Wilmington entrepreneur Markevis Gideon swam with the sharks on ABC’s hit show ‘Shark Tank’ which aired on October 27th. He pitched his start-up NERDiT NOW, a concept he describes as “The Redbox of Technology.” The idea is to set up kiosks at workplaces where people would drop off their broken or damaged phones and laptops before a mobile team arrives and repairs the device in a matter of hours.
Gideon requested $150,000 for 20% of the company, putting a $750,000 valuation on the company.
The Sharks generally liked the idea but said they believed it was too early for NERDiT NOW to be investible. Lori Greiner said she loved their story but thought they’d be better off expanding into larger retail stores. Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary referred to the prototype kiosk as a “refrigerator” and dropped out when the team failed to provide “a big rollout strategy on trucks with a high return.”
After earlier saying that the team had not done a good-enough job explaining the concept, guest Shark Matt Higgins had kind words for the team. He said NERDiT Now had a clever and well-branded truck with no occupancy cost and enough volume that they could undercut their competition. He urged them to “save up and buy a second truck. It’s a smart model with an endless need to replace screens. It’s just too early.”
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told Gideon to “go out and prove us wrong,” which Gideon told the DBT late Sunday night was his plan.
Gideon said he had gone in hoping to make a deal with either Cuban or O’Leary but knew that the company “really didn’t fit in any of their [investment] lanes.” He concedes “we had no idea what we were going to pitch” to the sharks when they auditioned for the show, but the team decided to “go for it. Forty thousand people apply every year and less than 100 make it on the show.”