SolSource is a portable solar-powered stove. No gas or charcoal needed. One of the founders of SolSource (made by One Earth Designs), Dr. Catlin Powers of Burlingame, California, pitched the eco-friendly business on Shark Tank in February 2018. The Harvard grad (PhD in Environment Health) went into the Tank seeking an investment of $500,000 in exchange for 3 percent equity. Yes, that’s a $16.6 million evaluation. During her pitch, billionaire Mark Cuban asked Powers: “Do you think you could put the fear of God in Elon Musk and put them out of business?” (Tesla founder Musk acquired the solar panel company SolarCity for a remarkable $2.6 billion in 2016.) Powers replied, “Yes, I think we have the potential to do that.” On Shark Tank, Powers left with a deal with Cuban — $500,000 for four percent and a board seat.
SolSource hasn’t made any big announcements since the Shark Tank episode aired. But their opportunity may have just gotten larger. Reuters reported in June 2018 that Tesla shutdown a major part of its SolarCity sales network (12 facilities in 9 states) and is cutting ties with Home Depot which reportedly generated about half of its sales.
The day before ABC re-airs the SolSource pitch (Saturday, September 30, 2018, 10pm), Elon Musk agreed to step down as chairman of Telsa and settled with SEC (Telsa and Musk must each pay $20 million) after tweeting about taking Tesla private (at $420 a share). Musk hasn’t tweeted since the SEC filed their lawsuit on Friday, September 28, the day the stock of Tesla plummeted 14 percent. The stock closed at $263.24 Friday. [Related: SolSource: Shark Tank Solar Cooker Team Worked with Clintons, Richard Branson]