The Shark Tank’s military special – episode 719 features Willie Blount and Tarik Rodgers’ BlueTooth gloves that control smartphones and GoPro cameras.
William is an avid motorcyclist who wants a secure method of sliding through music on his iPhone while riding, and Tarik wants to use his phone and camera without removing his gloves while skiing.
Together they created Bear Tek gloves, a new type of ski glove that includes a blue tooth sensor on the left hand.
You can control several functions on the device by tapping your thumb with one of your other fingers.
These functions are performed without removing the gloves, providing a safer, more comfortable working environment.
Bluetooth modules located in the gloves’ wrist pockets enable them to communicate with gadgets. One segment is dedicated to smartphones, and a second area is dedicated to cameras.
A pair of gloves costs between $79 and $250, depending on their style and what modules they include.
An attempt was made to launch the idea through Kickstarter in 2012, but they were not successful.
They eventually raised $90,000 and formed a partnership with the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship to bring the product to life.
They have become the darlings of the tech/geek/sports communities and can be found on Amazon.
Willie and Tarik most likely seek the assistance of a Shark to manufacture and distribute their products. Will a Shark don his gloves and invest?
What Is BearTek?
BearTek was a range of gloves that allowed users to use their GoPro cameras and smartphones without having to remove their gloves.
You can use BearTek gloves to operate digital devices by using finger motions remotely, so one can communicate, record videos, or listen to music without removing the gloves.
BearTek gloves targets athletes and outdoors enthusiasts, including runners, bikers, motorsports fans, and winter sports enthusiasts.
Willie Blount and Tarik Rodgers of BearTek seek to end this most deadly human problem.
They hope to bring “safety, convenience, and control” to every individual on the planet through the brilliant development of their Bluetooth SmartGloves, which can be worn anywhere from the ski slopes to the sidewalk.
BearTek Bluetooth SmartGloves is a pair of gloves created for the common adventurer.
BearTek Gloves are available for every occasion, from traditional wear to snow sports to riding, and they have a variety of options to meet everyone’s needs.
These bags’ weather-resistant leather and nylon structure provide excellent protection against the elements but conceal some of their most outstanding features.
BearTek gloves can remotely control a smartphone or GoPro camera directly from the palm using their fingertips.
A skier or cyclist on the highway who reaches into their back pocket for their phone is the most dangerous thing they can do while skiing or cycling.
You’ll never have to worry about that with BearTek gloves. You can wirelessly control your music, phone, or camera by touching one of the nodes on your thumbs.
|Entrepreneur||Willie Blount and Tarik Rodgers|
|Product / Business||Wireless gloves that control smartphones and cameras|
|Investment Asking For||$500,000 for 5% equity in BearTek|
|Final Deal||No Deal|
|Episode||Season 7 Episode 16|
|Business Status||Out Of Business|
Who Is The Founder Of BearTek?
The founders of BearTek are William Blount and Tarik Rodgers, both from Texas, with Blount located in Columbia.
Motorcycle enthusiast Willie wanted a way to listen to music while riding, while Tarik wanted to use his phone and camera without taking off his gloves while skiing.
The duo developed BearTek’s ski and riding gloves in collaboration. A Bluetooth sensor is built into the glove’s left hand.
You can activate different device controls by pressing together with your thumb and a finger.
These activities are carried out without removing the gloves, resulting in a safer and more comfortable experience.
The gloves are equipped with Bluetooth modules that allow them to communicate with the devices in their pocket. The system has a module for smartphones and one for digital cameras.
The cost of gloves varies from $79 to $250, depending on the design and number of modules.
They tried to fund the project through the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter in 2012 but ultimately failed.
BearTek Before Shark Tank
BearTek glove system was developed by Willie Blount of Colombia and his cousin Tarik Rodgers of Dallas. It allows users to control electronic devices by simply touching them.
An ambitious skier, Tarik is looking for a device that will allow him to take pictures, answer calls, listen to music, and control apps while on the ski slopes.
Willie, who studied electronic theory during his time in the Marine Corps for more than six years, though he had hit upon something when he heard about his cousin’s proposal.
Willie was a passionate motorcyclist, and he always found the inability to regulate music to be a problem not only among himself and his riding companions but also among his friends.
They collaborated to develop the BearTek Glove system, which became available after eighteen months of research, development, and testing.
