Joe Pippins from Kansas pitched his product, the Fishing Caddy, on Steve Harvey’s Funderdome. On the show, entrepreneurs pitch in a head-to-head competition for the chance to win up to $100,000 in funding. The pitch that gets the most audience votes wins the money. Before the winner is announced, both competitors get the chance to “cash out” for a lower sum of money.
Brandon Andrews of Values Partnerships sat down with Pippins after the show.
(Steve Harvey and Fishing Caddy CEO Joe Pippins. Image: ABC/Lisa Rose)
Brandon Andrews: Tell us The Fishing Caddy story. Also, what’s the best catch you’ve ever made?
Joe Pippins: I took up fishing much like a lot of famous fishermen, including Tiger Woods, Oprah, and even President Obama. There are over 46 million fishermen in the United States, and 26% of them fish as a way to reduce stress and spend time in nature. However, I quickly noticed that the process to begin fishing was such a hassle and had a lot of unnecessary repetitive steps.
My rods were too far away. When I used metal rod holders I would run down only to find my bait and fish gone. I had to carry my tackle box to store my tackle, a bucket to sit on, a stringer to hold my catch, and flashlights for visibility at night. It felt like I had a mountain of gear with each item only serving one purpose. You have only two hands so I would often have to make several trips. The worst part is we fishermen fish to bond and make memories with family and friends. That’s hard to do when you’re stressed out fighting your gear on every trip.
I would get excited about going fishing but then sometimes wouldn’t due to me being short on time. I realized that half my time allotted for fishing [was spent] just messing with my gear. Then the light bulb went off. What if I combined all the necessary items I need to fish into one product: A place to sit; a place to hold your tackle; a place to hold your rods securely; ways to notice your bites 200% quicker; [and] a place to keep your fish when you take them home to prepare them for a meal.