If you're stuck in the middle of nowhere with an urgent need to use the bathroom, Paul Mangum might just have the answer for you.
His product, the InstaPrivy, a compact toilet system and privacy shelter, made its debut on Monday's episode of CNBC's reality pitch show "Adventure Capitalists," in which entrepreneurs pitch their adventure products to investors in the great outdoors.
Mangum was seeking a $250,000 investment for 10 percent of his company. While the demo didn't go as well he'd planned, he did walk away with a sizable deal.
"I was looking around for a product that was portable — that I could take with me," the avid outdoorsman and father of five told the show's co-hosts, Craig Cooper, Dhani Jones and Jeremy Bloom. "I couldn't find it, so I developed it."
The product consists of a foldable toilet chair, disposable bag and a privacy shelter that, when deployed, resembles a tent — or as Cooper termed it on the show, an "upside down laundry hamper." In addition, the kit contains toilet paper, hand sanitizer and a shovel, all of which fit into a small bag.
Although Mangum initially developed the InstaPrivy for his family so that they could enjoy the outdoors together without having to worry when there wasn't a restroom around, he soon realized he could commercialize it. He invested about $70,000 of his own money into the product, which retails for $99.99.
The product received mixed reviews from the investors.
"You've packaged three things together which exist already," Cooper said. "There's nothing unique about it. … It's a porta-potty basically."
Bloom questioned the demand for outdoor portable toilets in the first place. "What's so wrong with people popping and squatting?"
It's about privacy, Mangum countered. He said he recently met a woman at a military trade show who complained of having to awkwardly hide behind a tire in order to go to the bathroom while on a convoy in Iraq.
Mangum, who served in the military for 21 years, hopes his product will solve this awkwardness — not only for women in combat roles, but also men. "So many times I wish I would have had one of these when I was in the military."
The panel also scoffed at his proposed company valuation of $2.5 million, especially since he hadn't sold one item.
"Do you know how much your demand today is for your product? Zero," Bloom said.
Mangum said he's hopeful the interest he's received from companies like Bass Pro Shop, REI and Cabela's, in addition to interest from the military and emergency preparedness organizations, will turn the InstaPrivy into a profitable success.
For now, though, Mangum is in a holding pattern. He said he needed more capital to manufacture his product on a large scale.
When the investors tried InstaPrivy for themselves in the windy California Mojave Desert, their reactions varied.
"It was clunky; it was blowing all over the place," Bloom said. "Even if I wanted to go to the bathroom in it, I couldn't because I would go all over it." Cooper agreed, also pointing out that his toilet chair began to break when he sat on it.
But Jones, a former NFL linebacker and the managing partner of Qey Capital, had a good experience. After some maneuvering, he successfully went to the bathroom using the product. "This is a blue-collar product that everybody needs," he said. "Colleges, tailgates, concerts, boats — people need a place to use the restroom. Why not with the InstaPrivy?"
In the end, Jones was the only one to make an offer. After some back and forth, Jones and Mangum finalized a deal: A $100,000 investment for 20 percent equity, valuing the company at $500,000.
Although the agreed-upon offer was much lower than what Mangum initially desired — he walked away with a smile.