NEW YORK Investing in inventors, that’s what Biztank is all about. “My main goal here is to help people,” Joel Klein told WPIX news. From candy and kids to health aides and kitchen products this digital show welcomes every type of idea. “We have had 40 presenters and at least half of them were granted either with an investment or with strategic help,” he said. Joel Klein came up with the Sharktank-like concept a couple years ago as a way to contribute capital to creative people in the community. “You don’t have to be Jewish to do this right?” I asked. “Anyone can pitch their idea.”
Ervin Hoffman found success through the program with his ‘Velcro Dressing Aid’, that helps people with arthritis. Right now, it’s being sold on Amazon. “How does it feel at your age to be attached to Amazon?” I asked him. “I feel even if I don’t make any money I helped so many people,” Hoffman replied. The 92-year-old came to the United States after surviving the holocaust. “No water, no electric, nothing,” he remembered. “Bullets went in [my arm] and broke the bone.”
He spent his entire life giving back offering free psychology sessions to those in need. “Money is not the main thing for you, is it?” I said. “No, I [just] want to help people.” A sincerity that won over the Biztank moguls. (WPIX)
Launched last year, and hosted out of Klein’s offices in Williamsburg, “BizTank” brings in Jewish entrepreneurs who pitch a panel of seasoned investors, known as the “moguls.” The investments range from $50,000 to $5,000,000 — and so far $4 million in deals have been arranged.
Among the dozens of startups that have been pitched on “BizTank”:
- WaiverCar: This “revolutionary” car-sharing program pays for itself via mobile billboards on its car fleet so drivers can ride free. The fleet is described as 100 percent electric and emission-free. Drivers locate a “free” car near them using WaiverCar’s mobile app.
- Cozy Cuddlerz: A top-end pet products company selling to individual and small chain stores, and founded by 24-year-old David Engel of Queens. Engel pitched a 25 percent company stake for $75,000. He received three offers — two for $150,000 for a 50 percent stake; the third was a convertible loan with the option to transition to equity. (NYPOST