The Wingman

the wingmanMike Fox and Pat Hughes seek an investor for The Wingman, their versatile life jacket for multiple uses, in Shark Tank episode 913. Hughes and Fox are life-long friends and partners in Hyde Sportswear. They got the inspiration for The Wingman when a tri-athlete drowned in Hughes' first triathlon in 2012. Both Hughes and Fox set out to design the thinnest life jacket possible so tri-athletes, surfers, fishermen, boaters and kayakers could configure and optimize it for whatever activity they were engaged in.

Their US Coast Guard approved jackets feature a sleek design due to an inflatable bladder activated by a CO2 cartridge. When you're wearing it, the bladder is deflated. If you go in the water, a rip cord activates the CO2 cartridge, inflating the vest. Unlike bulky foam life vests, The Wingman fits almost like a shirt – until activated. Replacement CO2 cartridges are standard 23 Gram 1/2 inch threaded CO2 cylinders which are approved for a Marine environment. There's even an optional hydration bladder to store drinking water right in the life vest.

After nearly three years of designing and patenting their product, Hughes and Fox made the first batch of life vest with funds from a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $67,529 back in the fall of 2015. Since then, they've sold quite a few life vests at $249 each, which is far less than other commercially available inflatable life vests on the market. In addition to the vests, Hyde also sells compression apparel for water sports enthusiasts.

The product currently sells on Amazon, though they were previously selling on They most likely want to increase both their on and offline distribution channels. Will a Shark throw a lifeline to this company and invest?

The Wingman Company Information

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Posts about The Wingman on Shark Tank Blog

The Wing Man – Inflatable Life Preserver

The Wingman Shark Tank Recap

Mike and Pat will pitch the panel of five Sharks on the business and its prospects for growth. They'll need to convince Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John, Lori Greiner and Sarah Blakely that the company is worthy of a Shark investment. A good business plan, good financials, and sales data will impress the Sharks, but they’ll need to show them THEY are capable of running the company to “Shark standards.” A full pitch re-cap on The Wingman will be available on Shark Tank Blog once this episode airs.

The Wingman Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. Once an episode has aired, we monitor the progress of the businesses featured, whether they receive funding or not and report on their progress. The Shark Tank Blog will follow-up on The Wingman & Mike Fox and Pat Hughes as more details become available.

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