Pitching a start-up can be nerve wracking, in part because of the anxiety that comes with public speaking and the high stakes art of deal making. Yet according to two "Shark Tank" alumni, it doesn't have to be.
Ryan Fant and Nayeem Hussain are no strangers to that kind of stress. The duo first pitched their idea for smart home technology at Techcrunch's Startup Battlefield, and received $1.6 million in 3 rounds from 13 investors. A week later, they were finalists in the New York University Entrepreneur's Challenge, where they competed for $200,000.
In addition, they successfully tapped crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, snagging more than $40,000, then topped that by landing one of the largest valuations in "Shark Tank" history. While some of the other sharks hesitated, Robert Herjavec went all in to close a deal of $750,000 for 13 percent equity. To date, Keen Home has raised $4.1 million from various sources.