AfterShark: Dan Mackey of Chill Soda nearly fumbles his chance at the big money


As the ninth episode of ABC's Shark Tank unspooled, we met Dan Mackey. When he saw that California was dumping sugary sodas from the schools, he realized there was an opening for something organic and low-glycemic, with no high fructose corn syrup: his Chill Soda.

"A lot of people have great ideas. It's just a matter of doing something about it," he told us. And he's right about that. He only wanted $50,000, but for just 10% equity. Using agave nectar, it has about half the calories of the regular sodas on the market. Right away, the pitch started to go flat, when Kevin O'Leary asked what was the one thing that marked the ability to sell in the market, and Mackey was apparently too nervous to answer. "Distribution!" O'Leary said. "Sorry, I thought that was a given," Mackey said, and then said he already had a distributor working away, although he had only sold 250 cans. "You're getting in on the ground floor of this." You could hear a cricket in the Tank until Daymond John pressed a little more, and Mackey clarified: That was 250 thousand cans, worth $175,000 in sales. "I'm a marketing guy. I'm not in the beverage industry," he said, and the Sharks knew it was time to go for blood. "You should never have ever told me that you do not know that business. I'm out," said Daymond John.

WalletPop's Jason Cochran caught up with Dan Mackey for our popular AfterShark series: