Bunch Bikes on Shark Tank

How does an electric cargo bike company get on Shark Tank?

Founder Aaron Powell shares a behind the scenes look at the journey to appearing with Bunch Bikes on ABC's Shark Tank Season 12, episode 19 (episode 1219) on March 26, 2021.  Watch the full episode on Hulu.

 

Click the links to learn more about Bunch Bikes or see all of our electric cargo bikes.

 

For questions about our bikes, email info@bunchbike.com or call 940-536-0597.

 

For dealer or partnership requests, email sales@bunchbike.com. 

The Bunch Bikes Mission

I knew from the start that there was something special about our cargo bikes. They changed lives. They brought families together. They had the power to change our cities from the inside-out, and people couldn’t help but talk about them.  

 

But if cargo bikes like ours have been popular in Scandinavia for decades, why hadn’t they yet caught on in North America?

 

With that question in mind, I knew that national exposure was going to be an essential part of tipping the scales and bringing the cargo bike lifestyle to the U.S. mainstream, I just wasn’t yet sure how to do that.

Bunch Bikes Customer Collage

The Bunch Bikes Shark Tank Audition

Juli (former employee and world’s biggest Shark Tank fan) pestered me for months about applying to be on the show. I eventually caved and filled out the online form, just so that she would leave me alone! I never actually expected anything to come from it.

 

Imagine my surprise a few months later when I got the first casting call!

 

Now that I was a candidate, I knew I had to give it my all to try and stand out from the 30,000 applications that Shark Tank receives each year. I put together a short video of me pitching Bunch Bikes while riding with my kids in The Original Bunch Bike (not an easy feat!).

 

It did the trick and got the producers’ attention and a few weeks later I was accepted! What an amazing experience was ahead of me…

The Shark Tank Pitch and Preparation

After being given our film date, I started preparing for the show. The first step was to write my two-minute pitch and practice it over and over again, until I could do it in my sleep!

 

The challenge of putting together a Shark Tank pitch is that it is part investment pitch, part commercial for your business, and part entertainment (it is TV after all!).

 

I would record myself and watch the videos and cringe… too energetic, too angry-sounding, too much like Billy Mays!  You only get one opportunity to introduce yourself and your business to America, and it has to be just right.

Barbara Corcoran and Kevin O'Leary in a Bunch Bike
The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas

Shark Tank Season 12 Uncertainty

Throughout the preparation process there was a lot of uncertainty about how Covid was going to affect Shark Tank Season 12. Los Angeles had been under lockdown, and studios weren’t filming. I was worried that the whole thing might end up getting cancelled.

 

When they finally told us that the set had been moved to a bubble at The Venetian hotel in Vegas I was relieved. Not only was the filming going full-steam ahead, but the planned protocols were super strict, so I didn’t have to worry about putting my health at risk to participate on the show.  

Bringing Cargo Bikes to the Shark Tank!

While I had originally wanted my family to come with me, we decided that with Covid and quarantine protocols, it would be best if I went on my own (but they were with me in spirit in one of the on set posters!)

 

Because I wanted to avoid air travel, and had the logistical challenge of transporting a couple of Bunch Bikes to the set, I decided to rent a cargo van and take a 3-day solo road trip from Denton, TX to Las Vegas. I had a box of flash cards in the passenger seat, so that I could keep all the financials at the forefront of my mind: things like revenues, profits, COGS, customer acquisition costs, etc.

Bunch Bikes on the road to Shark Tank
Aaron Powell in hotel room in the Shark Tank Bubble

The Shark Tank Bubble

I arrived to The Venetian ahead of my film date so that I could be COVID tested and spend some time in quarantine before entering the Shark Tank bubble. The stress of preparing for a show like Shark Tank is hard enough in normal times. When you add in being stuck in a hotel room for days with nothing but your anxious thoughts to keep you company, it really pushes you to the limit.

 

I thought I was going to have all this distraction-free time to myself to prepare, but in reality I just couldn’t focus and spent a lot of time staring out the window, wishing I could go for a bike ride. At one point I had convinced myself that I wasn’t ready, and that I should just quit and go home… but thankfully I stuck it out!

Bunch Bikes Films for Shark Tank!

Emotional roller coaster aside, my film day came, and I put on my game face. I woke up early that morning and did some final run-throughs in my hotel room. I had never been on a TV set, so going through hair and makeup, and getting to check out the set in advance was all really interesting. It was awesome, and intimidating, to see all the cameras and lights pointed on that famous carpet.

 

When it was my turn, they ushered me to the back room while the Sharks got situated. Before I knew it, I was on deck and the countdown started. The doors opened and I looked down the hallway and there was Mr. Wonderful staring me down. No turning back now!

The Coupe electric cargo bike on Shark Tank
Bunch Bikes appears on Shark Tank

Shark Tank Update

Read about the appearance on the show, what happened on set, and what's happened to Bunch Bikes since Shark Tank.

 

Read the Bunch Bikes Shark Tank Update here.

Learn More About Bunch Bikes

Click to learn about Bunch Bikes or explore all of our electric family cargo bikes.

 

Questions about our bikes? Reach our incredible customer service team at info@bunchbike.com or call 940-536-0597

 

For dealer or partnership requests, email sales@bunchbike.com. 

 

We're hiring and looking for great people who love bikes to join the Bunch Bikes team. See current job openings at Bunch Bikes.

 

For daily family bike inspiration, follow Bunch Bikes on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

You can connect with founder Aaron Powell on Twitter @cargodad