Guzzling in the ‘Shark Tank’

By Greg Stiles
Mail Tribune, Medford, Ore.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) “Guzzle Buddy’s future looks bright after founders Randy Rothfus and Jennifer Sullivan secured a deal with Daymond John on last night’s episode of “Shark Tank.” Below is the story of how they ended up on the hit ABC TV show.

Mail Tribune, Medford, Ore.

Guzzle Buddy burst out of the gate in 2016, selling 62,000 units and grossing $1.5 million.

Appearances on the Ellen DeGeneres and Kelly Ripa television shows followed for the creators of the screw-on glass allowing direct consumption from wine and beer bottles. Final 2017 figures aren’t in yet, but 2017 was even bigger for the fledgling Medford company.

So why would Guzzle Buddy founders Randy Rothfus and Jennifer Sullivan want to risk swimming in ABC television network’s “Shark Tank”?

“To be honest,” Rothfus said, “where else can you go to get in front of 9 million people?”

The erstwhile dentist and his sister-in-law took their shot, navigating the obstacles to simply get on the studio set for a filming session that aired Sunday.

“We applied and they contacted us,” Rothfus said. “That’s just opening the door, there are a lot of stages when they winnow people out, before you make the final thing.”

Even after the shoot, five months ago, there was no guarantee of a few minutes of fame.

“Just because you’re filmed doesn’t mean it will go on,” said Rothfus, who was notified last Friday that the duo’s appearance was scheduled for Jan. 21.

They faced a panel of four investors, who grilled them with impunity.

“You deal with sharks, sometimes multiple sharks if there is blood in the water,” Rothfus said. “If you don’t know your product and numbers, they can rip you apart.”

There might be an advantage to having a physical object to pitch versus a concept or vision. But you best have proof of sales and how the market responded.

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