Creativity is a gift and often comes with a never-say-die approach to tackling what may seem for a while to be insurmountable problems.
Who but somebody with an exceptionally creative outlook, for example, would have thought of a portable, sturdy step that attaches to the exposed door latch in a car’s open doorway and enables shorter folk, or people with lofty vehicles, to access the roof?
The Moki Door Step is an aircraft-grade aluminum step that holds up to 400 pounds in weight. It is a universal fit for all vehicles at both the front and rear doors and is sufficiently wide to support both feet.
In addition, it is made from rubber to protect the vehicle from any damage. It can be carried in the trunk, although it is actually small enough to fit inside the glove compartment.
Its creators were a husband and wife team, who appeared on Shark Tank seeking $150,000 for a five percent share in their company.
Instead, investor Daymond John offered to hand them $3 million to buy the company outright!
At a Glance
Married duo Zachary and Alyssa Brown wanted a Shark to take a punt on them and invest $150,000 in their exciting new product. In exchange, they were offering 5% equity in the company.
They made their pitch to the panel, which comprised Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Lori Greiner, Kevin O’Leary and Robert Harjavec.
Alyssa had a particular personal commitment to her invention, being vertically challenged it was with great difficulty that she ever managed to place any item in the storage unit on the roof of her vehicle.
Although everyone on the panel was impressed with the product, they were for the most part wary of the couple’s valuation, as well as having reservations about the asking price per unit, fearing cheaper imitations would soon appear to challenge the couple’s market share.
Who are the Founders?
Zach and Alyssa Brown describe themselves as “outdoorsy types”.
Packing equipment onto the roof of their vehicle was always something that came with the lifestyle, but it soon became clear to Zach that his diminutive wife could use a helping hand.
This was the cue for their development of the Moki Doorstep. To begin with they raised more than $100,000 from 2,000 donors through a Kickstarter program.
From there an appearance on Shark Tank only seemed the logical next step.
Did Moki Doorstep Get a Deal on the Show?
All the Shark Tank investors took a positive view of the product presented to them by Zach and Alyssa Brown, but in most cases, their enthusiasm was tempered by concerns.
In particular, it was felt by some that their $3 million company valuation was excessive, as was their $45 asking price for the item itself.
Daymond John, though, was so taken by the product that he offered to buy the company outright.
He offered them the full $3 million and the deal was accepted.
What Happened to the Entrepreneurs After the Show?
Alyssa did confess to having been a tad tearful at the thought of surrendering her “baby” to the investor Daymond John.
But the Shark made it clear that he still wanted her and husband Zach to be involved in the company and with promoting the product.
In the event a real baby was soon to come along, giving the new millionaires a second child to occupy their minds – and their time.
About the Product
The natural wonder of the Moki Doorstep is that it is compatible with any car.
It attaches effortlessly to the door latch and enables the user to access the roof of the vehicle to load baggage, bikes, boats, skis, or just about anything.
It is durable, capable of sustaining a weight of 400 lbs, is designed to be used with both feet to avoid injury, and is sufficiently portable to be stowed in a seat pocket or a glove compartment.
It was the company’s existing partnership with Rightline Gear and its licensing deals which sufficiently impressed Daymond John into making his offer.
However in the event the deal was not closed and the couple continued to run the company themselves, chalking up over 150,000 sales and leading the company eventually to be valued at between $3 million and $5 million.
As well as Moki’s own website, the product can be purchased online from Rightline and also from Amazon and Walmart.
Some Interesting Facts
Regrettably, as was predicted on Shark Tank there have been numerous attempts by outsiders to cash in on the Browns’ enterprise, and the company has thus far been compelled to have over 9,000 copycat listings removed from the internet.
Dealing with this problem has itself sadly become a full-time occupation for the couple.
In spite of the fact that the product made them both millionaires, Zach’s ambition was always to get back to his work as a firefighter and Alyssa continued to value her work as a registered emergency nurse.