by The Bloom Report | 15 Nov 2022
Biographies and Interviews
One day, while hard at work bringing our toy business back to normal after COVID, we came across a request for participants on an online investment TV show. Entrepreneur Magazine owns the rights to the show and provides the distribution platform and audience.The show is called Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch and the casting company working on it is one we were familiar with since our family had worked for them on several Disney Commercials and as background actors on Iron Man 3 which was also filmed in Miami.
We looked at each other and asked ourselves, “ Do we want to go onto another investment show? “. After all, we previously appeared on ABC Shark Tank in 2010. Would there be any benefit from another show of this type? It will only be shown on the internet via YouTube. Would anyone see it and get motivated by our toy product? Our answers were “no” and “probably not”, but since we were trying to build back our momentum and could easily drive to the studio we were happy enough to send in the application.
Soon after we were contacted to conduct a Skype interview with the producers of the show. It seemed that the show was interested in our toy. The Skype interview went well because the producer said we represent a married couple who are both working on a small company. That was unique in their eyes. "We had a special chemistry."
Several weeks passed and then one day we received a very nice e-mail saying we have been chosen for the show that would be filming in Miami. Who knows, maybe the most noteworthy investor on the show would see promise in what we have done with our toy. The investor we wanted to talk to is Marc Rudolph the former CEO and founder of NETFLIX. We accepted the offer to be on the show and we signed the non-disclosure agreements for the production.
Now the real work began. We were now heading into November when we ramp up our production of Qubits for the holiday selling season. We had jus re-instated our Amazon selling account which went dormant during 2021. We worked day and night to get ourselves ahead of schedule so that we could free up the time needed for the film opportunity.
Then the studio emailed a change in the line-up of investors. The list included some fine investors we are sure, but the list did not include Marc Randolph. What!? That wasn’t what we were told to begin with. Disappointed with the change we told the studio to cancel us from the show. Why go? The other investors were unknown as compared with the former CEO of NETFLIX. The show must go on but sorry we are out.
Soon after the producers contacted us to let us know they created a spot for us on the schedule one week sooner that originally worked out. The change would put us in front of Marc Randolph. We quickly accepted. Being a USAF veteran family we are used to changes in orders. It was Double Time Marching Orders for Qubits Toy!
The road trip to Miami from North Carolina is about 10 hours so we decided to break it up with a scenic overnight along the way. Daytona Beach was a great first stop. The next day we arrived at the Hilton near the film studio in Pompano Beach, FL. The weather was perfect. We were able to relax for a few hours prior to the big day. However, we noticed our car had developed a flat tire. Late into the night our son Garrett who was driving us went to work repairing the flat. Our children’s educational construction sets are large when you build them up. Some of the displays are over 6’ tall. That is the biggest reason we chose to drive to the studio, we wanted to deliver an impressive display for the investor board room.
Early on the day of filming, 5 AM we sleepily slipped into our car for the short drive to the BrandStar production facility. The tire was still holding air and we were on our way.
Arriving at the studio 20 minutes later we pulled into a dark parking lot with just a skeleton crew in the building. Yawns and nods from everyone as the coffee machines fired up with some hot brew. Wow! This studio was impressive with multiple awards displayed on the glass shelves. Corridors and rooms everywhere. Large flat screen TV’s hung on the walls displaying videos of past work and future projects.
Lisa and I were kept comfortable in the cafeteria along with a half dozen other entrepreneurs who would be filmed that day. Bleary eyed small talk regarding our businesses was exchanged and practically everyone marveled at our display pieces. We have the type of product that sells itself. It is a physical product whereas many of the entrepreneurs has SAAS type products - Software as a Service, etc. We were the unicorns.
As the day developed we were shuffled from room to room. Make-up took a good part of the morning, then we conducted a Skype interview with a family member that was filmed for the show. Another room interviewed us in front of a green screen background. There were the moments we didn’t fully understand until they were shown on the final production. It was the magic of digital arts.
At this point, past lunchtime, we started to fade. The sun seemed overly bright as it beamed thru the stark windows, our stomach was empty and the afternoon thunderstorm tossed a few rain showers against the building. When will we finally film this Elevator Pitch?
Finally mid afternoon after a quick lunch box we were all escorted to another building where they started filming us one-by-one walking thru the hallway, entering the elevator ( not an actual elevator ) and prepping for the 60 second “pitch”.
Let us tell you, there are many business related gigs Lisa and I have done in front of a camera, but a 60 second NO EDIT ELEVATOR PITCH was not on that list. It made us nervous but Lisa provided the stable foundation while speaking.
It was our turn to make the pitch. Our spots to stand on were marked with blue masking tape on the floor. The elevator set is slightly claustrophobic, three walls with a camera just outside the open doors. A cameraman was peering thru the camera as the production assistant stood to the side watching us with reaffirming nods and smiles. The 60 second timer was a small LED that could be overlooked when you really got into the pitch. Ten, nine, eight - think fast, talk fast,… - STOP!
Behind the scenes personal note (The initial geometric design for Qubits happened when I was a student at San Jose State University in 1980 - our toy business actually started in 2007) For some reason this was the biggest glaring error in our pitch.
At this point we had done everything we could do. We stood in the elevator waiting for the doors to open. The minutes went by. We could hear a lively exchange of comments by the investors in the next room. Even the producers were puzzled by the long conversation. Then the unforeseen happened,…
Please watch the show to find out more and perhaps comment on the YouTube.
Enjoy the show!
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