- Doug Storer and his wife Renata built a booming shoe light business out of an idea birthed during a morning run.
- The couple took their product on "Shark Tank" and landed in a bidding war.
On an early morning run, training for his fifth marathon, Doug Storer hit a pothole he couldn't see. As he stumbled home through the door, he told his wife that he needed headlights for his sneakers.
Eventually, this bright idea turned into a successful company. Storer and his wife Renata built a booming shoe light business. It not only caters to night runners, but also people who have the late shift at work — or are just adventurous night owls.
"Night Tech Gear provides innovative safety products that inspire athletes, adventurers, and workers who choose to boldly take on the night," said Storer.
After just eight months of being on the market, the husband-and-wife duo pitched two of their products, Night Runner and Night Shift, on "Shark Tank."
Night Runner has lights to help the user safely navigate low-light environments, while Night Shift are targeted toward the industrial safety market. The Sharks were exceptionally interested in the latter.
"Night Shift mitigates many of the dangers to workers that are inherent in third shift and low-light operations," said Storer. "Attached to the boots or shoes, these 'headlights' serve as an advanced warning of trip hazards and provide visibility to other vehicles and workers."
On "Shark Tank" the pair asked for $250,000 for a 10 percent stake in the company — and ended up smack in the middle of a bidding war in the Tank.
"We had dreamed about being lucky enough to get even one offer but having four Sharks fighting to be our partner gave us a tremendous amount of confidence that we had an exciting product and could build a successful business," Storer said.
So where does the company stand today? Storer and his wife rebranded the company to Night Tech Gear, and now they have a full line of patented safety products. They also have customers and on-going testing with three of the largest transit authorities in North America and the world's largest theme park.
On top of that, their annual revenues quadrupled in the last quarter of the year they appeared on "Shark Tank," exceeding what they had asked for in the Tank.
"If someone had told us two years ago that our products would be lighting subway tunnels and theme parks and worn in 50 countries around the world we would have politely questioned their sanity," he said.
Don't miss the Storers pitch their business, Night Tech Gear on "Shark Tank," Sunday at 8P ET on CNBC.