Even though he kept a “book of inventions” for years, Max Valverde wasn't always an entrepreneur. In fact, until a few years ago, he was a successful sales engineer for an international sales division of EMSEAL. Max was instrumental in taking the large, domestic construction company international. Max Valverde is a Brown University mechanical engineering graduate from beautiful Scarborough, Maine. He relocated to my hometown, Needham, MA when he got out of school. He lives there with his wife, a registered nurse.
I caught up with Max Valverde a week before he appears on Shark Tank. He was busy getting orders ready and making sure his website is set to stand up to the Shark Tank Effect.
Max Valverde: Morninghead Inspiration
Morninghead is a shower-cap with super-absorbent cloth that lets you instantly wet your entire head without dripping water all over your clothes. Max was clearly aware of the double entendre effect his product has, but it was bed head that inspired him to create Morninghead.
“It was a real pain point for me,” he explains, “I shower at night after I work out and every morning I had this debate with myself. Do I stick my head under the faucet or just say ‘screw it' and take another shower? I knew there had to be a solution.”
Max found his solution with a product designed for cleaning heads after surgery. “It was an existing product that solved my problem. Initially it was a surgical device. I contacted the patent holder and explained how it solved my problem. The next thing I had to do was see if it works.”
He gave 25 units out to friends and family and asked them to try it out. “I told them don't hold back, if you like it, fine. If you think it's crazy, let me know. Everyone liked it, so I had to figure out a way to brand it. Nobody was looking for a bed head cure, but I liked the idea of using the double entendre of Morninghead to help with branding.”
Morninghead is Born
Max Valverde decided to start small. “My initial plan was to grow Morninghead as a side company. I secured an exclusive right to distribute the product in this form from the patent holder. To get the funds I needed to get going, I ran a Kickstarter campaign. The clever marketing made it sharable and we hit our goal in four hours. Initially, my wife was skeptical about the venture, but after the Kickstarter campaign, she LOVES Morninghead!”
“A producer from Shark Tank contacted me after the Kickstarter campaign. I thought they were joking at first, I thought it was a scam, but I went through all the steps to apply and taped last summer.”
Morninghead Stiffens Web Presence
“I built the original site on Squarespace. When I got my air date, I called them and told them what was going on. They assured me they can handle the traffic. Squarespace advertises on Shark Tank, so they want the site to stay up, too.”
Max left his job last week to throw himself into his business. He is now 100% committed to Morninghead. “The funny thing about the whole Shark Tank experience is, you don't think it's real until you see the promotional photos.”
One thing is sure, Max is poised to make the most out of his Shark Tank appearance. He's been featured in dozens of articles, including the Boston Globe. He's all over social media and he's really pumping up his appearance.
Of course, Max wouldn't tell me if any Sharks got Morninghead in their portfolios, but he had some words of advice for would-be entrepreneurs and Shark Tank applicants.
“The only thing standing between you and your goal is that BS excuse you keep telling yourself. Entrepeneurs need to commit to working 80 hours a week to reach their goals. Like a fortune cookie I opened recently said: ‘it only takes years to be an overnight success.'”
Max answered on other question. His answer is over at the Hot Dog Truck.