I Nirv inventors Ranjith Babu and Akshita Iyer have a solution for folks who mistakenly leave their stove on. It turns out, there's an app for that. The pair created stove knobs that, when paired with a sensor, automatically turn the stove off if it detects smoke or gas. You can also turn the stove off with the app when you're half way to grandma's house and you remember you left the stove on. The smart knobs only turn off remotely, so you don't have to worry about a hacker turning your stove on and burning down the house. The sensor also pairs with Google Home and Alexa.
The pair pitches their safety technology to the Sharks in episode 915. They'll tout the obvious safety features of the product. While it isn't in production yet, the $360,000 they raised on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo will likely impress the Sharks. It's a very technical product and they're facing challenges with the motors that move the knobs and with finding a reliable manufacturer.
What they need is some serious help with their challenges. A Shark could probably help them with these things. Manufacturing anything, let alone a highly technical product, is a challenge. They have a good idea, now they have to execute. Sharks are good at execution.
My Take on I Nirv
My stove has buttons, so I Nirv wont work with it. I think it's a good idea, but I'm not sure if after market stove knobs will ever be a big business. What they should do is license their technology to stove manufacturers. If every stove came with these features, they'd be set for life. Licensing would also place engineering and manufacturing in the hands of companies that have the infrastructure to support production.
I won't be a buyer of this product and I am not even sure they'll get it delivered. It's great technology and it fits into the growing trend of the “internet of things,” but I just don't see the market. Licensing is the way to go for this business.
Will the Sharks Turn On to This Business?
“Pre-revenue” companies often lead to post pitch disappointment in the Tank. This company may have a great idea and product, but other than the crowdfunded money, there's no cash. I expect Lori, Daymond, and Robert to drop out quickly. None of them ever want to “take the journey” with a company that's “too early.”
The only hope is with Mark or Mr. Wonderful. Kevin likes licensing deals and this product is perfect for licensing to the Frigidaires and Maytags of the world. It makes a lot of sense to buy a stove with these features already built in. The safety features alone would justify the added expense to consumers.
Mark is very into the internet of things, so he may take a flyer if the entrepreneurs and the tech impress him. He'd likely look to licensing as well. Perhaps he and Kevin even team up. While these scenarios are possible, I still think I Nirv leaves with no deal.