In Episode 8 of Shark Tank’s Season 2, Jeff Stroope, a firefighter, pitched his company ‘Hyconn.’ What happened after he gave the pitch was unbelievable. While Jeff was seeking $500k in exchange for 40% of his company, Mark offered to buy Hyconn at a price of $1.25 million, a three year employment contract for a yearly salary of $100k and 7.5% royalty fee for perpetuity.
In this piece, I will run you through everything there is to know about ‘Hyconn’ — what exactly ‘Hyconn’ did, ‘Hyconn’s Shark Tank pitch & deal, and ‘Hyconn’s update after Shark Tank.
What is Hyconn?
Jeff, the founder of Hyconn, got the idea for it due to his experience as a firefighter. He realized that the standard connector used to connect to fire hydrants used to take around 30 seconds, which was way too much. When it comes to rescuing people caught up in fires, every second is important. Hyconn is basically an upgraded version of standard connector that only takes 3 seconds to connect to hydrant, saving precious time and lives as well, ultimately.
Hyconn Shark Tank Pitch & Deal
Jeff enters the Shark tank pitch room wearing his firefighting jacket, asking $500,000 in exchange for 40% equity of his business. He then tells the Shark to imagine a situation where someone that the Sharks knew or loved are trapped in a house that has caught fire, and they could have been saved if firemen could have gotten water to the structure just moments soon.
He then offers a side by side demonstration of two men trying to connect the standard hose and the Hyconn to the hydrant, showing that it takes less than 3 seconds to connect the Hycoon while the traditional hose takes up to 30 seconds.
On being inquired about how he sells Hyconn, Jeff informs that out of the 11 fire departments that he visited last month, 4 have given him hard POs and 6 are working on getting the paperwork together to give the PO.
Apart from directly reaching out to fire departments for a sale, Jeff has also approached large fire equipment distributors to buy the patent for his product. They refused to buy the patent but agreed to distribute the product if he could get it manufactured.
When Jeff shares this, Daymond says he is out because if the distributors do not believe enough in the product to give a decent offer, there must not be enough potential. Barbara also says she is out as thinks it will be difficult to get a single fire department to buy 35 Hyconn’s, the average required by one department, all at once since they would be worth $7000.
Robert inquires if Hyconn’s design can be extended to other industries, like a home garden hose. Jeff pulls out a sample design from his pocket showing he has also considered doing that but he has been more focussed on the fire use case until now.
Mark Cuban gives Jeff an incredible offer to buy Hyconn at a price of $1.25 million, giving Jeff a three year employment contract for a yearly salary of $100k and 7.5% royalty fee for perpetuity.
On hearing Mark’s offer, Kevin also steps in, offering $500,000k for 100% equity of only the garden hose, as he is only interested in it and not the fire hose.
On hearing Mark’s offer, Robert says he believes it is too generous and he is out as he is not willing to match it.
With both Mark’s & Kevin’s offer on the table, both try to convince him one last time. Jeff eventually agrees to go ahead with Mark’s offer.
What happened to Hyconn after Shark Tank ( Hyconn Shark Tank Update )
From the response the Hyconn pitch received and the way two Shark fought to get their offers accepted combined with the revolutionary product idea, one would have thought Hyconn would go on to become a huge success, but that was not meant to be.
When Mark & Jeff sat down to negotiate the exact breakdown of the deal post Shark Tank, differences arose between the two. Mark was keen on licensing the product, not manufacturing the product. Jeff was upset with the changes to the deal, and the two eventually separated.
The exposure that Jeff’s Hyconn got due to the Shark Tank episode and re-airings were also not sufficient to change the fortunes of the company. After the deal with Mark fell apart, Jeff was not able to fulfill orders. It also took him several years to land another investor.
Jeff received a patent for the product in 2016. However, neither the new investor nor the patent was enough to make Hyconn successful. At the time of writing, Hyconn has a website but it is not possible to buy the Hyconn connector, suggesting that the company is now out of business.
At the time of writing, Jeff still has Hyconn listed as open on his LinkedIn page but he is working as a Tool & Die Shop Manager at the D&M holding company. To sum it all up, Jeff’s product was great but it didn’t see the success he would have hoped for.