For Dallas Robinson and Mike Buonomo, it all came down to 30 seconds. To get on the reality show Shark Tank to pitch Kisstixx, their line of lip balms made for kissing, to a group of billionaire investors, they had half a minute to convince casting directors to let them on the air.
Once it was their turn, the duo ripped open their shirts, buttons flying, to reveal their Kisstixx T-shirts and launched into an energetic pitch. “We wanted to show we’re good TV, we were interesting and we had this crazy product that would be fun to show the whole world,” says Robinson, who developed the idea with Buonomo at Utah Valley University.
Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban paid $200,000 for a 40 percent stake in the company and hired a team for distribution and marketing. Now, two years after Shark Tank, Kisstixx has 12 flavors that combine when people kiss.
Recently, another Shark Tank investor, Lori Greiner, worked with the duo to make a new lip gloss and double-ended lip balm sold on QVC. Kisstixx promises new kissing products this year. “We joke that’s the best part of our job—product development,” Robinson says. “Our wives are probably sick of it though.”