The Twister

the twisterInventor and police officer Alfonzo Dowe, Sr. comes to episode 112 of the Shark Tank with his answer to dirty golf balls; The Twister. Dowe has been a golf enthusiast for over 20 years. During a grudge-match round of golf, he took a game-winning shot, and missed the putt because of a small clump of dirt on his ball. That was the final straw for Dowe. his desire for a portable, lightweight ball cleaner solidified into action. He tried several designs before settling on The Twister, a product small enough to be slipped into a golf bag, freeing golfers from the dependence upon the stationary ball wash stations.

Will the Sharks invest in Dowe's ball cleaner, or will they prefer to sink their teeth into tastier bait?

The Twister Shark Tank Recap

Dowe comes to the Sharks looking for an investment of $85,000, for 40% of his business. He claims that golfers want clean balls, because they preform better. He demonstrates the product, showing how a dirty ball comes out of The Twister looking like a brand-new ball. Daymond John is impressed, calling the product “fantastic, really great.”

Robert Herjavec wants to know if he's sold any Twisters. Dowe responds that he has sold a “few thousand” dollars' worth online, through his website and at flea markets. The Twister costs him about $6 to make, and retails for $19.99. The Sharks want to know why he hasn't had greater sales success, and Dowe explains that he's “not a businessman”. Robert Herjavec and Daymond John are impressed with the quality of the product.

Kevin O'Leary wants to know if he has it in any retailers. Dowe explains that his time, as a full-time police officer, is limited, and he doesn't have the business acumen to approach and sell retailers on his products. He's looking for a business partner as well as an investment. Herjavec and O'Leary express doubt that the product will appeal to the average golfer. Dowe is prepared for this question. He explains that there are 68 million golfers in the world. He estimates that there are at least 68 million loved ones who want to buy gifts for their golfers. Kevin Harrington is convinced that a product that's marketed as a gift is “seasonal.” He's out.

Barbara Corcoran believes that the product has appeal as a corporate promotional product, but she “hates golf” so she also declines to offer a deal. Robert Herjavec doesn't “know if this is a hole in one.” He's out. Three sharks are down, and Dowe only has two more chances to get the deal he needs. Kevin O'Leary turns down the product based on the lack of existing orders. The final Shark, Daymond John, is out because he simply “doesn't know anything about the sport.”

Dowe leaves the Tank without a Shark deal.

The Twister Shark Tank Update

In spite of his failure to gain traction with the Sharks, Dowe was able to parlay the exposure into a small but steady sales stream. Today, his Twister is available through his direct-sales website, as well as other online retailers like Amazon and eBay. The Twister didn't twist the Shark's tails, but it has carved a niche in a market littered with novelty products, and is providing a solid game for the officer/entrepreneur.

The Twister Company Information

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