S9 E01 Season 9 Premiere: Episode 1

10/01/17 | TV-PG | CC

An 11-year-old inventor from San Clemente, California, recycles a skateboard deck to fit inside lockers and backpacks; an entrepreneur from Meridianville, Alabama, revolutionizes aerial sports; a husband and wife team from Vicksburg, Mississippi create outdoor camping gear; and an entrepreneur from San Francisco, California, claims her five-minute meditation app will help the world reduce stress.

PITCH: Locker Board

Carson Kropfl of San Clemente, CA started Locker Board in October 2016, when he was 11 years old. He had just begun middle school and wanted a skateboard that would slip easily into his backpack and locker, which none of his favorite boards did.  Welcoming the challenge, Carson decided to create a board that would fit those spaces, and his company, Locker Board, was born.

Locker Board's unique 17-in. skateboards are upcycled and refinished top to bottom from recycled decks donated through its skate shop retailer network, and from new but slightly blemished boards manufacturers decide not to sell. Both retailers and board makers enthusiastically support Carson's personal mission to expand the recycling movement within the skate and surf communities.

At first, Carson personally designed and built every Locker Board skateboard by hand in his modest backyard workshop. Now, to keep up with increasingly high demand, the company uses the renowned board maker PS Stix Skateboard Manufacturing to handle production. Through all the growth and change, Locker Board still remains the only non-folding skateboard  available that is compact enough to fit inside a backpack.

The Kropfl family's big break came unexpectedly in 2013, during a family vacation to the mountains. One morning, Carson and his family were headed to the hotel lobby for breakfast when a young couple joined them in the elevator. Carson's Dad noticed a Shark Tank logo on the man's sweatshirt. Chit chat ensued and the Kropfl's soon discovered that their new friend was none other than Max Swedlow, an Executive Producer for Shark Tank.

Instinctively, the entrepreneurial Kropfl's launched into a (literal and) well-practiced elevator pitch about their Streetubez (skate tarp) product–a skateboard accessory that Carson and his mom had invented together (Carson's first product). Impressed, Mr. Swedlow offered his business card and asked the family to keep in touch. He advised Carson to stick with it and keep growing his business. Months later, after learning of Carson's remarkable success with Locker Board, the Shark Tank impresario invited the Kropfl family to apply for an appearance on Shark Tank, Season Nine. Of course, they accepted.

Learn More: Lockerboard.net

PITCH: WYP Aviation


PITCH: Sierra Madre Research

Sierra Madre Research is an outdoor gear company that designs and creates the most innovative hammock camping equipment on the market today. We research the problems people face in the outdoors, and design solutions to ensure comfort and fail-proof protection, whatever the weather.  In all that we do, we strive towards creating a better life for all humanity.  That is why Sierra Madre uses a portion of our profits to provide clean drinking water for remote villages in Central America.

Learn More: www.sierramadreresearch.com

PITCH: Simple Habit

Simple Habit is a 5-minute meditation app for busy people. Designed by world's top meditation teachers, Simple Habit offers more than 1,000 meditations for any situation and mood — including before sleep, taking a work break, commuting, and more. Simple Habit is on a mission to empower humans to stress less, achieve more and live better.

Learn More: https://www.simplehabit.com/

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