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Lupe Makes a Splash with the Sharks

JIT Entrepreneur Takes 1st Place in Business and Confidence Building

Christine Whitlock, Samuel Brown, Mark Zuckerbrod-medium
Lupe wins the 1st place prize of $3000 dollars from Shark Tank & also won $500 dollars from peoples choice award.

Only ten days before the JIT Shark Tank Competition, Omar Chavez, JIT Marketing Specialist, received an alarming email from Lupe Rodrigues’ coach, Paula Waxman. Lupe wanted to drop out of the competition, “Lupe sent me a text saying he has a lot going on and he’s lost motivation – I think he is really scared about presenting live.”  

After connecting with Lupe, Omar learned that he had landed a job and no longer felt compelled to pursue the competition or start a business. Lupe also wondered if the other competitors deserved to win more than he did. With encouragement from Omar and the JIT team, Lupe gained confidence and decided to stay in the competition and pitch his plan for a professional dryer vent cleaning service that helps protect homeowners from fires sparked in dryers.

The JIT team provided professional clothing and one-on-one coaching; by the time he was ready to present, Lupe had a sharp suit and a solid pitch. 

Before the competition, Lupe sent this text to Sanam:

Even if I get last place, I feel like I’ve already won. Thank you, Sanam and Omar, for pushing me to do this. I was really going to give up on this, and when you opened up to me about what you went through growing up, that made me feel way more comfortable. So, thank you guys and the people who support JIT.” 

Lupe, JIT Shark Tank Participant

As the last one to give his pitch, Lupe’s shuffled his index cards anxiously. When he shared his personal experience with a fire caused by a dryer, he gained confidence and delivered his business pitch with clarity and authority before the 5-minute mark.

Although he was visibly nervous, he captured the audience and the judges with his knowledge and experience. He took first place in the Shark Tank Competition and The People’s Choice Award.

The entire community rallied behind Lupe to help him perfect his pitch and it paid off.  

Both Lupe and his coach Paula gained valuable new experience on their Shark Tank journey. “Both of us are big Shark Tank fans so that was probably an advantage for the presentation, but it still took a lot of work getting all the information about Lupe’s business incorporated into the 5-minute pitch,” said Waxman. Working with Omar on the video for Lupe’s pitch was an incredible experience to see how much work and effort goes into making a video flow nicely.” 

Lupe says he gained insight from this experience. He also learned that he is not alone and has a heightened appreciation for JIT and his coach. His advice for future Shark Tank competitors? “Have fun and give it all you got.” 

Post Shark Tank interview with Lupe

by Omar at Just in Time

Lupe’s Coach, Paula Waxman, Shares Her Experience: 

How would you describe your experience coaching during this Shark Tank Competition?   

It was a great opportunity for me to directly affect someone in their pursuit of launching their own business and I enjoyed it very much.   

Describe your major highlights coaching during this process.   

Though I had my own small business for several years I never did a real business plan before!  It was quite a challenge for both Lupe and me- I finally understand what an Executive Summary is! It took many hours of writing and editing.  Lupe was able to provide me with his side of the information and I basically formatted it by answering each line of the rubric with him. We also worked a lot on the pitch- both of us are big Shark Tank fans so that was probably an advantage for the presentation, but it still took a lot of work getting all the information about Lupe’s business incorporated into the 5-minute pitch.  Working with Omar on the video for Lupe’s pitch was an incredible experience. [We got] to see how much work and effort goes into making a video flow nicely.

Have you done business coaching before? If yes, who? 

I have trained people in my business but, honestly, this was my first time as a coach.  

Why did you decide to be a Shark Tank coach?   

Again, as a fan of the TV show, I thought it would be great fun.  It was more work than I expected but I was glad about that- since I am retired it was good to have some structure and a temporary commitment! 

Describe the qualities you believe an effective coach must have.   

I think you must realize that the person you are coaching may not have the skill set required to complete some of the tasks necessary as part of the competition.  The business concept may be a good one, but you may have to really roll up your sleeves to help get the job done.  Your mentee may become discouraged and overwhelmed and you may need to provide encouragement and solutions to their hesitation.  You also must communicate with the team at JIT as they also can provide help along the way. 

Shark Tank winners

Congratulations TO ALL THREE OF OUR TOP SHARK TANK FINALISTS: LUPE,  ANGELA, AND STEPHANY. WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING WHERE YOUR BUSINESS JOURNEY TAKES YOU WITH THE ANGEL INVESTORS.

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