009 – Avin Samtani of AquaVault – A Combination for Sun and Safety

Portable Outdoor Travel Safe with AquaVault…

Avin Samtani, Co-Founder of AquaVault (a Portable Outdoor Travel Safe that was invented so you can lock up your valuables and go for a worry free swim) – (background), joins Pavan Bahl , Samantha Shankman and John Matson at the MouthMedia Network studio at Voyager HQ.

A robbery leads to a business, perfecting the design, and Shark Tank

Samtani recalls how the theft of the co-founders’ own belongings at a beach realized the need for a safe to store valuables at a beach or pool, and that day the AquaVault was born. Portal safes that lock on any lounge chair or umbrella, or any tubular support, how people get hands on the safe, prototypes with 3d printers, how it took 7 prototypes to be satisfied with the design, and getting patents. How the co-founders decided to do move forward with a strategy, starting with an inventor trade show, surf expo, then Shark Tank the experience of being one of the only companies to be selected from of tens of thousands of applicants, and what the Shark Tank process was like.

Marketing AquaVault, sourcing in China, and building a travel brand

Being a rare physical product as travel startup and an unusual concept, why it is an advantage that hotels can’t really easily test a physical product with hotel branding, the process of sourcing through China, the complexities of shipping worldwide, and how growing up in Hong Kong makes Samtani relatable to manufacturing partners. Marketing on mostly social media, the success of good press, $5k/month spend on social media ads, videos converting well, Facebook as the most successful and carrying over to Instagram. Amazon as the biggest platform. Ponding the phones five hours a day for sales and press and being relentless, key decisionmakers are pool managers and hotel GMs, how AquaVault frees up time for employees, and creates revenue as many hotels charge guests. AquaVault’s current presence in, any water parks and hotels, the new more portable version with slash resistant nylon, can put it in carry-on, and selling well. AquaVault’s 6-12 month initial sales cycle, and how Samtani would change the sales approach looking back. The next step of a waterproof phone case, building a travel brand, and why they’re not worried about people stealing chairs to get a safe.

Iceland, dim sum, and verifying the need

Off the Beaten Path personal questions covers partying after business, Iceland, favorite bathing suit, New York has everything, the best dim sum spot, and traveling with a family. Plus, going for it, and the importance of verifying market need.

References:

Daymond John [Episode 166 of Fashion Is Your Business]

Blueprint + Co

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