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The Hype Company

the hype companyMarc Herzberger and Cheng Kue hope to slide into a deal with a Shark when they present The Hype Company, their customizable slides business, in Shark Tank episode 1521. Cheng co-founded the business in 2018. Herzberger joined him in 2022 as CEO. Both men met while working for CROCS in the early to mid 2000’s. Kue was a shoe designer and Herzberger was a tax specialist.

Kue’s vision for The Hype Company is oneof sustainability. They have a patented process (that isn’t fully explained) that eliminates waste in their manufacturing process. Their slides are customizable by the customer and they offer NCAA licensed and “creator” slides. Creator slides have everything from artwork to flags to custom prints on the straps. The secret sauce is the straps for the slide sandals are removable.

The creator and custom slides cost $50; NCAA slides are $60. For a custom slide, you pick your sole color and shoe size. Next, you design your personalized strap. Finally, they’ll ship your custom straps and soles. The guys likely want a Shark to help with inventory and further licensing deals.

Company Information

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Posts about The Hype Company on Shark Tank Blog

HYPD: A Custom Footwear Revolution

The Hype Company Shark Tank Recap

Marc and Cheng enter the Tank and say they’re from the mile-high city of Denver and they’re here to talk about The Hype Company. Cheng says fan gear has become stale. It’s the same old product with a different sticker for each team. They want more than the uninspiring, boring designs out there. Marc and Cheng are in the process of disrupting the footwear industry and they’re changing the way consumers engage with their footwear choices. They started with the oldest footwear known to man: the slide.

Marc asks the Sharks to imagine it’s Saturday and they’re watching their favorite college football team and rocking some team slides. When Sunday rolls around, you can change out the strap for your pro team’s logo. If you’re not into sports, you can create any custom logo straps for what you want to hype that day. With over 30 combined years in the footwear industry, the guys are able to bring people a super soft, super flexible, long lasting and durable outsole with a sleek silhouette and infinite design choices. They’re seeking $125,000 for 5% of their company.

Questions and Samples

The Sharks have personalized samples on their tables. They currently sell direct to consumer and through wholesale. They also have dropship on Fabatics, Finish Line and Target. The Sharks are walking around and saying that they’re comfortable slides. They have a utility patent that covers everything Cheng has been designing shoes for decades and the guys saw a big hiccup during Covid with the footwear supply chain. What they did is separate the two components so they could be shipped separately. The patent covers the 2 components that come together to create an adjustable slide.

Cheng grew up with immigrant parents who were the first Hmong entrepreneurs in the restaurant business. He then went to Georgia Tech and studied industrial design and spent the next 20 years working for huge footwear brands like Fila, Addidas, Crocs and more. Marc worked at Crocs with Cheng but in the finance group where he focussed on supply chain analysis.

Numbers and Offers

In the last 4 years, they’ve done $500,000 in sales. The bulk of those sales came from 1 piece slides. Now they’re focusing on the new, 2 piece Slider Pro so they can scale. Year to date sales are $60,000. 2022 sales were just $55,000. They don’t have a customer acquisition cost because they haven’t done much marketing yet. This year (2023) they’re expanding their licenses by 20-30 in the NCAA. People are also looking for personalized slides too. Customers can do their own customization on the company website. The slides retail for $60, wholesale for $30 and they cost and they cost $10.93 landed.

Lori says she likes to be in markets where there isn’t as much competition; she’s out. Kevin thinks Marc and Cheng are very credible, but they don’t know their customer acquisition cost; he’s out. Mark says they need to truly know what business they’re in; they’re in the customization business and the slides business. Mark doesn’t want to be in the slides business; he’s out. Michael thinks the guys have an opportunity to build a successful small to medium sized business. It’s not a big enough opportunity for him; he’s out. Barbara likes the customization and direct to consumer model. She thinks they could get a lot of traction on social media. Barbara offers $125,000 for 25% of the business. Half the money will be cash and half will be a credit line. Marc says he’s fine with the equity side of the deal but asks if Barbara could make the offer more cash and less credit. He doesn’t want to go out a year from now and have to raise more money. Marc counters with $350,000 for 25%. Barbara says she’ll do $100,000 in cash and $250,000 in credit for 25%. They accept Barbara’s deal.

The Hype Company Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. In May, 2024, about a month after their initial air date, The Hype Company announced a partnership with SnugZ USA, an advertising specialties company that sells customized products for corporate gifts.

The Shark Tank Blog will follow-up on The Hype Company & Marc Herzberger and Cheng Kue as more details become available.