Product/Company: ProntoBev of Pronto Concepts
Founder: Alexander Simone
Season: Appeared on season 9 in the week 7 episode
ProntoBev is a wine chiller that uses a unique temperature to chill a bottle of wine in 30 seconds. The Pronto Concepts company believes that “life’s too short for bad wine,” according to their website.
The wine chiller, which is currently available for pre-order after it was successfully funded through Indiegogo, regularly costs $168. Pronto Concepts also offers a ProntoAer, which quickly aerates wine.
When Simone originally appeared on “Shark Tank,” he came in asking for $100,000 for five percent equity. Self-professed wine connoisseur Kevin O’Leary said the wine was properly chilled to the right temperature and appreciated that the chiller didn’t dilute the wine. The other sharks, however, had problems with the high valuation and went out. O’Leary offered $100,000 for 50 percent, which Simone countered at 20 percent. O’Leary declined. Mark Cuban, however, ultimately decided to make an offer after learning about a potential martini-related idea and offered $100,000 for 25 percent contingent on raising another $100,000. Simone accepted Cuban’s offer.
Simone spoke with Business 2 Community about ProntoBev’s experience on the show and what their next steps are. Take a look at the Q&A below:
Q&A with Pronto Concepts’ Founder & CEO Alexander Simone
What was your strategy for navigating “Shark Tank”?
We have a great product I truly believe in. I just went out there and sold them the truth. I knew they would see it if I was honest and was myself.
How has ProntoBev/Pronto Concepts changed since the episode was first recorded? Since it aired?
When “Shark Tank” first aired, we were just getting our feet off the ground. We had a great idea but a long way to go. We are now about to ship our first products and everything is happening right now!
Is there anything you would have changed about your time spent in the tank, including your pitch and valuation?
I wish I had entered the tank later on. We were so early in the process and it is clear in the episode. But when “Shark Tank” calls, you answer.
I wanted it clear that we were focused, so I only focused on ProntoBev. In hindsight, it may have been better to talk about some of our other products to show that this was more than just a one-trick pony.
Who’s your favorite shark?
Like most people, Mark Cuban has always been my favorite shark. He has actually been a pretty big inspiration to me for years before I ever started my company. His vision for the future, no-nonsense personality and willingness to help young entrepreneurs, are all traits I admire.
Do you think “Shark Tank” was the right move for your business?
Of course! “Shark Tank” help put our brand on the national stage. It was a lot of work and a huge risk, but in the end, it paid off.
What are ProntoBev’s next steps?
We are about to ship product. So that’s pretty big. We plan on releasing new products over the next several years. We plan to make a big impact on how you live your everyday life.
Where do you see this industry in 5-10 years?
The housewares industry has been pretty stagnant for a while. Companies in the space are too focused on building slight improvements to already existing products. We aim to change that. They are all focused on products and we are focused on concepts.
What would you say to people who want to start their own business?
Do it now. You will never be prepared enough to start a company. You can wait a year or 5 or 20 and you still won’t be fully prepared for the humbling and challenging journey of starting a company. So you might as well start now. If you really want advice, reach out to me, I love helping new entrepreneurs.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who want to make it on “Shark Tank”?
Be original. Find a real problem people have and fix it. Or find a product that exists and make one 10 times better. Not having a business idea is not an excuse either, email me and I will give you one with no strings attached.
Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length