Rocket Skates and Scooters – Acton

rocket skates by acton

Peter Treadway's Acton Rocket Skates and Scooters might be the coolest product pitched in Shark Tank's season seven premier. He funded his dream with two separate Kickstarter campaigns that raised over $600,000. Production was a bit dicey at first, but they're working out the kinks and are now shipping skates and scooters. Acton bills itself as the world's only remote-free electric skates and they have become a global phenomena in a short period of time.

You can couple the rocket skates with an app that lets you interact with other rocket skate enthusiasts via interactive geo-gaming. The app also functions as an odometer, route tracker, and remote – you can actually have your rocket skates come to you! The skates allow you to walk when going up stairs or entering a restaurant.

Acton also makes a three-wheeled, electric scooter that you can ride sitting or standing. It has a range of 28 miles and goes 12 miles an hour.

Both the rocket skates and scooters cater to the urban traveler looking for a more economical and greener way of getting around their city. It's far easier to roll out on skates to go ten blocks than it is to hop in a car. With the skates, there's no parking woes, no traffic, and it's a lot cheaper. They'd be great on college campuses, too. Cars in cities are too much of a bother sometimes – rocket skates, and other products like them, fit the bill for the urbanite looking to get around.

My Take on Rocket Skates and Scooters

As far as scooters go, Acton's is cool, but a bit too slow for me. I'll take my little gas-powered scooter over an electric without much speed any day. The rocket skates, however, look very cool. While I'm not an urbanite, they'd be fun on the Legacy Trail. I always liked roller skating – I still own a pair of rollerblades – but having powered skates looks like a blast.

At $600 a pair, rockets skates aren't cheap. A quality pair of rollerblades is about a hundred bucks. You're paying for the battery and the motor with rocket skates. My ten-year-old just about flipped when I showed her the Acton video; I'm sure there are a lot of kids who'd love a pair.

The Geo-gaming features of the app will appeal to younger users, too. While early incarnations of the app have some bugs, I'm sure they'll work them out in time. The app also allows users to design their own games, so tech geeks will love it. I would likely use the app for the odometer and mapping features rather than the games.

On the whole, I think Acton is a winner, but will the Sharks?

Do Sharks Skate?

In nature, real sharks EAT skates! Whether that is an ill omen for Acton remains to be seen. Certainly the Sharks will be impressed with the product – it is very cool and unique. It's the business side of things that will need to impress, not the cool factor.

One thing that could be a problem for Acton is production. After reviewing the Kickstarter campaign, it appears there were some quality control issues with the first production run. Ironing out manufacturing problems can be a time-consuming and costly process, which may scare the Sharks away.

Robert will probably be the Shark who likes the product the most – he goes big for gadgets, but I don't see him investing. Lori will probably think it's out of her area of expertise, so she's out. Ashton Kutcher, the newest Shark, has a history of investing in tech companies, but I don't think he wants to get involved with a manufacturing business. Mark Cuban invested in Villy Custom a few seasons ago; since rocket skates sort of compete with bicycles, he's out too. Mr. Wonderful will look comical riding the scooter, but I think he'll find the company's valuation out of his acceptable parameters.

While I may not be right about the exact reasons no Shark invests, my prediction is Acton leaves the Tank without a deal. They'll probably sell a lot of rocket skates, but I think they're going to do it without a Shark.

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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