You need to go on Shark Tank and This is the perfect Shark Tank product were phrases that prompted Martin Dimitrov, WHS alumnus, to take his company, SnapClips, safe and easy weight collars, to the show back in September. While enrolled in the entrepreneurship program at WHS, John Kritek, business education teacher, entertained the idea to Dimitrov, but was hesitant since he would’ve had to give up 5% of his company regardless of getting a deal or not.
“That was one of the reasons and in the back of my mind, I was timid about it. When you think about it, being a high school kid- what are the chances of me going on Shark Tank and getting a deal,” Dimitrov said.
3 years later, with the support of one of his mentors, Patrick Tannous, also a WHS alumnus, Dimitrov was off to test his luck in the Shark Tank. All of his hard work paid off as SnapClips, caught the interests of Lori Greiner, Mark Cuban, and Alex Rodriguez. Dimitrov described pitching in front of to well-known entrepreneurs was an out of body experience.
“It was crazy. I went in there super confident, knowing what I wanted, who I wanted to do a deal with, and then when I went in there, it was kind of like an autopilot. I didn’t really feel like I was there,” Dimitrov said.
Even though Dimitrov felt that his pitch was perfect, if given the chance to relive that
moment again, he admits that he would have tried asking Mark Cuban for courtside seats or maybe tried getting a better deal.
“Just small things, nothing crazy,” Dimitrov said.
Making a deal with both Mark Cuban and Alex Rodriguez sent Dimitrov from the tank to cloud 9, but knew that they would be excited about the product before pitching due to their backgrounds. Cuban owns the Dallas Mavericks and Rodriguez, a retired professional baseball player, owns almost a thousand gyms, so it made sense for them to be on board.
“Then when Lori came in it was just even better because we have other purposes of the product that she can be helpful with and that was just the icing on top,” Dimitrov said.
Before teaming up with Cuban and Rodriguez, Greiner actually offered Dimitrov a partnership but that meant he would be giving up 50% of his company which he respectfully turned down.
“I started smiling because I thought it was funny. There wasn’t a chance I was gonna take a deal like that,” Dimitrov said.
After the show aired, orders for SnapClips were pouring in- so much so that the website crashed.
“There was literally no time to celebrate or do anything. There was just fulfilling all the orders that we got from the show,” Dimitrov said.
In the show, he may have already taken a deal with the sharks, but behind the scenes, they are still negotiating. He almost walked away from the deal altogether, but the sharks reeled him back. They’re still trying to figure everything out, but nonetheless this process has taught him valuable lessons that will stay with him through his future endeavors.
“More recently, I’ve learned to not trust everyone. You really can’t trust anyone in business because everyone is just out there, making money for themselves. I had to learn to reread and triple check contracts before you sign them and make sure that what you’re signing right now you’re gonna be ok with in a few years. The number one thing I’ve learned is make sure you have a plan, break it down, attack it step by step- nothing happens overnight, everything is a long process. You have to have a vision because if you don’t have a vision or an end goal then you don’t know where you’re going and you’re not gonna end up where you wanna be,” Dimitrov said.
As for now, SnapClips is going into a research and development stage in which Dimitrov and his team will figure out exactly where he wants to take the company and launch SnapClips in a couple of different industries.
“It’s gonna be like a whole new SnapClips. We’re taking it to the next level,” Dimitrov said.