Three local men are hoping investor “sharks” will dip into their low-tech product designed to solve the hassle of trying to dip french fries into ketchup while in a car.
The men will pitch their Saucemoto dip clip — a small condiment holder that clips to almost any size air vent — this Sunday on the ABC reality show “Shark Tank.”
They hope to score investment bucks from the panel of well-heeled, often snarky "shark" investors.
The previously recorded episode will air at 10 p.m.
The Saucemoto — as its name suggests — is not just for ketchup users. The dip clip also is designed to hold small containers of sauce for chicken nuggets and other finger foods.
The idea came about 11 years ago, during a road trip when Will Moujaes, 32, of Akron, and his friend Tony Lahood, 34, of Richfield Township, stopped for fast food and “made a mess” with the condiment packets.
“We thought there has to be a better way,” he said, recalling the packets sliding around and making a mess.
In addition to sticky situations, Saucemoto also addresses the issue of “ketchupless fries,” Moujaes said.
He explained people will often skip the ketchup because “there’s no easy way to apply the fry to the ketchup.”
Moujaes, a sales manager for McNeil & NRM, an Akron maker of tire production machinery, and his friend Lahood, a Cleveland business owner, created Saucemoto, along with friend Mike Koury, 33, of Medina. Koury is a product developer at Woodpeckers in Strongsville.
Koury said a video about Saucemoto, produced for a Kickstarter campaign in 2017, went viral and caught the attention of a producer for “Shark Tank.”
The producer reached out and asked the men to send an audition tape.
For the audition, Koury said in a news release, “We just tried to be ourselves, and the humor must have come through on the video."
He said, “We know this is a ridiculous product” while also being “absolutely effective for someone who eats in their car.”
Conan O’Brien, host of "Conan" on TBS, talked about the product in one of his opening monologues in 2017, telling the audience “an Ohio-based company made a cup holder for dip that attaches to a dashboard … I don’t have a joke about this. I just wanted to remind you we’re still the greatest country in the world.”
Moujaes, a 2012 alumnus of University of Akron’s College of Business Administration, and Koury, a 2009 alumnus of the university’s College of Engineering, were roommates at UA and knew they wanted to appear on the “Shark Tank” show some day.
The episode was taped in June at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, Calif.
“It was a dream come true, an amazing experience,” Moujaes said.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or email@example.com.