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Alumus finds success on ‘Shark Tank’ with Shed Defender

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Alumus finds success on ‘Shark Tank’ with Shed Defender

SDSU alumnus Tyson Walters won a bid on the show

SDSU alumnus Tyson Walters won a bid on the show "Shark Tank" for his company Shed Defender.

Courtesy photo

SDSU alumnus Tyson Walters won a bid on the show "Shark Tank" for his company Shed Defender.

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

SDSU alumnus Tyson Walters won a bid on the show "Shark Tank" for his company Shed Defender.

by Gian Matteo Sacchetti, Staff Writer

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When his St. Bernard was leaving a mess everywhere, Tyson Walters, CEO and founder of Shed Defender, never thought the solution to his would bring him to the TV show “Shark Tank.”

Walters graduated from San Diego State in 2010 and founded Shed Defender, a company that produces suits for dogs to help contain shedding and reduce anxiety, according to its website.

He appeared on “Shark Tank” on Oct. 14.

At first, this product was meant to be a clever solution to the hair problem. But, after a lot of feedback, Walters said he found out his idea could be innovative in helping reduce anxiety in pets.

“It helps to calm the dog down,” Walters said. “It is basically a comfort thing, just like a baby swaddled tight in a blanket.”

Walters said it was a concept that was originally popular for calming down kids with autism.

“They calm down when they are wrapped tightly in a blanket,” Walter said.

“Shark Tank” is an entrepreneurial-themed reality show that airs on ABC. Contestants have the chance to present their projects to multi-millionaire and billionaires to try and convince them to invest in new business ventures, according to the ABC website.

Walters said he wanted to go on “Shark Tank” to get more exposure for the product and get new investors.

“It was the right time to go on the show for our company,” Walters said. “Our margin profits were good enough, and everything worked out perfectly.”

However, the process was not as easy as it sounds. Walters and his team went through weeks of preparation in order to score a deal with one of the sharks.

“It was nerve-wracking,” Walters said. “I mean, it was surreal to walk through those doors. We were really prepared, we knew all the answers and what we were looking for (and) we were preparing for weeks. We were going over financial numbers, and we knew what we were doing.”

The team managed to make a deal with Lori Grenier, who agreed to buy 25 percent of the company for $250,000.

Although the investment will be vital in the development of the Shed Defender, Walters recognized one of the most important aspects of this experience would be the increased recognition of his product.

“It is nice to have credibility and a face behind the brand,” Walters said. “She has connections that can really help us. With that money, from her, we want to come up with new products.”

Even though now everything is going in the right direction, the company had some ups and downs.

Chief Marketing Officer and Tyson’s sister-in-law Casey Walters said the firm belief in their product helped them achieve this outstanding goal.

“We had issues in the past to overcome,” she said. “Always ups and downs but you got to stay hopeful and believe in your product and yourself. Otherwise, you are just going to fall apart.”

A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Casey Walters as Tyson Walters’ wife. The Daily Aztec regrets this error.

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