There are many variations of kickstands and smartphone wall mounts, but Flipstik is different because it features an adhesive that lets you stick your phone to any material. Founder Akeem Shannon made a deal with Lori Greiner on Shark Tank but it never closed. As of 2022, Flipstik is worth $5 million.
About the Founder
Akeem Shannon is the son of a nonprofit business owner and founder from St. Louis, Missouri. He studied chemical engineering at Howard University but lost his scholarship due to depression and partying.
After dropping out of college, he held various sales positions and was a natural at that position. He started working as a business consultant at Multimedia Publications and gradually worked his way up to the position of business manager at Sprint. Despite being the company’s top salesman, he only made $30,000 that year.
In 2014, he was an account executive at Verizon and then transitioned into a new career as a business consultant at Square.
Founder of Flipstik
The Missouri native always wanted to be a business owner, and that desire was reinforced at Square as he was in close contact with many successful entrepreneurs. All Akem needed was the right idea, and his uncle helped him get it.
Akeem’s uncle was a NASA engineer who taught him about synthetic bristles, an adhesive that could stick to any surface. When its adhesion decreases, the user can restore it by rinsing it with hot water. Shannon came up with the idea of integrating it into a phone stand.
Thus, Flipstik was born in early 2018. The same year, the founder launched a Kickstarter campaign and raised more than $10,310 from 460 backers. In 2019, the startup made over $100,000 in revenue.
Shark Tank Appearance
As Flipstik sold out in 2020, Akeem Shannon knew he wasn’t earning as much as he could. With that, appeared in season 12 of Shark Tank, asking $100,000 for 20%. A reasonable valuation!
He came in an astronaut suit and delivered his speech with a rap song. The Sharks were amused by the presentation and interested in the product, but were disappointed with the sales. $115.00 over two and a half years shook things up a bit, but some Sharks were still interested.
Kevin O’Leary offered what Akeem originally asked for, but it was clear that Akeem wanted either Lori or Mark as a partner. After being ignored, Mr. Wonderful walked out due to frustration. Lori Greiner was the last investor to give her opinion, and she wanted to invest $100,000 for 25%. After some consideration, the contractor accepted the deal.
After Shark Tank
After Shark Tank, it looks like the deal with Lori Greiner was never done. Lori shares all of her investments on her personal website, but Flipstik is not on the list.
Oddly, it looked like Daymond John was trying to persuade Lori not to close the deal and maybe it worked! Daymond owns a stake in a similar product called Love Handle and doesn’t want additional competition from another Shark.
As expected, the show’s publicity allowed the company to increase its sales and it managed to maintain a solid momentum. Akeem followed Lori’s advice to go digital and sell directly to consumers through his GetFlipstik.com website.
In 2021, the startup received a $50,000 grant from UMSL accelerator DEI, which helped Flipstik break into 300 target locations. The product can be purchased on Amazon, where it has an average rating of 3.5 stars from 532 reviews.
Flipstik continues to grow with estimated annual sales of around $5 million, which seems a bit high. $1 million in annual revenue would seem more accurate. Flipstik was valued at $5 million when it was last raised.