After Brutal ‘Shark Tank’ Rejection, Tech CEO Reinvents Her Dating Company
Ms. Cheek. (Picture: Katya Nicholas)
The final time we chatted to Lori Cheek, she along with her dating app — then called Cheek’d — had simply been coldly refused on nationwide tv by Kevin O’Leary, Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec and Lori Greiner. Now, very nearly a complete 12 months since her admittedly cringeworthy Shark Tank episode aired, the brand new York-based CEO has totally reinvented her business, and it is willing to share it once again using the globe.
“They all told us to get perish in a gap,” Ms. Cheek told the Observer, in mention of the Sharks, “and we did the exact opposite.”
Okay — the words “die in a gap” didn’t precisely escape some of the Sharks’ lips, but there’s no denying they had problems with Ms. Cheek’s initial item. Just how it worked, users could pass flirty ice-breaker cards to cute strangers they spotted into the real life; then, those strangers could log onto Cheek’d and see the dating profile of the individual who’d simply handed them a card.
The Sharks had some biting, though perhaps reasonable criticisms — specifically, that should you could muster the courage up to pass through somebody a Cheek’d card, couldn’t you simply provide them with your telephone number?
“I don’t think it absolutely was constructive the way they provided me with the feedback,” she said, “but I heard it, and I also chose to make an alteration.”
Ms. Cheek stated she had been extremely stressed whenever she pitched her item towards the Sharks. (Picture: ABC)
Though we talked to her throughout the phone, we’re able to sense Ms. Cheek bubbling as she chatted in regards to the brand new iteration of her item (now called Cheekd, sans apostrophe), which celebrated its launch, accordingly, on Valentine’s Day. The software was created as a means to fix missed connections for smartphone-addicted singles, whom might invest so time that is much down at their screens, “the love of their life could walk right past [them],” Ms. Cheek stated. “It encourages individuals to focus on what’s happening into the real life.”
“There’s a hot man at the finish associated with club, and you’ll maybe perhaps maybe not understand he’s there,” she proceeded. “You look down at your phone, [and see] Jack N. is 30 foot away from you.”
The software additionally keeps a listing of every match that is potential pass in the day. Perhaps discover that is you’ll a precious man with that you’ve ridden the subway a number of times on your way into work, but whom you’ve never ever noticed ended up being here.
“The next early morning, you’ll see one another once more, plus it’s likely to force you to definitely keep in touch with one another,” Ms. Cheek stated. “I think it is likely to be only a little embarrassing, but at the least you’ve types of already said hello.”
And right right right here’s the super cool component: because Cheekd utilizes Bluetooth, it does not need a net connection to operate. This means it really works in places like airplanes and subways, where connections that are missed to happen with greater regularity.
Above all, the brand new Cheekd results in the flaws the Sharks pointed call at her old software.
“It’s using the awkwardness away from sliding individuals who card,” she said. “Sometimes it had been difficult in my situation to accomplish, also it ended up being my company.”
Cheekd, re-invented. (picture: iTunes)
But bouncing straight straight back from rejection — on national television, no less — wasn’t constantly effortless. After Shark Tank, Ms. Cheek stated she felt a broad “gloom” over her company. To maneuver ahead, she discovered a business that is new, Roger Chinchilla, whom purchased down her old lovers and it is now an equity shareholder. She additionally discovered help in unique Shark Tank Facebook groups — teams where entry is just issued to individuals who’ve appeared in the show. Users share feedback, resources which help one another promote their companies.
The steps that are next Ms. Cheek? Building up Cheekd’s user base, and bringing on investors who are able to offer advertising bucks. She’s currently fantasizing about an advertisement campaign for brand new York’s L Train.
Is Ms. Cheek stressed, we asked, that investors are likely to shy far from her item, having seen exactly exactly just how poorly it initially fared on Shark Tank? She stated she’s “not worried about this for an extra.”
“I think investors fundamentally spend money on people,” Ms. Cheek stated. I worked at this the very first time, they’re planning to understand how difficult I’ll focus on this the next time.“If they understand how hard”
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