Businessmen hope to make 'Shark Tank' stars sit up and invest

Businessmen hope to make 'Shark Tank' stars sit up and invest
Mike Lane explains to KATU reporter Lincoln Graves, who is wearing a PostureNOW, how the device works. KATU image.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Matt Franklin of Portland and business partner Mike Lane are hoping their product – and the way they plan to pitch it – will make the investors on ABC’s “Shark Tank” TV show literally sit up and take notice.

And hopefully invest, as well.

The pair has been selling a product called the “PostureNOW” and are hoping some fancy footwork from two stars on another hit TV show will convince the investors to take them to the next level.

Franklin and Lane said the PostureNOW device, which straps to a wearers’ arms and crosses their back, is designed to remind users to sit up straight. And it’s selling – at least enough so far to pay the rent and mortgage bills, Franklin said.

Fanklin said Lane's desk job sparked the invention. "He said 'I’ve got an idea because I sit at my desk all day and my posture has gotten really bad. Let's create a posture improvement device.'"

Lane said in a Shark Tank audition video that he is from New York.

Everything could change for the men Friday night. They are seeking an investment of $100,000 in exchange for a 15 percent stake in the 3-year-old venture. Billionaire media magnate Mark Cuban is one of the investors regularly seen on the show.

The men have even enlisted two high-profile models to show off the PostureNOW device: Anna Trebunskaya and Jonathan Roberts of the long-running TV show Dancing with the Stars.

Why the dancers? “Not only is posture critical for ballroom dancing, but it's also critical for everyday aspects of life,” Lane said.

“We just got a bunch together in a box and mailed it over and it just kind of landed where it landed and one of them happened to be with Anna and Jonathan. And they really liked it,” Lane said, explaining how the two dancers came on board.

Lane said they are ready for an influx of orders once the show airs. “There’s about  6,000 PostureNOW units here and we hope to get a fair amount of traffic to the website tonight, and then hopefully we’ll sell a good portion of these,” he said while standing near numerous boxes full of the PostureNOW units.

Franklin thinks there is untapped demand for the product. “Everybody’s first reaction when we tell them we have a posture correction device they sit up straight, and they say, “Oh, I could use that.””

Find out tonight if PostureNOW gets some financial help from the Shark Tank investors. There's a viewing party at the Marathon bar on West Burnside. The show airs tonight at 8 p.m. on KATU.