittable and it offers a removable pouch with waterproof zippers.
It’s perfect for reaching for objects in a confined space such as an aircraft, and exactly simulates the kind of situations a spy would get stuck in. It’s better than a belt carrier because your gadgets won’t feel uncomfortable against your body if you sit.
Our Final Thoughts
Spy Escape and Evasion mostly attracts Americans who are interested in joining law enforcement. It gives people who find the CIA interesting a chance to experience the same survival training. The fact that the courses were designed by an ex-CIA agent gives them a sense of legitimacy.
The courses are simple and perfect for those who are looking to experience the spy lifestyle as a hobby. However, the training might be frustrating for younger kids and it mostly attracts conservative Americans, meaning that the company has a niche audience that might be harder to sustain in the longer run.
For now, however, there are a wide range of interesting products offered by Spy Escape and Evasion for James Bond fans.