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your mates shark tank

6 lessons we learnt from pitching Your Mates on national TV show ‘Shark Tank’ | Your Mates Brewing Co.

6 lessons we learnt from appearing on national TV show, Shark Tank.

It’s been just over 2 years since we appeared on the national television show Shark Tank. Recently, our episode on the show was posted to YouTube and has started circulating around our community.

In the blur of life inside and outside of Your Mates, we often forget about this little chapter in our journey. In fact, we’ve only ever seen the episode once when it aired live back in 2018. Needless to say, our stomach’s were doing far less backflips rewatching it. This time we knew for sure that we weren’t about to be made to look like absolute kooks on national television. 

Reflecting back to that moment and everything that’s happened since then is pretty crazy. Since then, we secured the investment we were seeking and built our dream brewery, Your Mates Brew House on the Sunshine Coast. We’ve gone from having one intern to over 40 legendary employees who’re family to us. We were just 2 blokes with a dream and now we’re 2 blokes living their dream (although our dreams have continued to escalate in size over time). 

Throughout it all, our community of mates has continued to support us with unwavering froth and loyalty. Pure gratitude is the feeling we get when we take the time to reflect on these things. 

You might be thinking, but wait a minute, didn’t the fellas get rejected by the Sharks? You’re absolutely right on that one mate. Even though our pitch and back and forth with the Sharks was extremely positive, they turned our offer down and we left without any financial investment.  

At the time, it was a little disappointing. We’d worked bloody hard on the pitch, diving deep into all aspects of our business, ready to face the likes of seasoned entrepreneurs Steve Baxter, Janine Allis, Andrew Banks, Naomi Simson and Glen Richards

Looking back now, however, we’re glad that we didn’t lock into a deal with the Sharks. While it was disappointing, it wasn’t discouraging. It was actually the contrary. The Sharks had praised our brand messaging, reinforcing what we already knew about the potential of the Your Mates brand.

Before we even left the studio we were making moves on alternative options to raise the capital. It was all there; the brand, our story, our pitch, the numbers, our burning passion to go to the next level. Before too long we raised what we needed with an amazing bunch of ‘Mum and Dad’ investors who’re just as passionate about our mission as we are.

A lot can be learned from this experience, hindsight is a wonderful thing. We thought we’d share a narrowed down version of the lessons we learnt from our little 10 minutes of fame. You might get something out of it if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, or at least find it interesting if you’re just here because you like beer.

Our Shark Tank experience – 6 major lessons

  1. Don’t undervalue yourself

Christen and I discussed what our capped share sale would be prior to walking into the tank. We’d decided that 40% would be the largest amount we’d sell if that meant bringing on someone with a wealth of experience in the ‘fast moving consumable goods’ (FMCG) game. We wanted to ensure that we had ownership of the business we’d worked so hard to build. In hindsight, we’re stoked that none of the sharks took the deal, as it was actually undervalued at the time. If you go into the tank knowing that you believe that your business will be successful, then you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from their experience, knowledge and advice. The sharks lost out on a huge opportunity…

2. Know your numbers

When you’re talking with 5 seasoned professionals, you need to know your financials inside and out. We’d been brewing and selling beer on a micro scale for a number of years, so we understood the costs of business as well as the opportunity for future growth. We were extremely proud to hold our own ground for a 55min dive into our business. Our only aim (besides securing an investment) going into the Shark Tank was to not look like fools on national television.

3. Look the sharks straight in the eye

It was bloody daunting walking into the room with 5 Sharks and about 20 cameras rolling. The producers told us we had to wait 2 minutes for the cameras to calibrate once we walked through those doors. 

“It can be a little intimidating guys, so if you feel like looking away you can,” said the producer.

As we prepared to walk through the doors, McGarry whispered “we’ve just gotta staunch them!” 

So we did, giving them 2 extremely long minutes of gracious smiles and a confident gaze. Obviously our hearts were racing at 220BPM! 

4. That’s a lot of money!

$750,000 sounds like a large investment to some people, but for us, this was the absolute minimum to have a proper crack at the wholesale market. The beer industry is an extremely heavy cash flow business. You brew beer one day, and get paid on average 3 months later. There’s no point raising money, getting half way through the project and running out. Go hard or go home!

5. Listen to the sharks! (but make your own decisions)

Between them they have more experience in their pinkies than you may ever hope to have, so listen to what they have to say.  But at the end of the day, YOU know your business better than anyone and ultimately YOU will always be the best person to make the decisions that will steer your business forward. In fact, listen to everyone, don’t ignore anyone thinking you know better, because everytime you ignore someone that says ‘you know what you should do…’ you will miss some absolute nuggets of gold. **Disclaimer, you’ll still have to sift through some other types of nuggets to get to said gold. Good advice can come from anywhere, take it or leave it, the choice is yours!

6.  Bring the Sharks a tinnie! 

Bribery will get you everywhere and cold beer will get you even further!

Overall, it was a truly amazing experience and we’re eternally thankful for the opportunity. It’s yet another crazy chapter in the Your Mates journey that we’ll always look back on as a huge learning experience. A big shoutout to the Sharks, especially to Steve and Glen who were kind enough to offer a mentoring session following the airing of the episode. Legends.

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WATCH: Why King Donnie?

Why our first ever limited release tinnie was a reinvention of Donnie and not a new character.

