|Stan Krozel, left, and his partner|
Kevin Ullery founded the
business after the real estate
downturn stopped their careers
dead in its tracks. Instead of
capitulating, they looked at
by making an old idea new again.
Interesting that what is old is new again. Especially when you can combine hospitality, fun and a personal touch. This recent presentation on Shark Tank is case in point that there are other million dollar ideas on right here on this page... all you have to do is put your (re) IMAGINATION caps on.
The Shark Tank example: Trackless train-ride provider Fun Time Express on Friday night became the second Chicago-based company this season to come away with six-figure funding from ABC's "Shark Tank" television program. The idea was inspired by the guys seeing an old film where kids were kept busy on coin operated horses and merry-go-rounds when parents shopped at strip malls. Seeds planted in their heads as the above photos could plant in yours.
Fun Time Express received a $125,000 investment from "Shark Tank" investors Lori Grenier and Kevin O’Leary, who will receive a combined 20 percent equity in the company.
“If we did absolutely nothing [different] next year, that’s $150,000 in net profit,” said Krozel, the majority owner. “That’s passive income.”
Yet O'Leary said he didn't see big enough money in the company. He declared himself out of the running as an investor, leaving Grenier as the only shark not to drop out.
Grenier, a Chicagoan, said she would put up half the asking price and asked O'Leary to put up the other half.
Krozel amended his deal to get O’Leary on board. Instead of a straight exchange for equity, Krozel offered to use 100 percent of profits to pay back the $125,000. The investors then would receive 10 percent equity each.
Fun Time Express operates eight trains in five malls across the U.S. On the show, Ullery said the trains could be used in other arenas, such as at private parties. O'Leary said he had ideas for tweaking the business to gain even better returns.