Get on the Bus

The Magic PitchBus Brings a Gentler Shark Tank to 30 Cities Across America.


Get on the Bus

In early January, I decided to take the next 30 days of my life to help people. I wanted to find new, problem-solving products and help bring them to market. Along the way, I would ask consumers to weigh in, get industry leaders to share their advice, and help create products that could change the world. And instead of holing up in an office, I was taking this opportunity to the people in a rolling invention lab called the Magic PitchBus.


As a two-time inventor myself, I know the effort that it takes to turn a product into reality. Coming up with an idea is one thing, but bringing it to market is tough. I have always valued the people who were kind enough to give me the opportunities I was able to run with; if I could do that for one person with the Magic PitchBus tour, I thought, I will have made a difference.


The Magic PitchBus wasn’t really a bus at all; it was a Majestic RV. Inside it, the Boardwalk Brand/Hit Laboratories team and I planned to visit at least 30 cities in just over five weeks, in search of the next big DR hit. To document the trip, I kept a tour diary of the most grueling, exciting, and emotional month of my life. What follows is the first week of that diary.


Magic PitchBus Stop No. 1:
Seattle, Wash.

The weather is brisk, but it doesn’t stop the talent from visiting the Magic PitchBus. This hometown stop is a test for our bandwidth and our ability to connect with inventors. The online team is working steadily to prepare submissions for us, and floods of inventors come to see us. Right in our own ZIP code, we find wonderful items.


My favorites include a four-piece painting tool set I will likely license and distribute. The Crushu is a small kitchen device used to crush garlic, onions, and peppercorns. Then there is the Antibiotowel, a towel that has special antibacterial properties that sanitize on contact. I wonder what lays ahead. Alex Frakking, Hit Laboratories CEO, and I are looking forward to the drive!


Magic PitchBus Stop No. 2:
Tacoma, Wash.

The smell of pulp mills and coffee fills the air in Seattle’s sister city. I start the day with a decaf latté, and soon realize that I need some caffeine—this is a lively group, and I need to be just as excited. Many of the inventors are already selling their products at local markets and events, as well as online; many of them also act as the manufacturers and sales teams of their products. They work harder than any executive I have ever met.


Some of my favorites are a handmade spice blend for food that’s rumored to lower blood pressure (watch out Sensa!), and an inversion table that flips a person upside down and plays music through speakers to vibrate it through the body. One invention that really stands out is a screwdriver that acts as a Bluetooth device for talking and working at the same time. One more latté from Seattle’s best-known export, Starbucks, and off we go!