Jayson Sandberg and Taylor Gwiazdon created a cooler with LED lights inside. Will it earn them a deal on
Shark Tank Liddup Update
- Entrepreneurs: Jayson Sandberg and Taylor Gwiazdon
- Business: Cooler with LED lights inside
- Ask: $100,000 for 10% equity
- Result: $100,000 for 33% of all royalties
- Shark: Kevin O’Leary
Jayson and Taylor said the light bulb moment for their invention, the Liddup cooler, came when Jayson was camping. After four hot dogs, he reached into the cooler, plunging his hand into the ice-cold water, frantically searching for a cold beer when he could only find soda. When he later looked for a cooler that used lighting, LED or otherwise, to illuminate the cooler’s contents, he found nothing; so he created one!
Daymond John scolded Jayson and Taylor immediately, asking why the sharks would ever want to work with “rude” and “selfish” people. The Liddup entrepreneurs were stunned until Daymond said his insults were only because they had not yet offered the sharks a cold beer! With this reminder, Jayson and Taylor handed out some cold ones to the sharks.
Kevin O’Leary said that, when Daymond made his joke, he thought Daymond was about to lambast them for the $1 million valuation. Taylor said that the Liddup was a pre-sales prototype, but the valuation was based on a $500 million industry.
Robert Herjavec didn’t feel this was a great answer, and Taylor conceded that the valuation was just to serve as a starting point for negotiation. Robert laughed it off, saying it wasn’t good but at least it was honest.
Kevin asked if Jayson and Taylor had shown Liddup to any retail buyers yet, and they responded that they were working on securing the intellectual property prior to approaching anyone. Lori Greiner asked if they had a patent, and Jayson said they had three issued patents which prohibited competitors from placing LED lights inside a cooler.
Robert then said he was concerned about Liddup because, as far as he was aware, there were very few cooler manufacturers, all of which would pose significant competition to Liddup. Mark Cuban expanded on the problem, telling Jayson and Taylor that their options included going in with them on a licensing deal or something similar, or spending an “obscene” amount of money getting shelf space to compete against them.
Kevin took a moment to confirm that they were seeking to secure their patents and get a licensing deal instead of trying to market and sell the Liddup themselves. Taylor confirmed that this was the plan. Lori wondered why they needed a shark if that was their plan, but Kevin replied that “all roads lead to Mr. Wonderful” when it comes to licensing deals.
At this juncture, Daymond decided he heard enough to make his decision. He said that, for $1 million, he “knew a guy in the hood with a flashlight” who could follow them around and show them their beer. Because of the high valuation, he was out.
Lori found the product interesting, but wasn’t sure there was a huge demand for it. She also acknowledged that resourceful people could simply add a tap light to the lid of the cooler. For these reasons, she was out.
Robert said he had a friend in the tent-making business who he believed would be able to help them set up meetings with cooler manufacturers. Because of his connections, Robert offered $100,000 for 25% equity.
Mark jumped in immediately, thanking Jayson and Taylor for the beer but urging them to take Robert’s offer immediately before he changed his mind. Kevin had other plans.
Kevin said the problem with Robert is that his offer rested on one connection, and he felt that didn’t serve Liddup well in the “oligopoly” they were slated to compete with. He felt it was wiser to get two meetings with two companies and pit them against one another.
Robert disagreed and said only an “idiot” would go into a meeting and tell everyone they had other plays on the market. He felt Kevin’s plan was overly aggressive and was therefore not the right deal for Jayson and Taylor. Then, he critiqued Kevin, as Mr. Wonderful had plenty of tidbits to share but was yet to make an offer.
Kevin offered to provide the $100,000 investment and, in true Mr. Wonderful fashion, he asked for no equity. Instead, he wanted 33% of the yet-to-be-negotiated royalty whenever Liddup secured a licensing or retail deal in the future.
Jayson and Taylor asked if it would be okay to go into the hallway and discuss the two offers briefly. Kevin said it would be fine, but Robert reconsidered his offer instead. He said that if they found Kevin’s offer “attractive” then they should just go for it with Kevin.
With no other options left, Jayson and Taylor accepted Kevin’s deal. How did things go following the pitch? Did Kevin secure a deal for them and collect that juicy 33% royalty? Keep reading our Liddup update to find out!
Kevin helped Liddup negotiate a deal with Igloo to feature an LED-lit cooler in 2015, calling it the “Party Bar.” That deal would expire in 2018, but Liddup secured a new deal with Orca, which became the next brand to sell their version of light-up coolers. Despite this, in 2021, the Liddup site vanished, and as of 2023, the company is out of business. This will be our final Liddup update.
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Jennifer is an avid Shark Tank fan that has been watching the show for years. She serves as Senior Editor at Shark Tank Recap and ensures that all our information is accurate and that our posts are up to date. Her favorite Shark Tank products are Le-Glue and Ring!