Water bottles are not new to the Shark Tank, but a water bottle cleaner is. “Vermontrepreneurs” Seth Friedman and Justin Koehneke hope to clean up in the Shark Tank when they pitch Bottle Bright, their environmentally friendly, non- toxic, water bottle cleaner in episode 607.
Friedman and Koehneke created the idea for Bottle Bright while out mountain biking. They were disgusted with how slimy their water bottles were and, other than using nasty chemicals and a lot of elbow grease, there was no easy way to clean them. They drew on their chemistry backgrounds to come up with Bottle Bright, effervescent tablets that scrub out even the grimiest water bottle with very little effort. It's not just a water bottle cleaner either, it's also great on coffee cups or any other liquid toting vessel.
The secret behind Bottle Bright is activated oxygen and organic surfactants. Simply drop a tablet into a water bottle, let sit for 10 minutes, and VOILA – the bottle is clean as a whistle and slime free. It almost looks like an Alka Seltzer tablet in action. The rise of reusable water bottles in recent years is a result of the backlash against packaging waste, a good water bottle cleaner is the natural evolution of the trend. Bottle Bright can be used on the trail, so outdoorsy types will love it.
The company is both environmentally and socially conscious, that's why the parent company name is Clean Ethics. They actually donate one packet of Bottle Bright to developing nations for every packet sold. In area where people need to carry their drinking water, the cleanliness of the vessel is tantamount to preventing illness and disease. With a ton of Bottle Bright on hand, it will help these areas immensely.
My Take on Water Bottle Cleaner Tablets
When I was in my twenties, I did a ton of backpacking and camping. My idea of a good weekend back then was to strap on my pack and disappear into the mountains and woods for a few days. This was, of course, before knee and back problems forged my new vision of camping: no room service!
In those days, I would have kept a few bottle cleaner tablets in my pack, along with my water purifying tablets. I'd probably use them now – some of my kids' water bottles get pretty funky and it would work wonders on my travel coffee mugs. Anything that makes my life easier, especially when it comes to cleaning, is going to get my attention. At six bucks for a packet of ten, it won't break the bank, either. I'm in, but are the Sharks?
Will Sharks Bite on Bottle Bright?
Bottle Bright is a great product, but at the heart of it, it's a niche consumer product. With some consumer education, it could be big, but will the Sharks think it's “too niche?” It's going to come down to whether Friedman and Koehneke can demonstrate that there's a sizable market for a water bottle cleaner. Sales and valuation will be important too, but proving the market is the biggest objection the Bottle Bright guys will have to overcome in the Tank.
Mark will likely pass on this, as will Mr. Wonderful. Robert is an outdoorsy type, so he might get in on it. Lori is big into consumer products and since Bottle Bright demonstrates its effectiveness so easily, she could be a player too. Barbara could buy in, if she likes Justin and Seth, but she'll need to see a solid business plan.
I'm on the fence whether the Sharks bite on this. I wouldn't be surprised to see multiple offers, but I wouldn't be surprised if they don't get a deal either.