Greensburg-based cellhelmet will be featured on the reality show "Shark Tank" tonight. The premise of the show has entrepreneurs asking potential investors for support.
Cellhelmet, originally called cellpig, was founded by Michael Kane, Bryan McHenry and Dave Artuso. The cellhemet iPhone case has a repair and replace guarantee, and is made in Western Pennsylvania.
The show's producers reached out to the group about a year ago, Kane said, but it didn't look like they had made the cut. But in September, they got the call and had to get on a plane, with just a few days' notice.
"They told us if we did get selected, it would be last-minute," Kane said. But the timing was especially bad; McHenry was getting married the day before the team was to fly to Los Angeles. He didn't get to go.
They have had to keep quiet about the show's outcome since then ("my mother knows," Kane admitted), but everyone will find out tonight whether they got the investment they sought.
The whole experience was "nerve-wracking," Kane said. "But we know we have a good product that solves a problem." It was a lot more theatrical than a typical venture capital pitch, he added, so other entrepreneurs should think hard about whether making a pitch to the sharks is worth it.
"Be confident in your business, and in your product," Kane said.
Although he can't talk about the show's outcome, Kane said there would be some "interesting news for Pittsburgh."
The cellhelmet team plans to host a viewing party at Rick's Sports Bar in Murrysville tonight. It's open to the public, Kane said. The show airs at 9 p.m. on ABC.
First Published March 8, 2013 5:15 AM