NOHBO Balls

nohbo ballsBenjamin Stern first got the idea for NOHBO Balls while watching a movie about pollution in middle school. Unlike most kids, he decided to do something about it. Inspired by laundry detergent pods, he believed he could put shampoo, conditioner, and other personal care products typically packaged in plastic bottles into water-soluble balls. This would effectively reduce a large portion of plastic waste that finds its way into our landfills and oceans instead of the recycling bin. The balls come packaged in compostable packaging. Stern hopes the Sharks like his idea when he pitches it in Shark Tank episode 717.

NOHBO Balls aren't a product yet, Stern's patent is still pending. What isn't pending is the young man's vision. He wants to build his own brand, selling shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and shaving cream to prove the concept. Initially, he hopes to target hotels to create awareness. Ultimately, he sees NOHBO Balls as a delivery mechanism for a wide variety of personal care items.

The NOHBO Balls not only save the environment from plastic waste. Each ball contains a semi-liquid product which gets activated by water, meaning there's less water used in manufacturing. They also cost nearly half of what a plastic bottled product would cost – a significant savings for his target market. After reducing waste in hotels, Stern hopes to sell to the military and, before long, the mass market.

Will a Shark get on board with NOHBO Balls?

My Take on NOHBO Balls

When I first saw the name of this company, I thought the kid had something against a certain cable TV network, but once I learned his story, I was impressed. Ben not only came up with the idea, but got a job to hire a chemist and a lawyer to get his idea off the ground. So far, he hasn't been successful with crowdfunding the concept, but he's only 16; you can't expect him to create a world-changing product AND be a marketing whiz!

The idea itself is so elegantly simple, it's a no brainer. NOHBO Balls are easier to transport – which makes targeting the hotel and tourism industry a good start, far more ecologically friendly, AND less expensive than “traditional” personal care products. It's a win/win idea. The fact that Ben came up with the idea at age 13 makes his story even more amazing.

I will definitely use NOHBO Balls when they become available to the public. If young Mr. Stern takes another whack at crowdfunding, I will back him. The mess plastic bottles are making of our planet is disgusting and anything that helps alleviate the problem deserves everyone's support. I am IN!

Will the Sharks have a ball?

My immediate reaction to NOHBO Balls will likely be the same as the Shark's: this is a product built for licensing. Stern could have a far greater and more immediate impact by licensing the product to large manufacturers of beauty care products; he'd probably be set for life, too. A big company like Proctor and Gamble could put all their products in NOHBO Balls and probably eliminate hundreds of tons of waste almost overnight. Mr. Wonderful will likely point this out to Ben.

That said, I think the Sharks will love this kid. He's ambitious and he has a viable product. Mark will give him a heartfelt “attaboy” in some shape or form. While Ben is pre-revenue, the prospect of NOHBO Balls technology becoming a billion dollar business are very real. The Sharks would be foolish not to see that. Ben isn't opposed to licensing in the future, either: he thinks creating awareness is an important step toward that goal.

I think Ben gets a deal with several, if not all five, Sharks going in on the deal. GOOD LUCK BEN!

About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob Merlino.com and more.

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