From Classroom to Shark Tank: How The Fidget Game Grew Internationally

Our today’s special guest is Brandi Dugal. She is the founder of The Fidget Game. Many of you may already know her for her apearance on Shark Tank. We have already covered The Fidget Game Shark Tank update separately, so you can check that out.

A few days ago, I contacted Brandi for a short email interview. I’m happy to say that she was very responsive and answered my questions. I appreciate her for taking the time to answer all my questions. I hope this short interview will prove to be helpful for our audience. This conversation is a great chance for us to learn more about her journey and get some valuable advice from her experiences. Please feel free to share your thoughts via the comments sections.

Introduction and Background

Daniyal: Please tell me about yourself, your background, education, experience, and position in the company.

Brandi: I am Brandi Dugal, the founder, creator, and CEO of The Fidget Game. I was a teacher for six years and had the opportunity to teach in six different countries, including the USA, Canada, Thailand, Indonesia, Bahrain, and Vietnam. My experiences in diverse educational settings, from private to severely underfunded schools, deeply influenced my understanding of the critical importance of education. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and a Master’s in Education, focusing on Pre-K to Grade 6 education, specializing in English as a Second Language and the Science of Reading. I am certified to teach in both Ontario, Canada, and Texas.

Pre-Shark Tank Preparation

Daniyal: Can you describe the journey and preparation that led up to your pitch on Shark Tank?

Brandi: Preparing for my Shark Tank pitch was incredibly intense and stressful. With less than two months to prepare, it involved a whirlwind of paperwork, due diligence, and relentless practice sessions. I engaged with friends and mentors for feedback through countless mock pitches. The journey, though demanding, was exceptionally rewarding.

Valuation and Strategy

Daniyal: How did you decide on the valuation you presented to the sharks, and what was the strategy behind your initial ask?

Brandi: Setting the valuation for the sharks involved thoughtful consideration and numerous discussions with friends and seasoned investors. Despite the potential to request more, I aimed for a realistic valuation acknowledging the substantial value and expertise a shark could bring to my company. After several revisions, I settled on what I believed was the perfect balance for my initial ask.

Post-Shark Tank Impact

Daniyal: What happened to your company after appearing on Shark Tank in terms of investments and business growth?

Brandi: Following our appearance on Shark Tank, our company experienced a significant surge in sales, mainly as the episode aired right before Black Friday, providing a strong boost through the holiday season. This visibility also led to increased website traffic and social media engagement, fueling further growth.

Current Valuation

Daniyal: What is your company’s net worth today?

Brandi: I prefer not to disclose the company’s current net worth at this time.

Additional Investments

Daniyal: Have you secured any investments from other investors since your appearance on Shark Tank?

Brandi: Since appearing on Shark Tank, I have not secured additional investments despite several offers. We are considering our options carefully to align with our strategic goals.

Business Strategy Evolution

Daniyal: How has your business strategy or operations changed after your appearance on Shark Tank?

Brandi: Post-Shark Tank, our business strategy expanded significantly to include multilingual game versions. This shift came about as educators and translators nationwide reached out, enabling us to prepare for launching games in three additional languages and expand our international presence—a vision we had from the start, now accelerated by the exposure.

Challenges

Daniyal: What were the biggest challenges you’ve faced since your appearance on Shark Tank, and how have you addressed them?

Brandi: The most significant challenges post-Shark Tank involved strategizing our growth and meeting customer needs effectively. Each phase of expansion feels like building a new company from scratch, requiring us to innovate continually and adapt our strategies to scale effectively.

Long-term Objectives and Influence

Daniyal: What are the long-term goals for your company, and how has Shark Tank influenced these goals?

Brandi: Our long-term goal is to revolutionize the educational landscape in America. We are currently developing a gamified literacy curriculum for first graders, a project enhanced by our Shark Tank exposure, which has also bolstered our credibility. This initiative involves collaboration with leading reading specialists and aims to profoundly address the literacy crisis.

Advice for Future Contestants

Daniyal: What advice would you give future entrepreneurs considering applying for Shark Tank?

Brandi: My advice for entrepreneurs considering Shark Tank is to trust your intuition throughout the process, from application to the final pitch. Embrace the uncertainties and challenges as they come. Such ventures demand hard work and resilience, but trusting your gut can guide you through the toughest decisions and lead to rewarding outcomes.

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