The second entrepreneur into the Shark Tank this week was Aaron Wypyszynski and he was presenting his business Wyp Aviation. He was looking for $500k in exchange for 20% of the business. He has developed a wingboard that allows you ride on the wind almost like a wakeboard for the sky. The goal is to open up facilities to allow people to ride this board in a controlled environment, as well as partner with the extreme sports market and hold events for daredevils to ride while being towed by a plane.
Aaron’s plan seems to be focused on building the facilities first and then chasing after the partnerships to build hype and push customers to the facilities. Though this does make some sense, it also seems like the path of MOST resistance. Before he is able to anything, he needs money from investors. Building partnerships and public awareness/demand would be a great way to convince investors to give him money for the facilities.
He did not end up getting a deal with the Sharks. The two that were the most interested (Robert & Richard) quickly lost their interest when focus shifted to the wind tunnel facilities. They would cost between four and five million dollars to build. Putting that much money into something that has not been tested on the market is a massive risk.
The best path for Aaron and Wyp Aviation may be to cultivate a few extreme sports partnerships, garner some attention and press, take that interest and evidence of market demand to investors, build the facilities, develop even bigger partnerships, and push more and more people to the facilities. It doesn’t need to be a matter of “either/or,” but rather it should be a strategy of “both/and.”