BagBowl – Kansas City
Entrepreneurial brothers Kevin and Brian Fleming of Kansas City are swimming with ideas. Some make it to the marketplace, and some don’t. And some have been dunked into the shark tank and come out not only whole but flush.
The Flemings pitched BagBowl (“Pack it. Wrap it. Presto!”), a collapsible ribbed plastic sleeve that can turn any bag into a bowl, on the reality TV show “Shark Tank” in October 2012. The show features fledgling entrepreneurs trying to convince such established entrepreneurs as billionaire Mark Cuban and QVC queen Lori Greiner to invest. Cuban demurred on BagBowl, but Greiner pledged to kick in $40,000 for a one-third share of the business. The Flemings may have the opportunity to see BagBowl featured on QVC’s “Clever & Unique Creations by Lori Greiner.”
Jill Meyer, University of Missouri-Kansas City MO SBTDC technology development and commercialization specialist, has counseled the brothers through the product development process. She even offered to play a shark to help them with their pitch.
Kevin, a stay-at-home dad to two active daughters, says the family dog, Beckett, originated the BagBowl idea. Kevin had taken him to the dog park but forgotten a bowl. The poor pooch was thirsty. This was Kevin’s a-ha! moment.
Domestic life, in fact, seems to be an inexhaustible source of inspiration to Kevin.
His Kickstarter-backed Spill Stopper Training Cup, launched in February 2012, attracted nearly $12,000 toward a $10,000 goal in just one month. This BPA- and PVC-free plastic cup with a recessed, moveable lid is slightly weighted on one side opposite the opening. In the event of a spill, the cup jerks back into a neutral position, minimizing spills, tears and parents’ frustration.
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