Everyone can be an inventor and you never know where great ideas pop up. This is something Richard Ploszaj wanted to prove when he stepped onto the stage of Shark Tank.
He was looking to secure $5,000,000 in funding for his project Troppo Bicycle. He offered a generous 49% stake for that.
There was just one problem. Troppo Bicycle is an idea. There was no company, no factories, and no real sales yet.
What is Troppo Bicycle
Troppo Bicycle is the personal invention of RicharPloszaj. According to him, he was set out to reinvent the bicycle.
What he says is true. The bicycle as a whole didn’t change in the past 100 years. Richard believes that his invention can make bikes go quicker and be more efficient.
The big invention is a pump pedal. Yes, instead of doing a circular motion, the rider needs to do a pumping motion with his feet.
Who is Richard Ploszaj?
If you ask Richard who he is, he would tell you that he is an inventor. He is a mechanical engineer and comes from Brisbane.
He claims that his big dream is to reinvent the bike. Troppo Bicycle is his answer to that. It’s his vision.
The bike is not his only invention though. For example, he invented a self-cleaning toothbrush. Now we have no idea how that would work, but he couldn’t sell even one piece anyway.
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What happened to Troppo Bicycle in Shark Tank?
As Richard waltzed in on his bike in front of the Sharks; he presented his offer. Five million for a 49% stake. Needless to Sharks was stunned.
They didn’t know what to think. Here’s an inventor in front of themselves claiming he reinvented the bike and is asking for five million.
According to Richard, this would be a risk-free investment. Yes! Risk-free. Richard waltzed has bold claims to back this up. He thinks his bikes will win the Tour de France because they are simply better than normal bikes.
also, he says that in five years the company will be making 5 billion dollars. That’s one hell of a claim!
Just to make sure that the product is real and working one of the Sharks even got on the bike. He cycled around the room and felt that the bicycle was okay.
Did the Sharks like the idea?
The Sharks were intrigued. They’ve never seen such a bold claim with absolutely no facts behind it.
The only assurance was that the new bike is supposed to be more efficient than the old one. It’s hard to believe. A good traditional chain bike can be more than 98% efficient.
There was also the question of Tour de France. Troppo Bicycle was illegal to enter the races.
Where are the business plans of Troppo Bicycle?
The Sharks were unhappy with what they were seeing. Even if they liked the bike there was no direction behind the company.
Apart from Richard telling them that it’s a risk-free investment, there was nothing to back it up. He didn’t work out any business plans yet.
When asked if he has sold a bike yet, he said that he did. He sold 20 of them. Not bad, right? Except, Richard built the bikes for $2,600 and sold them for $2,600. That would be hard to scale to 5 billion in a few years.
Also, Richard’s idea of a risk-free investment was more along the line of bank fraud. For some reason, he was convinced that in guaranteed funding the investor can pull the money whenever he wants and he will keep the government funds. Sorry to tell you, but it doesn’t work that way!
Troppo Bicycle received no offers at the Shark Tank.
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What happened to Troppo Bicycle after Shark Tank?
Most likely nothing. There is a possibility that Richard kept trying to sell the bikes online, but there is no evidence that a company named Troppo Bicycle exists today.
It’s safe to assume that Richard did not reach his 5 billion dollars goal by 2020 as he predicted. His Twitter is inactive.
He gave out one response via LinkedIn though. He claims that the footage is manipulated so he looks like a mad scientist. Whether it is true or not we can’t decide but he did look like a mad scientist in the show.