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Podcast: Meet the Pet Product Entrepreneur Who Turned Down Shark Tank’s Investors

He sometimes wonders what might have happened if he had said yes.

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This month on Behind the Pages, host Keith Miller speaks with Daniel Lentz, one of the founders of Aquapaw, a pet bathing product that achieved notoriety when it was featured on Shark Tank earlier this year.

Aquapaw is a palm-sized dog scrubber and sprayer that attaches to the hand, allowing users to handle their dogs (or other animals) with both hands. The product was featured on Shark Tank in January 2019, and received received investment offers from three of the Sharks (Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Bethenny Frankel). After several rounds of offers and counter-offers, however, the Aquapaw team walked away without a deal.

With Aquapaw now more firmly established, Daniel’s current goal is to build a line of pet bath products that make bathing time easier and less stressful, for both users and their pets (3:00).

Daniel discusses the initial concept of Aquapaw, which he came up with in college at Virginia Tech in the early 2000s. He and Keith discuss the process of taking a product from idea to prototype to salable product (4:00). While the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter played a large role in Aquapaw’s initial launch, Daniel warns how the platform has become a place where counterfeiters and copycats troll looking for innovative product ideas to steal (7:00).

Keith and Daniel also discuss consumer and pet brands worth emulating (8:30), taking a moment to rave about the awesome-smelling lavender-scented poop bags from Earth Rated (9:35).

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The two then discuss Aquapaw’s appearance on Shark Tank (10:05), the excitement and benefits of being on the show, and why Daniel and his partner eventually turned down the offer from the show’s investors.

Finally, Daniel responds to a few questions from readers of PETS+:

  • Marilyn in Alaska asks what keeps the Aquapaw team pushing to create new products (13:20)
  • Josie in Maine asks what Daniel’s best advice for someone creating a new pet product (14:40)
  • Ken in Michigan asks whether the Aquapaw partners got to hang out with the Sharks after the show (15:40)

New episodes of Behind the Pages will be released on the first Friday of every month. Subscribe to Behind the Pages on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 16 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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