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Native Mainer gets a bite on ‘Shark Tank’

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Native Mainer gets a bite on ‘Shark Tank’ (Photo courtesy ABC/Eric McCandless)

Dr. Eric Roy went swimming with the sharks and came out with a $400,000 handshake.

Roy, whose water filtration company Hydroviv was one of the featured segments on the April 14 episode of the ABC show “Shark Tank,” successfully pitched his idea, procuring a preliminary deal with Mark Cuban. The terms: $400,000 in exchange for a 20% stake in Hydroviv.

Roy’s presentation definitely captured the attention of all of the Sharks, though a number of them had concerns that precluded them from making their own investments. Some thought that it might prove difficult to ensure that potential customers actually needed the product’s help. Others worried that Roy’s desire for professional marketing assistance wasn’t the best focus for his attention.

One highlight was Roy’s insistence on trying to ensure Barbara Corcoran had a full understanding of the facts regarding his product and business even as Cuban was on the verge of closing the deal.

(As someone who has known Eric for many years, I can confirm that this exchange is extremely on-brand. He believes that facts are important.)

But in the end, he got what any entrepreneur who climbs into the “Shark Tank” is looking for: a deal.

Dr. Roy took time out of the post-airing whirlwind to answer a few more questions for us here at The Maine Edge; if you missed last week’s preview story, you might want to check it out elsewhere on our website.

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What was your strategy for your pitch?

Honestly, it was to just be clear/concise/credible... and get to the Q&A quickly.  I think that it's pretty clear from the episode that I'm better at the unscripted stuff than the first 90 seconds of the pitch (which was scripted).

Did you have any specific ideas about which Shark you might target?

I was pretty pragmatic about it.  I knew who my Sharks were going to be, so I thought a lot about what each brought to the table and what their track record was with Shark Tank ventures.  If you forced to pick my dream scenario, it probably would have been and/or Kevin.  I feel like I was really close to getting both, but ultimately I felt that I had to pull the trigger with Mark because I could see that he was getting impatient.

How did it feel to be up there under the scrutiny of those entrepreneurs?  

Intimidating for sure, but it was a blast. I feel like the business fundamentals of Hydroviv were objectively pretty solid and I was confident that I knew more about chemistry than they did, so the real unknown was whether or not I could sell myself and my vision to them. 

How did it feel to watch yourself go through that again?

I'm a “Shark Tank” watcher, so it was surreal to see myself “doing the thing.”  We're not shown the segment itself before it airs, so I almost found myself watching from the shoes of the viewer. I was happy for “the contestant” when he was doing well and rolling my eyes when I saw him being awkward at the end of the segment.  

Were you surprised at the offer that you got? And can you tell us anything about how the process went following your acceptance of the offer?

It was within the range that I expected. Mark's offer was on the edge of where I was willing to accept, but I had to close the deal because it was pretty clear that he was going to budge on a counter and I didn't get the sense that he was interested in Kevin coming in on the deal.

The show really is a blind pitch where The Sharks are investing their own money.  The Sharks were not briefed on Hydroviv or myself before I walked in, which isn't really how it normally works when pitching investors.  Therefore, it's not a huge surprise that afterwards, there's a due diligence process where they examine your business (and you) in more depth and come to terms of the actual deal.  

Any early thoughts on how your appearance on the show might have generated buzz around Hydroviv?

I'm completely blown away at the positive reception. I’m so glad I did it; I'd do it again in a heartbeat. 

(For more information about Hydroviv and its products, you can pay a visit to the company’s website at www.hydroviv.com.)

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