In-Depth Biz Prof: ViewSPORT
A young, local entrepreneur who took a beating on national TV a little over a week ago, isn't letting comments on Shark Tank get him down. As YNN's Leah George shows us in today's business profile, Ben Wood is continuing to push his first of its kind motivational messaging technology.
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Wood said, "The market is crying out for something new and we have it we just need your relationships and capital to help drive sales."
29-year-old Fairport high grad Ben Wood made the pitch of his life on national TV earlier this month, some things didn't go exactly as planned.
"One of the shirts didn't activate on TV, but they didn't show the fact that I spayed it from the wrong side. I actually sprayed it on the back, and the back was activated they just didn't show that to make it look bad, so the technology works great,” said Wood.
The medical school dropout says he invented the sweat activated technology himself. Wood came up with the idea when he was working out at college.
"I saw little sweat marks on my shirt, and I said, 'You know, it would be kind of cool if I could figure out a way to control those sweat patterns in a way that can create motivational messaging and that was the birth of ViewSPORT,” Wood added.
The Sharks liked ViewSPORT's patent pending technology, but chastised Wood for asking for too much money.
"I’m very frustrated because I like the idea, but then I see stupidity, I see somebody who’s arrogant and insulted me financially which I take a lot of offense in. I’m out," Shark Kevin O'Leary told Wood.
"They’re rough, they’re abusive, and I’m not sure it’s a complete reflection of where the technology stands today, but all in all it’s a great opportunity for ViewSPORT to be exposed to a very large market,” said Wood.
Despite the harsh criticism Wood says he doesn’t regret going on Shark Tank. Since the show aired, hits to ViewSPORT's website more than doubled to 70,000 and he’s received interest from the Detroit Pistons, USA Hockey Team, Iron Man and several potential investors.
Wood said, "We’re the only people in the world offering this technology and customization services with this technology."
Wood says orders for custom shirts from groups like the US Navy, Crossfit Road Fitness, basketball, football and soccer teams make up about 70% of ViewSPORT's business.
The rest is done online or in 17 specialty sports stores across the country like Valenti Sports in Brighton.
ViewSPORT wear retails for about $20 and is produced in a manufacturing facility in Schoen Place in Pittsford. Wood currently has a team of about 10 people at ViewSPORT.
"We want to partner or license the technology out to people with the marketing and distribution that can really push this product to the next level,” said Wood.
In the meantime, Wood plans to build ViewSPORT's brand and capitalize on his first-mover advantage by focusing on technology integration in other textiles like umbrellas, raincoats and outdoor furniture.
Wood said, "It will really motivate you to push yourself harder and it’s fun and its fresh and its different."