Shark Tank Deal For HyConn Deep-Sixed - Innovate Arkansas
Shark Tank Deal For HyConn Deep-Sixed
By Arkansas Business Staff, 7/4/2011 12:00:00 AMRemember the Cabot firefighter who hit it big last month on the ABC reality series "Shark Tank"?
Let's just say things didn't end as they appeared on television. Because of that, a Bentonville company may reap the benefits.
Jeff Stroope is the firefighter whose innovation - the HyConn fire hydrant and garden hose connector - was the subject of a spirited bidding war among potential investors, won by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, during one of the show's episodes.
At its conclusion, which was filmed in November, Stroope sold Cuban the entire company for $1.25 million, a three-year contract at $100,000 per year "to run the show," and 7.5 percent of all ongoing royalties.
Turns out Cuban wasn't as interested in manufacturing the product as licensing it to another company and collecting royalties. That led to Stroope's rejection of his offer.
Enter 101 Ventures, a business incubation company in Bentonville, which now has an equity position in Stroope's business.
Matt Fifer, who heads up the company along with Jeff Clapper and Mike Cockrell, said several orders have been placed for the fire hydrant connector, with as many as 30 distributors from across the country contacting the firm to help.
"But the biggest momentum is with the garden hose connector," Fifer said.
"We're in advanced talks with a couple of companies that do have worldwide distribution capabilities."
The ARK Challenge startup accelerator last week concluded its fourth installment, and first in Little Rock, with Demo Day presentations of company pitches held inside the Clinton Center's Great Hall.
The museum closed in August to begin remodeling and adding exhibits and new features, thanks to a $7.8 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.
RxResults, a pharmacy risk management company that is partly owned by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, said it plans to add between 20 and 30 jobs in the next 21 months, according to a UAMS news release. Founded in 2008, RxResults was created to help lower drug costs for employers and their workers while making sure they receive the best medicines available.
A researcher at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has received a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate the use of nanoparticles in cancer diagnosis and treatment.