Wellington Resident Martin Hill And His ‘Beebo’ Bottle-Holder Score ‘Shark Tank’ Deal
Up until Friday, Martin Hill and his wife were the only people who knew they had scored a deal on “Shark Tank.”
But four days after the season 7 premiere of the ABC hit show, word about their bottle-feeding aid, the Beebo, is officially out—and the orders are pouring in.
“It’s game time now,” the Wellington resident said.
Invented about four years ago when his son was a baby, the Beebo is a hands-free bottle-holder that drapes over either shoulder. Users can hold their baby in one arm and eat, read, or do whatever else with the other. The bottle-holder rotates so the bottle can be placed at the best angle for the child.
After people began asking more about the product, Hill decided to file a patent. He went into production in the middle of last year and officially started selling the Beebo in February—just four months before he would try his luck on the show.
Always a fan of “Shark Tank,” Hill was watching season 6 when he learned about a casting call in Miami, memorized a pitch and headed down there. He filmed the show in June and “kept the cards close to [his] chest,” as he says.
He invited friends over his house to watch the episode Friday, and his parents even flew in from England.
“They didn’t know the outcome, so it was kind of a gamble for them,” he said. “But they wanted to come.”
While most people might be anxious presenting their product in front of big execs and celebrity judges, Hill said he was anything but.
“It probably sounds crazy, but I wasn’t really nervous. I’ve always had faith in my product,” he said. “I walked in there knowing I had a great opportunity for them, as well as a great opportunity for me.”
In fact, he said the deal he cut with investor and QVC personality Lori Greiner and guest shark Ashton Kutcher—$200,000 for a 30 percent stake—is exactly what he told his wife he wanted that morning.
“When Lori said those words, I said, ‘There you go!” he recalled.
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Now, it’s all about making the dream a reality.
In an effort to prep for what’s known as the “Shark Tank surge”—a jump in demand after appearing on the show—he created a new website, took new photos, and ordered more inventory.
“[The weekend] was all about slapping labels on boxes,” he said, adding the orders that came in were already on their way to customers.
Hill’s kids, now 6 and 4, are excited to help out any way they can. But all the excitement hasn’t been without the occasional hiccup: The family had to move the dinner table to accommodate for all the boxes—a change his son wasn’t all too happy with initially.
“Kids are creatures of habit,” Hill said, laughing.
Still, they’re playing their part in the business, drawing little colored hearts to help with the labeling.
“You give them little fun jobs to do to make them part of the experience,” he said.
The Beebo is available in three colors: orange, yellow and aqua, though the latter is already sold out. They retail for $39.95. Visit thebeebo.com for more information.