In today’s world, where smartphones have become a crucial part of our daily lives, it’s no surprise that mobile phone charging stations have become a popular sight in public places.
However, the safety and security of personal devices have always been a major concern for many people. This is where Amber charging stations offer a unique and secure way to charge your phone while you’re out and about.
Amber is a prototype mobile phone charging station designed to provide a safe and convenient way to charge your phone in public places. The device is simple to use: you drop your phone into an empty compartment, lock it using a fingerprint scan, and your phone will start charging automatically.
The entrepreneurs behind the Amber charging stations envisioned leasing their product to various public places, including bars, malls, airports, movie theaters, arenas, and other venues, to offer customers a reliable and secure way to charge their phones.
This innovative idea was met with skepticism from the Sharks on the popular TV show Shark Tank, who didn’t believe in the product’s security or the potential of the business plan.
What Is Amber?
Amber was a charging station intended to be used by the public. You put your phone in the compartment, scan your fingerprint to secure it, and your phone will charge automatically.
It is a common problem for most people to have a 20% battery remaining when they don’t have a charging source. Amber was a public-access, secure multiple-cellphone charging station.
However, the Amber Phone Charging concept was built before the portable power bank, a fingerprint-secured multiple-cell phone charging station for public use in malls, airports, large events, restaurants, and other areas with heavy foot traffic.
One of the biggest advantages of Amber charging stations is the level of security they provide. With the rise in cybercrime and identity theft, many people are hesitant to use public charging stations due to the risk of data theft or malware.
Amber charging stations address these concerns by offering a secure and tamper-proof system that prevents unauthorized access to your device.
Another advantage of Amber charging stations is their versatility. They can be placed in various public locations, providing an added convenience to customers who need to charge their phones on the go.
These charging stations can also be customized to include branding and advertising, providing a unique marketing opportunity for businesses that lease them.
|Entrepreneur||Bill Shuey and Kyle Byrd|
|Product||Charging stations for public phones|
|Investment Asking For||$200,000 For 20% equity in Amber|
|Final Deal||No Deal|
|Episode||Season 6 Episode 1|
|Business Status||Out Of Business|
Who Is The Founder Of Amber?
Kyle Byrd and Bill Shuey co-founded Amber Phone Charging in 2014. Their company’s concept was developed at James Madison University in Virginia, where they studied.
Kyle holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial design. The former engineer has since worked for various firms and is currently a Senior Product Manager at a company providing tools for start-ups.
Bill earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He works as a home improvement sales representative in the Baltimore metropolitan area. The bromance between the college friends deepened when they discovered they had a passion for start-ups.
The company saw a need for free public cell phone chargers. The company envisioned a business model where the gadgets could be sold or rented to commercial business owners to enhance client satisfaction.
The company spent $11,000 of its own money on it, and it began building a prototype of what it imagined it would look like. It would be ideal if the user could access the safe compartment with their biometric fingerprint, leave their phone to charge, and retrieve it later.
They began looking for investors to assist them in launching the firm. The company was not yet in revenue but did have a business concept, partner agreements, and sales plan.
Amber Before Shark Tank
Bill Shuey met Kyle Bird, an industrial design student at James Madison University in Virginia, when he studied political science there. They started a business together.
When they discovered they shared a passion for start-up businesses, they thought they had found a market gap for phone charging stations. There were plans to sell or rent charging systems to stadiums and theaters.
Amber is the first material to carry a charge, so they called their product Amber because it was its prototype. They were delighted to receive an email from the producers of Shark Tank.
The pair thought someone was playing a joke on them at first. Someone from the show spotted Amber’s online portfolio, which surprised them.
Bill came up with it during the early stages of the idea. The producers wanted to see it pitched to sharks when they pitched their product. The producers arranged for them to appear on the show in September 2014.
How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of Amber?
Bill and Kyle appeared on Shark Tank requesting an investment of $250,000 in exchange for a 25% stake in Amber.
Amber has covered you with their innovative product if you want to charge your smartphone. You have two options to acquire it: purchase it outright for $2,000, or lease it for a lower price of $150 per month.
During the pitch on Shark Tank, the sharks had some concerns about the product’s design, particularly with the fingerprint scanner. Robert Herjavec expressed doubts about the low-cost scanner’s accuracy, and his fellow sharks shared his concerns.
