SparkCharge is heading to Shark Tank with the hope of getting some national attention and possibly some cash to help the business grow. The founders, Josh Aviv and Chris Ellis, along with chief engineer Richard Whitney, told WSYR-TV that it was a dream come true to pitch their product on the ABC reality show.
The company is one of four featured on Shark Tank’s Season 12 premiere on Friday, where they’ll be showing off the portable charging unit prototype that it developed for electric cars. The New York-based outfit sees the appearance as something of a success in itself, a major moment for the burgeoning industry of electric vehicles.
Ellis said they wanted to make sure they had a strong product before appearing on the show, knowing that the investors are looking for something ready to hit the market.
“Because I’ve seen old episodes of Shark Tank and people come in and they get called out because all they want to do is get free publicity and they have no intention of getting a deal and we had every intention of getting a deal,” Ellis told the outlet.
SparkCharge has been promoting the Shark Tank episode on social media ahead of Friday’s airing. In a Twitter post, they touted the appearance as a big moment for the entire field.
An EV company on national television? Looks like electric vehicles are going from a novelty to a norm. We are thrilled to be part of such an important mission.
— SparkCharge (@sparkcharge) October 15, 2020
There has been a lot of attention paid to the rapid growth of the industry. A report last month from the New York Times pointed out that electric vehicle battery prices are dropping faster than expected, and the automobiles are becoming just as affordable as their gasoline counterparts sooner than expected. Many automakers are still heavily reliant on government subsidies to compete in price with traditional, gas-powered cars, but the report suggested that the tide is turning on that front.
SparkCharge sees itself as part of a larger mission to push the entire model forward. The company often uses its social media presence to share stories about other breakthroughs in the sustainable automotive industry.
SparkCharge came to Shark Tank looking for a large infusion of cash, asking the sharks for a $1 million investment in exchange for a 6 percent share of the company. The outcome of the pitch was not known ahead of the airing.
The outfit has already earned some local fame by winning the 43 North Business Accelerator Competition and a $5 million investment for moving the operation from the Syracuse area to Buffalo.