As Mcgarry says, “call it lack of creativity in production, or call it for what it really is.”

Donnie is a deserving King. He was our second mate to the core range and represents much of what is central to Your Mates’ identity. He’s an underdog, a dark horse, full of surprises with a heart of gold. He deserves the crown!

We can’t wait to send him out to our community on Saturday the 15th of August, he’s going to make plenty of new mates!

For all info on the launch event, go HERE.

Click ‘Going’ in the event to go in the draw to win 2x Free King Donnie’s.

If you can’t wait to get your hands on Your Mates, buy beer from our ONLINE STORE or visit our BEER LOCATOR.

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robinson brothers

The Robinson Brothers – Mate of the Month | Your Mates Brewing Co.

A Q&A with local Sunshine Coast legends, the Robinson Brothers. Talented fisherman, lifestyle enthusiasts and passionate environmentalists, these lads are our deserving mates of the month for March!

We met the Robinson Brothers after they reached out to us for a sponsorship for a clean up event they were organising, under the name of their environmental protection not for profit, Our Ocean’s Future (OOF). We were so impressed with their passion for good times and the conservation of their natural backyard. It’s extremely exciting to see the young fishing crews on the Sunny Coast care so strongly for their local environment. We asked the fellas a few questions below.

Who are you and how did the whole Robinson Brothers thing start?  

We are brothers and a best mate from Noosa. Robinson Brothers first started as a YouTube channel where we would just upload sort of piss take videos about our lifestyle. We soon really enjoyed doing it and started to gain quite a following. Within a year we had gone from 13 subscribers to 900. It might not seem like a lot but for just a couple of lads like ourselves it really gets us going. Now we just want to continue to grow and have a good time along the way.

What is OOF and why did you start it?

OOF is our not for profit organisation we started in 2019. We started it because of our love for the ocean and our local waterways. This is us trying to do our part and do more to protect and preserve them.

Why is protecting your natural backyard important to you?

Looking after our local ecosystem is a priority because it’s the place we love most, it’s where our passions began for fishing and diving etc. So looking after our home means quite a lot, however we can’t wait to expand and do the same in waterways Australia-wide.

How can people get involved with OOF?

Anyone can get involved with OOF. Every bit of support is greatly appreciated. Following our social accounts is always great and you can direct message us or visit our webpage (details below). 

What trips have you got planned next?

Future trips are tough one as there are so many good places we want to visit. But we are super keen on getting back to the outer reef and do the full survival experience. We also want to do a few weeks in West Oz, continue to explore all our local area and do the odd NZ trip, but in the long run we are looking to do the full travel Australia trip!!

We can’t wait to see what the future holds for these boys and we’ll continue to support their epic message. 

Check out the Robinson Brothers’ Highlight Reel from 2020

Robinson Brothers

YouTube channel

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Our Ocean’s Future 

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your mates story

Who are Your Mates?

It’s nearly been one month since Larry was voted the 5th most popular beer in Australia in the 2019 GABS Hottest 100 results. As a company, it’s been our biggest milestone to date, and what it represents still has us beaming with excitement and gratitude.

Larry’s top 5 finish signifies the incredible loyalty of our community of mates, the growing thirst for good beer on the Sunshine Coast and that on a national scale, Sunshine Coast breweries can mix it up with the best of them. 

The results left some punters who haven’t yet heard of us scratching their heads, which is understandable. We don’t currently distribute outside of South East Queensland, and that’s not because we don’t want to, it’s because demand on the Sunshine Coast is so bloody insane! 

At the moment we’re working hard to increase our production and get our beers out to as many legends as possible. While it may not be possible to get our beers into your local right now, it is possible to answer the question of who we are.

If you know our story already, we hope you enjoy hearing it again. If you don’t know it, we hope that by the end of the video, we’ve gained another mate.

If you can’t wait to get your hands on our brews, we ship Australia wide through our online store. Fresh beers straight from our brewery to your door!

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Mateship the best medicine for mental health | Your Mates Brewing Co.

Meats for Mates highlights importance of mateship and conversation in battle against men’s mental health issues.

‘It all starts with a conversation’. It’s a simple action with huge impact in tackling a complex issue. 

This was the lasting thought from our inaugural Meats for Mates event at the Brew House. Between the laughs, unbelievable feast (cudos Cotton Tree Meats), cracking beer and entertainment (take a bow Toddy Widdicombe), there was a strong feeling and message of mateship and support. 

Statistics show that six Australian men take their own lives every day due to mental health issues. You could ask anyone and they would have a mental health issue story to tell, whether it involves themselves personally or someone they know. 

Despite increased awareness, many people, in particular men, still attach a negative stigma to seeking help for mental health problems.  

This hard to shake stigma is why conversation has become such an important tool in battling this issue. While it is not a complete solution, a conversation is, at a minimum, an excellent starting point in helping people to seek necessary help. 

If the conversation is initiated by a trusted mate, a bloke suffering from mental health problems is far more likely to open up and begin their journey to recovery.

Check up on three mates right now, you never know what could be happening beneath the surface – seriously do it!

We are stoked to report that the event raised over $10,000 for four amazing local charities that are doing outstanding work in the mental health space, including:

Overall, it was a truly special day that drove home some really crucial messages. A big cheers to everyone who attended and a special shout out to our guest speakers:

  • Matt Golinski 
  • Adam Sellars
  • Mike Benson

Check out the highlights video here!

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