Recently, the local tech scene flocked to the Miami Small Business Expo for NBC’s Shark Tank casting call. There, we met some of Miami’s most ambitious entrepreneurs, including Tim Aaron.
Today, Tim Aaron, creator of Kick It, shares the challenges he encountered and endured on his road to success.
How did you come up with the idea for the kick it? What inspired you?
I had a promising career in real estate for many years. But when the economy collapsed and I had just become a father for the first time, the market took a dive and I knew I needed a new way to make money. After putting my daughter to bed one night, I was staring at the baby monitor and it had a kickstand holding it up. I was holding my phone and thought, wouldn’t it be great if my phone could stand on its own like that.
With so many products in the cell phone accessories space already on the market, why should anybody be interested in your product?
I knew that there were many other stands on the market, but I also knew there was a reason I never bought any of them. They were either stationary desktop stands or they came built into bulky cases. I wanted something that was universal and could fit any phone or any case. It also had to be sleek so it could fit in my pocket and not need to be carried separately. If I managed to devise something that fit these criteria, it would be easily distinguishable from anything out there and people would buy it.
How long did it take you from conception to bring it to market?
From conception to the final product, it took about one year of design and testing to get the final version complete and ready for market. Besides the product itself, we had to prepare the packaging, websites, videos, and a million other little things.
Tell us a little about applying for Shark Tank at the Miami Small Business Expo?
As soon as I saw the ad on Facebook for a chance to give a 60 second pitch at the Miami Business Expo for Shark Tank, my mind was made up. My company did not have a lot of sales at the time, but I knew that by just being there, I could meet some influential people and learn a lot in the process. Overall, it was an eye-opening experience. I met swarms of entrepreneurs with dreams and stories like mine. I waited in line from nine in the morning until six-thirty in the evening to get my chance at an elevator style pitch. I almost left and went home several times because I thought they might close down auditions. It was getting late, but something in my head told me I had been here long enough and I had to stick it out until I got my shot. When it finally came time, I had to present in front of a large group of people. It was nerve racking, but my invention was well received. They thanked me for coming out and said they will be in touch if I make it to the next round of casting. We will see what happens…
Where do you sell this kind of product and where can people find more information about the Kick It Cell Phone Stand?
Currently, most of our sales come through online portals like Amazon.