Last Friday of March 14, 2014 marked a rebirth for iReTron Inc. We reached new heights, sealed a deal with two worldly respectable self-made billionaire and millionaire investors, and sent a message to everyone watching, that the impossible is possible.
Representing iReTron in the Shark Tank, the pressure was tremendous. Never have I experienced anything like it, but in retrospect, it was more exhilarating than anything. Leaving the tank, it dawned upon me how real the show was, despite it being a television program at the end of the day. With many emotions and feelings watching the episode on Friday, I simply wish to express a few of them.
First of all, my gratitude goes out to not only my friends and family who have supported me throughout the past two years, but everyone who has joined the iReTron family along the way. When Shark Tank was only on it’s second or third season, I was approached by a producer who was seeking young entrepreneurs to appear on the show. It was the first time I was introduced to it, but after watching a season, I realized my revenue stream was simply not up to par and had to decline his offer. Realizing that I may have missed out on the chance of a lifetime, I could not get the idea of “What if…” out of my head for months. Come the next year, the same producer asked me again, and I immediately said yes. Bill, whom I worked with, was the mentor I never had. He advised me in not only my presentation but also the content of my pitch. Even to the day of my shoot, he would always place me as one of his highest priorities. While my long-term endeavor has been the amalgamation of many factors, Shark Tank simply would not have happened without Bill’s patience and insight.
And on Friday, when the episode aired, I had the pleasure of sharing the moment with my close friends and family. Watching the episode, I realized that the Sharks believed in more than just the numbers. Afterwards, Barbara even came to my trailer to visit me and my father. It was unusual, said one of the producers, but it only demonstrated that behind the show were genuine people. I couldn’t thank the sharks more for their time and consideration, especially Mark and Barbara.
Finally, Saturday morning, as I stood in the quad of my high school, selling pizza for an event to fundraise for my senior prom, a few middle school students came up to me and asked if I was the guy on Shark Tank last night. It was not the first time people have recognized me for my business, but it was the first time a younger student told me that I was an inspiration. After taking a picture with him, we talked some more, and it dawned on me that I am finally realizing my dream before my eyes.
iReTron, to me, is more than a re-commerce business to lessen the amount of e-waste in the world. It’s my 2 cents to instigate change in the world. If I can inspire only one other young adult to pursue their dreams, whether it be in business or art, physics or athletics, I believe iReTron is a success. Along with the three other kids on Shark Tank with me, we’re all here to achieve financial success, but more importantly, do good for our communities.