Uncharted Supply Co., co-founded by Eric Janowak, Law ’05, was the first startup to walk down the iconic dark hallway and into the bright light to pitch a new business on this year’s season opener of Shark Tank. The pitch for a $100,000 investment in return for a 5 percent equity stake hooked shark Robert Herjavec — then he upped the ante and gave Uncharted Supply Co. three seconds to lock the deal.
That’s three seconds added to a whirlwind year spent developing the Seventy2, a backpack survival system of 35 tools organized in pockets with user-friendly instructions printed on each pocket, including these words: “The first five things to do when …”
It was Janowak’s friend and Uncharted founder, Christian Schauf, who spotted weaknesses in standard preparedness kits consumers believe equip them for emergencies. Schauf considered them poorly designed, filled with useless components and difficult to use. “We knew people buy these bags for peace of mind and then throw them in a closet and forget about them,” Janowak says. “But in an emergency, we also knew many don’t know how to access and use the equipment.”
They started researching emergency preparedness items and bought every survival kit they could find to analyze and break down. “We took them apart, poured over them to see the good and the bad, how they’re organized. Many were stuffed to the gills with useless stuff like sling-shots and fishing kits,” Janowak says. Read the full story here.