K9 Mask® by Good Air Team on "Shark Tank" Season 12 Episode 6 in 2020.
K9 Mask® by Good Air Team is empowering pet owners to protect their pets from air pollution. We want to make the world a place where pets can live healthier lives by breathing better air in a crisis. The K9 Mask® air filter for dogs protects them from air pollution like smoke from wildfires, volcanic ash, dust, chemicals, bacteria and toxic air. Our vision is to provide all pets clean air in a crisis through innovative air filtration masks.
Why is Blake Mycoskie laughing at Kevin O'Leary in this video clip?
Looking back at the "Shark Tank" episode here are more complete answers to the Sharks comments and questions about K9 Mask®:
Lori says: "I love that you created this that you're caring about dogs you should have them for cats too."
We have always had a vision beyond the dog for finding air filter solutions for animals. We love Lori noticed that our solution for dogs might be beneficial for other animals. We assume Lori is a cat lover. Yes, we want to create solutions for cats but they have a different need than a dog.
Many cats are able to live indoors without ever leaving the house. They are able to use a litter-box inside the house to go pee and poop. So, any air quality crisis that lasts for days or even weeks outside, a cat has a potentially secure space to live with relatively good air quality compared to a dog which must go outside to pee and poop. Not many dogs are trained to stay inside and use pee and poop pads. We do not think a mask for cats is the right solution. We have other ideas for protecting cats if it must be outside but it is not a mask.
We mentioned horses as another example of an animal needing an air filter. Horses live outside in most places. They have very little access to enclosed shelter to protect them from poor air quality. A horse is a large financial investment, especially if it is a race horse, show horse, or working horse. Horses have large lung capacity but it can also mean they are susceptible to respiratory health problems. We have talked to an equine vet about the special needs of horses.
Blake asks: "How much does it cost to make?"
We do all of our manufacturing in the United States. It is made in the USA by craftsmen in Dallas, Texas. We cut, sew, and package everything in Texas. The cost of our labor is more expensive than in other parts of the world. This higher price for labor contributes to the higher cost of our product. Our first order to be cut, sewn, and packaged was for a total of '500' K9 Masks. When creating something with small volume there is always a higher price to pay for low quantities. Our first business objective was to prove there is a market for an air filter for dogs. We have accomplished this goal.
Now, with our future increase in production volume we will be able to achieve a lower cost of manufacturing. Over time this will reduce the retail price to our customers. We want more pet owners to protect their dog from air pollution. A lower cost product will make it accessible to more people. We are grateful for our wonderful partners in Dallas who do a great job making the K9 Mask®.
Mark Cuban inquires: "I think it’s a brilliant idea. It’s a great execution, the real problem I have is the sales aren’t enough. You’ve got to explain to me why sales aren’t dramatically higher."
As entrepreneurs we invested $7,000 into our business to get it started. We also used crowd funding to raise another $10,000 for our initial production of K9 Mask®. This $17,000 investment resulted in over $250,000 in revenue in our first 18 months. We understand Mark's concerns about sales. If we were competing in an established market it might not be much but we have created a whole new product category.
It is only in the last two or three years that Americans have started embracing the usefulness of air filter masks for environmental crisis. We need to continue educating consumers about air filter solutions for pets. We are also working with research institutions to get independent research testing done to help veterinarians become familiar with the uses and limitations of products like ours.
Blake comments: "I love the part of your story where you are seeing what people are searching for but now more than ever people are searching for masks. And I assume they are searching some for masks for dogs but that’s not translating to more sales and that’s where I have the biggest problem with this. No one’s buying."
Blake and Mark were asking the same question about sales revenue. There are some in the dog community who are concerned about the safety of an air filter mask for dogs. Is an air filter for dogs safe to wear or will it harm a dog?
The two big factors for safety with an air filter for a dog is oxygenation and overheating. Some of the people who are hesitant to buy a K9 Mask® are asking questions about these topics. We are glad they are concerned because it shows they understand dogs and want them to be safe.
We are in conversation with a university research clinic about testing the safety limits of dogs who wear an air filter mask to ensure safety precautions for the health of the animal. Our hope is that good research will help skeptical buyers overcome their reasonable hesitancy about safety.
It is harder to breathe through an N95 air filter mask. Many of us during the coronavirus pandemic have worn N95 masks and understand it takes more work to inhale through the filter. This extra effort is uncomfortable. However, the result of the filter is very effective.
We recommend dog owners only let their dog wear the N95 air filter for K9 Mask® on their dog for up to 10 minutes before taking it off to check on the health of the dog. If the dog is breathing well and not overheating, then it is OK to put the mask on for another 10 minutes. This 10 minute warning is conservative to ensure we are not hurting a dog but helping it.
We have also created an air filter for K9 Mask® that is not N95. It is an active carbon filter with PM10+ filtering providing some protection against air pollution and ozone but is much easier to breathe in than the N95 filter. We recommend a dog wear this filter up to 30 minutes before taking it off to check on the dogs breathing. The bigger concern with this longer wear time is visually monitoring the dog for overheating, especially in temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
A dog is able to pant in a K9 Mask® if properly sized. The mask has a panting exhale valve on the nose of the mask to release hot exhale from the mask to help keep the dog cooler. It is important to remember we were inspired to create the K9 Mask® for a crisis like wildfire smoke that lingers in urban areas for days and weeks.
This is not for casual use. Anyone who has been in the fires on the West Coast knows the amount of ash, soot, and particulate in the air causing intolerable burning of the lungs from breathing in the toxic smoke.
How each Shark decided to tell us they were not investing in K9 Mask®:
Blake Mycoskie: "I love where your heart’s at. I have 4 dogs myself and I would do anything to protect them in a challenging situation. But like Lori said, I just don’t think that you’ve proven that there is a big enough market that will pull the trigger and spend 59 dollars for this so for that reason, I wish you the best, but I’m out."
Lori Greiner: "Well their buying but I think what Blake is saying is that’s it’s just not buying the type and magnitude that you might expect. For me this is just too niche, so I wish you good luck, but I am out."
Kevin O’Leary: "No."
Mark Cuban: "It’s a good product like I said earlier the real problem I have is that the sales aren’t enough. So for those reasons I’m out."
We get a deal with Daymond John:
Daymond: "I think what everyone is saying is $200,000 in sales isn’t horrible, I mean it’s proof of concept and it shows that there is a need, but I’m going to make you an offer. The deal is $200,000 dollars for 45%. I’m only asking 45% so that you guys maintain the majority of the company."
(In our negotiation with Daymond John he moves our starting offer of $200,000 for 20% of our company to 45%. We counter with 30%, which he rejects. We counter with 40% for $200,000.)
Daymond: "Alright you got a deal."
Mark Cuban: "Nice job guys."
Lori: "Congrats guys."