Most notably was a presentation on ABC’s Shark Tank, a television show in which budding inventors and entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to investment “sharks” to fund their growing business. I occasionally catch snippets from the program but have never tuned in for an entire episode until I learned that an Idaho connector company was seeking $500,000 for a 5% equity in its firm.
Melni Connector, formed by Mark Melni, is a company that hopes to revolutionize the electrical connector industry, with a direct burial and submersible inline splice connector design that proposes to shave off minutes of time in crimping a connector to electrical wire and thus can prevent injuries as well. Rather than installing a connector with a crimping tool, users simply strip the cables or wires, insert them into the connector, tighten them with a tool like a wrench and then hand tighten for the final compression and environmental seal.
According to the company’s website, inside this sealed connector is an electrically conductive spiral that grips the stripped wires to securely connect them. It provides a quick and safe way to transfer power and allow for reliable connectivity without the backbreaking and time-consuming crimping process.
The product was designed for utility lineman in mind but as Melni and Armand Eckert said in their presentation on Friday’s “Shark Tank,” it can be used anywhere electrical connectors are required—in agriculture systems, mobile equipment, military, and even for consumer applications.
The lack of market focus gave most of the sharks some concerns, so only one jumped at the chance to invest with the firm. As the Dallas Mavericks’ Mark Cuban said, he invested for FOMO—fear of missing out. He offered the team the $500,000 for a 12% stake in the business, with an option to buy in for more if the valuation of the company reaches $15 million.
I’ve reached out to Melni to learn more about the product and how it works. Stay tuned.