‘IllumiBowl’ Pitches ‘Shark Tank’ So You Don’t Have To Go In The Dark

Anyone who’s stumbled into the bathroom late at night, perhaps stubbing a toe in the process before finding the lightswitch, will watch Friday’s Shark Tank with great interest. IllumiBowl, a clever gadget company that makes it easier to find the bowl in the dark, will seek an investment from the panel. The company launched a successful Kickstarter campaign in late 2014 to fund what it calls a “clip-on toilet bowl night-light.”

One of the product’s Kickstarter backers wrote in Gizmodo that it was the best money “ever spent on a silly bathroom gadget.” Praising its simple design — battery-powered IllumiBowl clips to the side of the toilet bowl and has a motion sensor that activates light in one of eight colors — Gizmodo said it was sure to provide “disco toilet nightlight” entertainment.

Buzzfeed identified it as a Kickstarter product making a difference, noting it “looks cool.” Other innovative items on that list included a cat hammock, glow-in-the-dark beer pong table, a knife that softens butter and a coffee bar — an edible bar made from coffee.

#Repost @themightyboxcar.vapes ・・・ I think I’m overly impressed with this #illumibowl #thefuturehasarrived #futuretoilet #bxcr #boxcar

A photo posted by IllumiBowl (@illumibowl) on

According to an interview with Heavy, the idea for IllumiBowl was conceived at a family reunion in September 2014. Co-founders Matt Alexander and Michael Kannely are brothers-in-law and set up expectations at the outset that ensured positivity in their working relationship, in order to prevent family conflict.

Alexander spoke highly of IllumiBowl’s experience on Kickstarter, where the company raised over $95,000.

“Kickstarter was phenomenal. It allowed two college students with no money to create a product that helps millions of people and built a million dollar business from scratch and without having to take loans or give away our whole business from early stage investors. Its never been easier to start your own business than today.”

The Kickstarter platform also gave them the opportunity to get feedback from customers in order to refine the design. As regular Shark Tank viewers know, it’s not unusual for the show to find potential pitchers on Kickstarter; often small businesses are recruited after producers find their campaigns on the site.

Don’t miss us on @sharktankabc tonight at 8 p.m. MST! Sharks #poop and #pee too! http://abc.tv/1RE6T1J #sharktank #kickstarter

A photo posted by IllumiBowl (@illumibowl) on

Do the sharks bite? In an introduction to a preview clip, Entertainment Weekly noted Mark Cuban did not seem too impressed — but appearances can be deceiving. There is some history of bathroom-related products leaving Shark Tank with a deal; Squatty Potty left with an investment from Lori Greiner, but the product claimed health benefits from its use.

But as CarterMatt pointed out, IllumiBowl could make an impact given a large enough platform, such as Greiner’s QVC. At under $20, and in a package comparable in size to a deck of cards (according to Gizmodo), the product could sell well and sell quickly.

Regardless of the outcome, Alexander had nothing but positive things to tell Heavy about his Shark Tank experience. He described having gone through the show’s rigorous application process with the intent to find the best match for his business. Once the men stepped on the carpet, they had good interactions with the multi-millionaire investors.

“We were nervous at first but once the pitch began, it was actually really fun. All of the Sharks were incredibly helpful and supportive and its an experience that really helped our business knowledge grow.”

Viewers will have to tune in to find out if IllumiBowl gets the backing of a shark investor. Shark Tank airs Friday nights at 9 pm on ABC.

[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]