SoundBender on SharkTank
SoundBender by Rabbi Moshe Weiss
In Season 4, Episode 13 of ABC’s Shark Tank, Rabbi Moshe Weiss pitched his SoundBender product to the Sharks. The “Soundbender” is a piece of curved plastic with a magnet. It clips onto an iPad (as shown) over the iPad’s speaker. Although it seems simple, this invention improves an iPad’s sound quality dramatically. (Normally the iPad’s speaker points away from the user).
The Soundbender very cleverly attaches (magnetically) to the iPad. It redirects (toward the user) the sound coming out of the iPad’s speaker.
The SoundBender greatly improves the sound quality experienced by the user. The sound becomes louder and more focused.
SoundBender’s Patent Protects Huge Margins
Rabbi Weiss makes each SoundBender for $1. He sells it retail for $12.99. He asked the Sharks for $54k for a 26% stake in his business.
Notably, Rabbi Weiss has a patent pending for the SoundBender. Were this not the case, the Sharks undoubtedly would have asked this question: Why can’t I just make it myself and drive you out of business?
Kevin views the patent as the single most valuable asset. He asks whether the Rabbi would consider licensing the patents and sending the manufacturing overseas. But Rabbi Weiss is not open to licensing, so Kevin is out.
Eventually, Rabbi Weiss partners with Daymond on account of Daymond’s marketing experience.
Notably, the only reason that Rabbi Weiss was able to discuss deals of this magnitude is because he filed a patent application before negotiating a deal. Without a patent application, the Sharks (like many others) would simply hire a contract manufacturer to produce the SoundBender independently.