Daymond John has partnered with Edison Nation to fund promising entrepreneurs with “the next big thing.” Edison Nation recently gained a lot of Shark Tank related exposure with the appearance of Jared Joyce on last week's show. Jared didn't do a deal with the sharks, but he ended up doing a deal with Edison Nation.
The Shark Tank has brought the small business person and niche inventors into prime time. In the past, folks who tinkered with a “better mousetrap” did so in relative obscurity. The Shark Tank has changed that as it provides a vehicle for funding and exposure to the masses. As Jared proved, sometimes entrepreneurs don't need to be funded by the Sharks to move forward with their ideas. The Shark Tank can be a vehicle to introduce products to other investors.
Edison Nation is basically an incubator and conduit for inventive people with great ideas. They are able to take inventions with promise and aid with introductions to major distribution channels and manufacturers. In addition to being an excellent educational resource for entrepreneurs, they take on all (or most of) the “grunt work” involved with bringing a new product to market. They have $25 million earmarked for investing in whatever “next big thing” comes along.
It is interesting that Daymond became involved. He obviously enjoys his role as angel investor to promising entrepreneurs and is showing his committment publicly by entering into this partnership. Daymond makes no secret about his humble beginnings with FUBU, his international brand of clothing; it is literally and figuratively a rags to riches story.
Often the Sharks are portrayed as somewhat heartless and cut throat on the show- it makes for entertaining TV. They are just playing a part; every Shark Tank entrepreneur I have spoken with, even the ones who did not get funded, have nothing but nice things to say about the individual sharks. Daymond obviously has his heart in the right place, to see someone in his position putting himself out there as a resource for beginners is refreshing.