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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Beardbrand survives Shark Tank but comes away without a bite

Spokane startup Beardbrand got the short end of the strop last Friday when the company competed for venture money on ABC TV's show Shark Tank.

Company co-founder and CEO Eric Bandholz said the sharks on the panel regarded the company as too niche and didn't care to back an investment. The company develops and markets a variety of men's grooming products, particularly catering to the bearded culture.

None of the panelists wanted to back the firm, he said.

"I don't think they (the panel) understand the market. It's not so niche. There are 17 million beardsmen in the United States, not to mention around the world," Bandholz said.

Despite the result, the company then saw its website enjoy record numbers of visits two days over the weekend. Sales jumped, and the private company anticipates sales this year hitting $1.5 million, Bandholz said.

The TV show is a competition based reality show having aspiring entrepreneurs making business presentations to a panel of potential investors. It is based on the international Dragons' Den format.





The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.