Oct 5, 2016 | By Benedict

Father-and-son entrepreneurs Jeff and Jack Danos are expecting $2 million in sales for their 3D printed Fish Call attractor after appearing on ABC's Shark Tank last week. Their ‘TactiBite’ startup received $150,000 in funding from businessman Robert Herjavec in exchange for a 10% equity stake.

When Jack Danos received his first 3D printer around two years ago, the ambitious teenager had a specific problem he wanted to “tackle.” A keen fisherman, Jack wanted to put his engineering skills to the test and make an electronic fish attractor that would literally call fish towards it using feeding sounds and vibrations, increasing the likelihood of a good catch. After creating a few prototypes on the 3D printer, Jack and his father Jeff eventually settled on a design which could be marketed to the fishing world. In 2015, the duo started a Kickstarter for the clever device, setting a $10,000 goal for the project. A month and $100,000 later, the TactiBite Fish Call was on its way to customers around the world.

While that Kickstarter campaign is now all wrapped up, TactiBite has gone from strength to strength. The father-and-son duo are still selling their $99.99 fishing aid via the Fish Call website, and recently received $150,000 (and a massive dose of publicity) thanks to the ABC reality television show Shark Tank, on which budding entrepreneurs pitch their (often hilarious) ideas to a group of five well-known businesspeople. After initially receiving lower offers than expected from the “sharks,” Jeff and Jack were eventually able to shake hands with businessman Robert Herjavec on exactly the deal they were after: a $150,000 investment in exchange for a 10% equity stake in the company.

During the recent Shark Tank episode, Herjavec labeled young Jack as possibly the “smartest 17-year-old” he had encountered, a line which is sure to stick with the youngster as he goes forth into the business world. But while the youngster’s business acumen cannot be doubted, the actual Fish Call product has proved somewhat divisive within the fishing community. The device is so effective at attracting fish that some keen anglers have complained that the device makes fishing too easy, and that use of the product is akin to cheating. Do they have a point? We’re no fishing experts, but we can’t help thinking that the vast amounts of technology and advanced equipment used in fishing these days—side imaging sonar, for example—offers just as great an advantage as the Fish Call. Ultimately, however, those seeking a good catch can choose whether or not they need to use the Fish Call.

At roughly the size of a mini Nerf football, the Fish Call can be easily deployed on fishing trips—by chucking it exactly where you need it to go. When the quarterback in you has launched the device forward, you can then simply cast your line in the vicinity of the device, which will attract all kinds of fish, including redfish, flounder, sea trout, bass, blue gill, and blacktip sharks. The Fish Call even comes with an optional anchor, for securing it in a precise spot on the water.

Although 3D printing was used during the design and prototyping stages for the Fish Call, the finished product is made using injection molding—an easier process to use when dealing with large quantities. Despite the eventual changeover to injection molding, the project goes to show how 3D printing can be used to develop ideas and potentially lucrative products. And with that extra $150,000 in the bank, TactiBite could yet become a global sensation.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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I.AM.Magic wrote at 10/6/2016 9:28:00 AM:

Isn't this illegal in some countries?

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