Mick Spencer was the talk of the town last night as he took on a panel of shrewd investors on Channel Ten’s return of its hit show Shark Tank, walking away with $600,000 for his custom sportswear company ONTHEGO.
ONTHEGO, which was founded in 2011 from the 25-year-old’s parents’ garage in north Canberra, has quickly grown to become a front-runner in customised sportswear. The company’s clients include David Jones, Fitbit, Anytime Fitness, IRONMAN, Next Gen and more.
Spencer was calm and confident as he presented his business case to shark investors Janine Allis, Andrew Banks, Steve Baxter, Glen Richards and Naomi Simson.
Displayed next to him were samples of ONTHEGO clothing, strategically branded with the logos of the potential investors’ own companies.
After wrapping up his presentation Spencer was quizzed by the sharks, with tech multimillionaire Steve Baxter asking, “Where are you from?” to which Mick proudly replied, “Canberra… a big country town!”
Clearly impressed by Spencer’s attitude and achievements, the sharks were in unfamiliar territory as they gushed with compliments and rushed to make an offer.
Under the show’s rules, an entrepreneur must state the level of investment they require and if the sharks agree to the amount, the entrepreneur walks away a winner.
Janine Allis, founder of Boost Juice, was the first to offer up the entire $300,000 investment sought by Spencer. In exchange she asked for a 20% stake in ONTHEGO – 10% more than what Spencer was offering.
Steve Baxter and Andrew Banks (a HR and recruitment entrepreneur) quickly followed with the same offer.
Being in an exciting but difficult situation, Spencer left the stage to discuss the offers with his CFO.
Upon returning his counter offer was smart – suggesting that the sharks split the investment between them (giving each investor a 5% stake for $100,000) and securing him the knowledge, experience and connections of three of Australia’s best business minds.
Unimpressed with the lack of equity they would receive, the investors doubled their offer to $600,000 in return for a combined 35% stake in the company.
Without faltering, Spencer negotiated the figure down to 30%, with each investor receiving a 10% stake.
Within minutes the deal was done and Spencer shook hands with his new business partners and left the Tank.
“We’re not going to lose. It was a good deal!” the investors exclaimed.
So what was life really like in the Tank? Was it all as fast as it seemed?
“No. It’s a really full on day!” Spencer said afterwards. “And they only show a portion of what happens on the show. They were actually hammering me for over an hour.”
“We’re really happy with how it’s turned out. They were all the sharks I wanted to work with. We’ll be using the money to accelerate our online ordering systems, and also for product development, marketing and key personnel.”
Spencer recommends the show to other entrepreneurs saying, “It’s a great thing [for entrepreneurs] to do. It’s always good to put your money where your mouth is and put your ideas forward. They [the sharks] are very feedback driven which is invaluable. It was a great experience.”