Akeem Shannon needs a Shark to invest in Flipstik, a smartphone kickstand that can be attached practically anywhere, as he asks in episode 1205 of Shark Tank.
Akeem studied chemical engineering at Howard University, but he was denied the chance to continue his studies.
His return to St. Louis led him to be hired by Square, a company that specializes in mobile payment processing.
He contacted numerous small businesses, which increased his interest in starting his own business.
When he talked with his uncle, a NASA engineer, he discovered that NASA had developed a glue called “Synthetic Setae” in the 1970s.
The adhesive functions similarly to gecko hairs, allowing it to stick to nearly any surface.
Akeem has designed a smartphone kickstand that incorporates this material and lets you connect your phone to almost any surface.
Akeem founded Flipstick with a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2018 that raised $10,310.
Since then, he has generated more than $100,000 in revenue and won the 2019 CES Retail Pitch competition.
You can mount this foldable kickstand to any smartphone, and it’s quite convenient. You can see this sticky material when the stand opens.
The glue can be applied over 1000 times before losing its adhesive properties, and when it becomes less sticky, simply rinse it under hot water to restore it.
You can purchase a Flipstik for $15, which comes in several designs and colors. Akeem participates in numerous fairs throughout the St. Louis area and kiosks.
He wants to expand the distribution of his patented product across the country, and he is hoping that a Shark will be able to assist him. Will the Sharks make a u-turn on Flipstick?
What Is Flipstik?
Flipstick is a ground-breaking gadget that allows you to place your phone on various surfaces.
The Flipstick product is particularly popular with adolescents, attributed to its adaptability.
Akeem came up with the Flipstik after thinking about the adhesive and the difficulties he had placed his phone in a safe location while still needing to use it.
“Flipstik” is a kickstand that attaches to virtually any cell phone cover and allows the phone to stand upright or be attached to almost any flat surface.
Flipstik adhesive can withstand up to two pounds of weight before becoming tacky, and it is washable with soap and water or with alcohol pads. There are a variety of colors and designs available for Flipstik.
|Product / Business||Adhesive device that enables users to safely attach their phones to any surface|
|Investment Asking For||$100,000 for 20% equity in Flipstik|
|Final Deal||$100,000 for 25% equity in Flipstik|
|Episode||Season 12 Episode 4|
|Business Status||In Business|
Who Is The Founder Of Flipstik?
Akeem Shannon is the man behind the creation of Flipstick. Akeem has worked as a sales representative for several mobile companies before establishing his company.
He also briefly worked for a Fintech company, but he was dissatisfied with the experience.
He was nevertheless inspired to embark on an entrepreneurial career, which he confirmed by founding Flipstick Company. Akeem aspired to be his boss from a young age, and he is still working toward that goal.
Akeem was determined to have a respectable life after being denied a scholarship to Howard University.
In 2017, he completed his magnum opus after working for many different companies temporarily.
Akeem can thank his uncle, a NASA engineer, for passing along the word about reusable adhesives.
Flipstick got off the ground thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $10,310 in 2018.
After that, he generated more than $100k in revenue and was named the winner of the 2019 CES Retail Pitch competition.
When you open the kickstand, you can see the sticky substance underneath, attached to any smartphone’s back.
During more than 1000 applications, there was no loss of stickiness, and when it started to become less sticky, simply wash it under hot water to restore stickiness.
Flipsticks are available in hundreds of different designs and colors for $15. They are now available at kiosks around the St. Louis region and at various fairs where Akeem participates.
Flipstik Before Shark Tank
Akeem Shannon returned to his hometown after losing the Howard University Scholarship. He pursued his dream with all of his heart and persevered until he achieved his goal.
He bounced about from one telecommunications company to another in search of a better job as a salesperson.
He became available to work at Square, a major financial technology company. However, no matter how hard he tried, he could not get rid of his ambition to be his boss.
His life was changed forever when he telephonically spoke with his uncle, who worked for NASA.
He came across the idea of a reusable adhesive during a late-night phone call in 2017. NASA had investigated this in the 1970s and found it effective in space.
It was an inspiration to patent synthetic setaeTM, washable and reusable material to put scientific discovery to use in everyday life.
Because he was a member of the Z-generation, he knew millennials were more inclined to buy products that made their lives easier.
Akeem created a kickstand prototype in December 2017 that could be attached to almost any flat surface, including wood, walls, mirrors, leather, or the dashboard of a vehicle.
