The Seattle company that lets anyone turn themselves into a superhero is about to dive into shark-infested waters this Friday.
You Kick Ass creators Keri Andrews and Alesia Glidewell appear on Shark Tank to pitch their idea of turning anyone into a superhero action figure.
We wrote about You Kick Ass last summer, after the startup concluded a successful Kickstarter campaign, ending up with $45,000, well over their initial goal of $15,000. The three friends, including partner Douglas Jordan, came up with the idea to customize superheroes after Glidewell received her action figure of the Portal game series’ Chell, for which she modeled. They’ve since added a fourth team member, Tracy Northcutt, who heads up marketing.
How does You Kick Ass work? The customer sends in one photo, which they use to print a 3D replica of the person’s head to put on an action figure of their choice. The person also chooses the body style, colors, superpowers they want, and gets a superhero story printed right on the back of the box. The whole process costs $60 and takes about four to six weeks once You Kick Ass receives the photo.
Now the group is looking for further funding and will appear on Friday’s episode of Shark Tank. Co-founder Andrews told us via email that they “binge-watched” episodes to prepare, noting “what each Shark’s objections were and what the biggest things were that could trip up entrepreneurs” and had friends grill them with questions in role-playing exercises.
Andrews says that nothing quite prepares you for the real thing though:
“When they opened the doors to the hallway for us to walk down and meet the Sharks, it was the most terrifying moment of my life,” she said. “I had to fight my urge to turn around and run away! But once we started to present to the Sharks, we calmed down a bit…It was really weird to see the Sharks all sitting in front of us. It felt like we had stepped inside of our television, so in a way it felt almost unreal.”
The team even showed up with a few customized action figures for the Shark Tank entrepreneurs. Smart move.
You can read more about their upcoming appearance over at the Shark Tank blog and watch their video below about their company. Be sure to watch You Kick Ass on Shark Tank this Friday night! Good luck!