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In the TANK

February 05, 2021 - 00:00
Posted in:

Mackey appears on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank

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    Bob Mackey and Michael Green present their product, Yono Clip, to The Sharks.
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    Yono Clip comes in a variety of colors. CONTRIBUTED
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    Mark Cuban listens to the Yono Clip pitch. CONTRIBUTED
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    Mr. Wonderful gives feedback. CONTRIBUTED
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    Yono Clips on display in the Tank. CONTRIBUTED

You may see a familiar face on television on Friday, Feb. 5. Known across Georgia’s Lake Country for his work with Boys & Girls Club, Bob Mackey recently had the opportunity to take his product, Yono Clip, before the “Sharks” on ABC’s “critically acclaimed and multi-Emmy Award-winning entrepreneurial-themed reality show” Shark Tank!.

Mackey, president and CEO for Boys & Girls Club of North Central Georgia, teamed up with President of Science for Everyone, Michael Green, to create Yono Clip.

Mackey said the idea to create Yono Clip came after he tripped over a bag laying on the floor in the gym. Upon looking around, Mackey noticed bags and purses were on the floor everywhere, so his initial impetus was to simply solve that problem.

Mackey posted on social media seeking those interested in hearing about his idea and Green, a close friend of Mackey’s answered the call.

“After making several sketches and drawings in February 2020, we submitted them to a CAD design company,” Mackey said. “From there, we created our first functional prototype in April 2020. As time passed, we came to realize many other ways and places where having a Yono Clip can be useful.”

But Mackey and Green’s creation faced some adversity before making it into the “Shark Tank.”

“Because of its complex design, three engineering companies told us that Yono Clip would never work,” Mackey said.

When asked if he had told his staff at Boys & Girls Club that he would be featured on Shark Tank, Mackey said, “I did not notify my employees, club members, or Board of Directors until our air date was released.” Mackey wanted to “ensure that it was more than just a possibility.”

Mackey went on to say that his work with Boys & Girls Club prepared him in many ways to be on Shark Tank.

“I’ve created many programs over the years with the Boys & Girls Club,” Mackey said. “From countless presentations with donors, amazing community partners, organizing youth focused programs both as Youth of the Year and strategic planning with board members to establish a vision and growth for our organization. Boys & Girls Club has been an instrumental part of my life. I have many mentors and coaches. So when you see me, you see a collection of investments from other people who had taken the time, the love and opportunity to embed into Bob Mackey. I am forever grateful.”

Mackey said what originally spurred the idea to go on the show was that he and Green have been avid fans for Shark Tank for many, many years.

“The entire product service and scalability business were all new to Yono Clip,” Mackey said. “The vision for Yono Clip required experts. Experts who’ve done it for many, many years. From logistics, product placement, on manufacturing, it was evident. Michael Green and I have been entrepreneurs at heart, and it’s a dream come true to be featured on the number one business show in America.”

Mackey said he and Green filled out an online application for the show.

“Due to COVID, many of the in-person auditions were canceled,” Mackey said. “Like all entrepreneurs to ever appear on Shark Tank, we simply filled out an application on ABC’s website and then moved through the casting process. In fact, Shark Tank is accepting applications for Season 13 now, so we encourage your readers to apply.”

Mackey said filming the show was a “unique” experience.

“Contingent upon the season for Shark Tank, the show gets between 60,000 and 100,000 applications,” Mackey said. “Only a selected few make it to the TANK. We were fortunate to have been selected in that select few.”

When asked what went into coming up with how to present their product to “The Sharks” Mackey said “preparation, practicing and patience.”

“Both Michael and I have a great deal of experience speaking and presenting in front of large groups of people,” Mackey said. “However, when you’re aware of Mr. Wonderful’s and Mark Cuban’s direct communication level, it’s another level of preparation. We wanted to ensure that our plan was in place. From the way we walked and how we responded to being in the TANK. We had to protect our intellectual property with no budget. We did everything with Yono Clip. From a provisional patent to trademarking our name, our greatest advantage was each other. We practiced impromptu talks and answering off the wall questions. The most important thing for us was to have fun.”

Green mirrored Mackey’s sentiments.

“A lot of practice… and then more practice,” Green said. “A lot of number crunching… and then more number crunching.”

When asked if they were nervous going into presenting to The Sharks, Mackey said their nervousness was generated from only having that “one shot” to say why they were there.

“I think it’s fair to say that we were nervous,” Green said. “But it wasn’t the type of nervousness that grips one with an overwhelming sense of fear. But rather, it was one that motivated us to keep our energy high in the moment.”

When asked if there was one Shark in particular they were most nervous about presenting to, Mackey jokingly said “Mr. Wonderful- the one who doesn’t mind telling you like it is.”

“He knows the business and value,” Mackey said. “He knows how to rip you with ease.”

Green shared the same thoughts.

“As a new business, we were definitely aware that Mr. Wonderful may have some very pointed commentary about our company’s valuation,” Green said. “Because we- and so many others- have seen him bring people to tears with his straightforwardness, we were determined to be ready to deal with his line of questioning.”

Mackey said being on Shark Tank is still a surreal experience to both Green and himself. He said they were grateful to be selected to be on Season 12 of Shark Tank and that it was “a dream come true.”

As far as their hopes for Yono Clip, Mackey said his hope is “to create more opportunities and jobs for more people who do great things for the community, a new set of careers, a new household product.”

“We hope that the value of entrepreneurialism is given a greater focus in the rural areas,” Mackey said.

Green envisions Yono Clips being used wherever people have a need to keep their things close by, off the floor and free from germs and dirt.

According to Mackey, Yono Clip had a successful kickstarter and was fully funded within 24 hours. During the kickstarter program, Mackey and Green established the Yono 100 a group of supporters who provided additional support during the starting process.

Mackey also told the Lake Oconee News that Yono Clip made Shark Tank history going from idea, to concept to Shark Tank in less than a year.

Mackey said he hopes the youth he works with at Boys & Girls Club take away many things from seeing him on Shark Tank. Thing such as, “speak with confidence, education is key to your success, finish school (make it an expectation), graduate college (make it an expectation), pace yourselves, your start doesn’t determine your finish, only each of you can do that, pass it on, please don’t waste your time, or that of others.”

“Lastly, just because you’ve never seen it happen doesn’t mean it can’t,” Mackey said. “Be the first one to do it. It’s easy to do what everyone else is doing. Never give up on your dreams, whatever they are. Live out loud, be kind and be of service to the world. Service to others is what makes the world go around. Remember you can have anything in the world you desire. But you’ll only get the things you’ve worked for.”

“Yono Clip is a strong, compact, portable and inexpensive device designed to keep your things (purse, bookbag, gym bag, diaper bag, toiletry bag, shower caddy, towel, jacket or coat) close by,” Mackey said.