They are available in a variety of hues, zodiac signs, and over 70 different patterns and designs, like Ink’d Marble, Rose Quartz, and Opal and illustrated Unicorn, as well as emoticons and emojis, to mention a few.
The hinge is made of high-quality polycarbonate. Another kickstand’s most intriguing characters that distinguish it from other phone pops is that it can support up to 2 pounds of weight, including keys, tablet computers, wallets, remote controls, and picture frames.
How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of Flipstik?
Akeem Shannon performed a self-written song about his product, Flipstik, in front of the sharks on Season 12, Episode 4 of Shark Tank.
Akeed requested Sharks to invest $100,000 for a 20% equity in Flipstik while appearing on the Shark Tank show.
The cases even cling to surfaces even after a thorough cleaning.
To demonstrate to the sharks how well this device worked, Akeem soiled it with hair, sand, and spaghetti but then wiped it clean and put it on a piece of glass to show off.
Things got dicey in the tank when Akeem revealed that despite his great pitch, he had only made $1,500 in sales over the previous month and hadn’t made anything over the previous 30 months.
The sharks expressed some anxiety, and Akeem said that 60 percent of his sales were from retail shops, which the COVID-19 pandemic had adversely hit, and that he required their support to develop his online presence needed to do with their help.
According to Lori Greiner, Lori Greiner and Kevin O’Leary were intrigued by the notion that each case only cost $0.58 to manufacture and could sell for anywhere between $15 and $30 per case.
Kevin offered Akeem everything he requested, but he chose to listen to Lori’s offer instead, and because of this, he was unable to close the deal with Mr. Wonderful.
Flipstik was able to strike a deal with Lori Grenier for $100,000 in exchange for a 25 percent stake in the company.
What Happened To Flipstik After Shark Tank?
Akeem did not rest until he obtained a patent and trademark for his invention despite his success in bringing Flipstik to market.
He had set a goal of $1,865 for a Kickstarter campaign as of 2018 to secure the funds necessary to begin manufacturing the device.
He got almost ten times as much as he had hoped to within just one month since people were so enthusiastic about the concept.
There were 460 backers who had ordered online pre-orders as of the end of August 2018.
TechStars hosted the CES Retail Pitch competition in Las Vegas in 2019, where this unique utility product won first place.
The same year, he pledged to donate a portion of his annual revenue to the organization “For Creators by Creators.”.
He has been fiercely promoting his artifact, and he has successfully made it viral by employing basic but effective marketing strategies. His run of success didn’t come to a stop there.
Akeem has visited other institutions, such as the KIPP St. Louis school, to promote his fledgling business and instill a sense of entrepreneurial spirit in young people.
The young entrepreneur is well-known for boosting Flipstik’s reputation by enlisting the help of social media influencers who are compensated for their efforts.
In addition, the company’s official Instagram page routinely displays the customers’ thankful images that they have taken “hassle-free,” all due to Akeem’s concept!
Flipstik Shark Tank Update
Lori did not post any information about FlipStik on her Shark Tank website for two months since the show aired.
It’s possible that the agreement didn’t close or that it’s still in the midst of discussions. It’s still too early to say which direction the wind will blow.
Flipstik expects to generate an additional $100,000 in sales over the holiday season after its first broadcast generated more than 100% sales in the first week.
The arrangement with Lori did not end up successfully as of July 2021. Akeem’s goods are being sold on Amazon.com, where they are doing quite well.
Akeem received two $50,000 prizes after his appearance on the show. An organization based in St. Louis, Arch Grants, donated $50,000 as the first donation.
In the second round, UMSL Accelerate’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Accelerator awarded $50,000 in equity-free investment to the program’s initial cohort.
Akeem is currently negotiating with “undisclosed, large retailers,” which should result in his presence at several hundred retail locations by the fourth quarter of 2021 or the first quarter of 2022. As of January 2022, the retail transaction has not been completed.
Flipstik will be available in 300 Target locations across the United States starting in April 2022.
The products will be available in AT&T stores and Pilot Flying J travel centers around the country starting in the summer of 2022.
Flipstik generates $5 million in annual sales, which should increase as the company expands its distribution.
Is Flipstik Still In Business?
Since the Shark Tank episode aired, there hasn’t been any official Flipstik news.
Lori appears to have assisted him in developing his online presence, even though a quick scan of the site reveals many specific products being sold.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the products on Amazon, so it appears that there’s still room for improvement.
However, Flipstik is still in business as of April 2022.