The BearTek founders applied to Shark Tank’s open casting session in the summer of 2015 after being encouraged by many of their friends.
Since they knew there was a low success rate (less than one percent of applications were accepted) and a low likelihood of getting selected, they had little optimism; but they were still in a fortunate position.
They were chosen to appear on the show, and they ultimately made their appearance in February 2016.
How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of BearTek?
Willie and Tarik appeared on Shark Tank demanding an investment of $500,000 in exchange for a 5 percent stake in BearTek.
Even though they enjoy being outdoors, they can’t listen to music while riding their bikes or skiing.
A glove can be converted into a smartphone that the fingertips can control when used with BearTek.
They demonstrate the glove by imitating how the Sharks raise their hands with their own hands. The glove-mounted module allows for control of any device.
BearTek refers to itself as a technology firm instead of a product, and they ask, “Who’s ready to be hugged by BearTek?”
They demonstrate how they operate while handing out samples. Each glove has six touch locations, each executing a different command.
The thumb is the primary control, while the module is tucked away in a pocket behind the glove.
The gloves are released to validate the concept of the modules so that they may enter the module business someday. They are currently selling gloves and modules.
BearTek sold 1500 units in 15 months at a profit of $200,000. Tarik says he invested $500,000 to get the company started.
They claim that military corporations are interested in using gloves to control things, and BearTek is worth $10 million.
Robert believes they must do more than just provide gloves to reach a $10 million valuation. Daymond informs the men that “it is not working.”
Daymond expresses his displeasure that they are worth $10 million following a brief break. The men claim they can raise $32 million.
Kevin claims to have seen helmets with voice activation, and Tarik counters that while voice activation can make mistakes, gloves do not make any.
Kevin believes that the market has passed them by and has decided to leave. Mark claims that the risk/reward ratio is not favorable, and he, therefore, withdraws his participation.
Daymond is no longer employed since he does not agree with the valuation.
Robert is interested in learning about other products other than gloves; he does not like the value of gloves, and he does not want to be in the glove business for $10 million; therefore, he is not interested.
Despite Lori’s admiration for them, she believes they are incompetent and that something needs to be addressed. They’re still trying to work things out, but she’s given up.
Kevin claims that their valuation caused them to fail.
Final Deal: No deal between BearTek and Sharks.
What Happened To BearTek After Shark Tank?
The well-made and professionally produced video that Tarik created presented the reason for the launch of a whole new product.
There was nothing different about the gloves from the ones featured on Shark Tank, but an app was developed specifically for them in the updated version.
When complete, the BearTek software will be able to fully configure the use of the gloves across virtually any device and support both WiFi and Bluetooth on one module, allowing for greater flexibility.
The updated version of Beartek would also offer a liner option, which would allow the owner to use it with their choice of gloves.
Finally, Tarik mentioned that the BearTek team would develop a developer kit to allow third parties to create gadgets that would interface with the gloves.
The Indiegogo campaign initially appeared to have ended with no supporters, but additional investigation revealed that things were not quite as they seemed.
Tarik provided the most recent update on the campaign, explaining that BearTek had received $60,000 from the campaign, which meant that they exceeded their initial goal, but that additional challenges had arisen, forcing them into a period of ‘Hibernation’ until the issues could be resolved.
Tarik also expressed his gratitude to the campaign backers and promised that BearTek would return soon, stronger than ever.
However, BearTek went dark in May 2019, with their website and social media accounts removed.
BearTek Shark Tank Update
The founders of Beartek gloves launched an IndieGoGo campaign without a contribution from the Sharks, which raised $60,000.
Beartek, despite receiving a large injection of cash, refunded all its backers in full.
BearTek’s website was taken down in May of 2019. Also, the social media accounts of BearTek were removed.
However, you can still purchase BearTek gloves on Amazon as of April 2022.
Is BearTek Still In Business?
BearTek’s social media profiles were deactivated in July of 2016. As of April 2022, the BearTek website is no longer available for viewing.
BearTek gloves, on the other hand, are still available for purchase on Amazon.
The LinkedIn profile of Blount shows that in February 2017, he launched a new smartphone mount company in Columbia, Maryland, with the help of a former Marine Information Technology specialist.
Rodgers has also been employed at Skin Specialists of Allen/Addison in Dallas, Texas, since April of 2016 as Vice President of Marketing and Operations.