Charles Yim: Breathometer Talks how Indiegogo Lead to Shark Tank – SXSW 2014
Charles Michael Yim is an entrepreneur. He had that fully validated when he did something no other had – closed a Series Seed funding round on the hit TV show Shark Tank with all 5 sharks. Now, Yim is going for Class A funding. All because of a crowdfund he started for the Breathometer.
The Breathometer is a unit you plug into you smartphone. When someone blows into the opening, the device will read their blood alcohol level.
But Yim has other plans than just an alcohol detector.
“Our focus is mainstream breathalyzers,” Yim states, “but ultimately be able to diversify the technology so it can focus more than just alcohol. So essentially we see ourselves as the first breath diagnostic platform for your breath print.”
Medical breathalyzers can already detect blood sugar and some cancers with an 85% accuracy. Those machines right now are expensive and bulky. So Breathometer is teaming up to put this technology into their device and doing a series of clinical testing.
The product started on Indiegogo and exceeded their goal by 5x. That is when Shark Tank noticed the product. Yim was asked on the show to pitch to Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner, Kevin O’Leary, Damon John, and Mark Cuban, which he seemed to land all 5 sharks in his request of $2 million dollars.
As Yim used this money to fill orders for the $49 ethanol sensor, he also started making plans for the next level – which included a $20 million Class A funding.
How Charles Michael Yim Made Shark Tank Rethink Strategy
Interesting enough, the day before at the Digital Creative Job Market, Shark Tank had a booth to entertain new contestants. I talked with the group there and asked specifically about how Charles changed the show.
The producers talked about how powerful that event was and how they were going to re-think strategy. Before, anyone looking for class seed funding (anything with a valuation of up to $2 million dollars) would be put on the show. However, the crew is going to start entertaining larger projects this next year. You might even see someone looking for a Class A funding.
This was a great opportunity to find out how crowdfunding such as Indiegogo can take an idea and excel it to the next level. Charles did give me a breathometer to try out, which I will be doing so in a future review. In the meantime, check out Breathometer.com to find out how to get your own breathalyzer device.