Despite the sharks’ concerns, the manufacturing cost for a single unit is $1,000, which left the sharks flabbergasted. Lori Greiner, in particular, believed the product was not competitive enough and quickly bowed out.
Mark Cuban followed suit, leaving Kevin O’Leary to deliver the harshest critique. O’Leary deemed the mobile charging station “one of the worst ideas he has ever seen,” but even his scathing review couldn’t convince the other sharks to invest.
Ultimately, no sharks saw enough potential in Amber’s product, and all declined to invest. While it may be a setback for Amber, their innovative charging station is still available for purchase or lease, providing a convenient solution for business owners on the go.
Bill and Kyle leave the Shark Tank without any deal from Shark Tank for Amber.
Final Deal: No deal between Sharks and Amber.
What Happened To Amber After Shark Tank?
The Shark Tank’s frenzy of criticism of Amber’s concept left the firm with no choice but to cease operations once the show had ended. The show’s impact on the business and Kyle’s feelings about it were chronicled in an extensive blog after leaving the company a few months after airing.
He delivered a lengthy and in-depth critique of the show’s editing procedures. Amber was omitted from the final broadcast because the sharks did not mention Amber’s complimentary comments, nor did his and Bill’s passionate defense of Amber respond to the arguments against it.
He also questioned Robert Durjavec’s knowledge of biometric scanner technology, asserting that Amber was thoroughly tested before filming and fully functional.
Robert’s remarks on the show effectively ended their prospects with the other sharks, but an even worse outcome was that potential customers started to distrust their goods.
Both Kyle and Bill are currently involved in various endeavors, and they attribute their Shark Tank experiences to educating them about business, the media, and public opinion.
Perhaps Amber will experience a power vacuum on the show someday, but maybe the young entrepreneurs will come back wiser and prepared to launch their next venture.
Amber Shark Tank Update
The Sharks didn’t believe Amber would be secure and that their business plan was not feasible. Amber has shut down its website and removed all social media accounts.
Byrd left Amber in December 2014 to start working as a user experience designer at a start-up in Reston, Virginia. He is now a Senior Product Manager at AgileCraft in Austin, Texas.
Byrd quit Amber Software in 2014 and is now a Senior Product Manager at the software company AgileCraft in Austin, Texas.
In an article on Medium.com, co-founder Kyle Byrd says they got some money from investors elsewhere because of being on Shark Tank and lowering the cost per unit, but ultimately it was difficult for the company to develop and scale effectively.
Due to the badly presented proposal, Amber did not endure long due to “continuing trust concerns” with potential clients. Amber went out of business in 2015 and ceased all its operations.
Is Amber Still In Business?
Despite failing to secure a deal on the show, Bill and Kyle didn’t let that dampen their entrepreneurial spirit. After their segment aired, they received a flurry of interest from various distributors and manufacturers, but direct buyers remained scarce.
However, rather than giving up, they heeded the Sharks’ advice and lowered the price of their innovative self-locking smartphone charging station to $75 per month while introducing a new consumer payment option.
Unfortunately, even with these changes, the company struggled to stay afloat, and within a few months, Kyle parted ways.
After leaving the company, Kyle shared his experience on his blog, revealing that the Sharks had actually given positive feedback about the product, but unfortunately, this was edited out of the final segment.
He also disagreed with Robert’s skepticism regarding the biometric scanner technology and emphasized that the Amber had been fully tested and functional before filming.
Despite their best efforts, the company went out of business in 2015 without selling any units. The poorly portrayed pitch on the show likely contributed to this outcome, leaving many potential customers with doubts about the product.
Today, the Amber brand seems to have vanished completely from the internet, with its website, Facebook, and Twitter pages deleted. However, Bill and Kyle have both moved on to other ventures.
Bill currently works in sales at Long Home Products in Maryland, while Kyle is a Limited Partner at Adventure Fund and previously worked as a Senior Product Manager at Atlassian.
While we may not see them on the show again soon, Bill and Kyle’s resilience and determination inspire entrepreneurs everywhere.
The concept of Ambernever gained traction, and the company ceased operations in 2015. Byrd worked as a user experience designer for a startup based in Reston, Virginia, before leaving Amber in December 2014.
What Is the Net Worth Of Amber?
The valuation of Amber was $1 million when it appeared on Shark Tank. The net worth of Amber is unknown as of 2023 since the company went out of business in 2015.