Aina Haina fifth grader pitches invention to ABC's Shark Tank
AINA HAINA, Hawaii - An Oahu business owner pitches her product on the popular ABC TV show Shark Tank this weekend. She's not the first local entrepreneur featured, but does she have what it takes to reel in a deal? KITV4 talked with the creator of "The Baby Toon" to find out how her idea went from science fair to shark tank.
"My favorite part about this whole process is definitely coming up with different prototypes. With the show. it's such a great way to market and advertise the product," says Aina Haina Elementary School fifth grader Cassidy Crowley.
Prototyping, marketing, advertising: concepts you'd expect from an adult business owner, not a 10-year-old. The Baby Toon is the result of her first grade science fair project.
Cassidy noticed that when her little sister would eat with a traditional spoon, she would often put the end in her mouth, which her parents say could have been dangerous. "I wanted to create a product that eliminated the long and sharp design of a traditional spoon," Cassidy explains.
With the help of her parents, Cassidy literally molded a few ideas together. After a few attempts, out came the elephant. "Its trunk looks like a spoon," she says.
The pink or blue soft, silicone spoon has rounded corners and edges. Cassidy says it's easy on an infant's gums, and the length of the trunk limits how far it can go in a baby's mouth. They're made in the USA, and this young boss lady's been selling them at $15 dollars a "toon."
"Now I have my own business and company," she smiles. While most kids her age focus on growing up, Cassidy looks to grow her business, so she's taking science fair to ABC's Shark Tank.
"We know that with the Sharks' help we could sell more than we could do alone," she says. Cassidy says she swam toward the sharks for help with shipping costs and marketing.
She realizes she's one of the youngest entrepreneurs to appear on the show but - from watching the hit TV show most of her young life - she knew how to prepare."I was just very excited but super nervous," she recalls.
The episode airs Sunday on KITV4 at 8 p.m. HST. She won't give out any spoilers. You just have to watch and see how it turns out! More at https://abc.go.com/shows/shark-tank.