What happened to HyConn after reaching an agreement with Mark Cuban?

It’s rare to see Shark make an offer to acquire a company, but HyConn is a member of this exclusive club. HyConn is a hose connector that helps firefighters save time connecting to fire hydrants. Founder Jeff Stroope agreed to sell the business to Mark Cuban, but the deal was never completed. The company went out of business for a few years, but is back in business, and HyConn is now valued at $250,000.

Jeff Stroope’s Background

Jeff Stroope is originally from Austin, Arkansas. After graduating from Lake Hamilton High School, he earned an Associate’s Degree in Computer Graphics and Design from Southern Technical College.

He is currently a fire captain, but has tried various other jobs. In 2001, Jeff worked as a commercial diver for PBS&J International Inc, a civil engineering company.

Four years later, he became director of engineering at IT services provider Kellogg Brown and Root, and in 2006 he became a director at sporting goods manufacturer Remington Arms.

Founding of HyConn

As a firefighter, Stroup had this realization one day while battling a house fire in Texas. In a profession where every second counts, he noticed that it took too long to connect the hose to the hydrant.

To solve this problem, he designed the HyConn Hose Adapter to fit a variety of fire hydrants. The Arkansas resident spent more than 11 years crafting the final product, which he launched in 1999.

The traditional method takes about 30 seconds, while his invention takes only 3 seconds or less. Jeff contacted 11 fire departments, and 4 of them placed hard purchase orders.

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Appeared on Shark Tank

Jeff Stroup thought the product had a million-dollar market but needed money to boost sales. In 2011, the Texas native appeared on the second season of Shark Tank seeking $500,000 in exchange for 40 percent of the profits.

The Sharks were impressed by the demonstration and the benefits were obvious. However, the atmosphere changed when the entrepreneur started talking about the business side of things. Strop then pulled out a garden hose connector and reignited the flames in the tank.

This led to Mark Cuban quickly offering $1.25 million, a three-year contract, and 7.5% royalties in exchange for 100% of the company. Kevin O’Leary tried to make a counter-offer, but Jeff chose Mark.

After Shark Tank

After Shark Tank, the deal with Mark Cuban was never done. Cuban reportedly wanted to change the terms of the initial offer, but Stroup didn’t like it. According to the firefighter, Cuban wanted to make money through a licensing agreement with another company. This would make the founder redundant in his own company and part ways with the billionaire.

When the deals fell through, 101 Ventures stepped in and invested alongside an economic development agency called Innovate Arkansas. However, it’s unclear how those deals panned out. HyConn’s online presence went quiet in 2019, and most people thought the company was dead.

In February 2024, Jeff posted on Facebook that HyConn was increasing production again. According to his LinkedIn profile, Jeff now works as a tool and die shop manager at D&M Holdings.

Categories: Shark Tank
Source: dut.edu.vn

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