Shark Tank Featured Company Visits TPHS

Shark Tank Featured Company Visits Tinley Park High School
On October 22, entrepreneurship students at Tinley Park High School were greeted by a very special guest; Sean Riley, creator of Dude Wipes and Dude Products. Riley, who graduated from Carl Sandburg High School in local Orland Park, Ill., developed his product with his childhood friends in their Chicago apartment in 2010. Their product? A flushable wipe specifically marketed for men.

The product would become available in retail stores such as Kroger, Target, Meijer, Ralphs, and Bass Pro Shops nationwide by 2012. Success only continued from there when Riley brought his product to ABC's Shark Tank and landed a $300,000 investment from Mark Cuban for a 25 percent stake in the company in season 7, episode 4.

Riley spoke with students about his overall product concept, how he got started, and how he has continued his business over the years. Students were encouraged to ask Riley questions throughout the presentation.

One student asked, "When did you start seeing a profit from your company?" to which Riley answered, "We saw a profit in the first year."

For many of these high schoolers, entrepreneurship is still a new concept or interest that the student has just started studying or exploring. Riley reminded students that not every product will be a "winner" and that not every product will launch with such great success. The goal, he said, is to always keep going and learn from past failures.
During his presentation, Riley also handed out samples to students, including new items that haven't hit the market yet! Students learned about how Riley's business has expanded from multiple employees to even new lines of products such as body spray, powder, and underwear.

Another student asked, "Why did you choose to specifically market your product to men?" To which Riley explained, "It made sense to take advantage of an open market." Wipes were frequently being marketed to women and the elderly population, but at the time, there wasn't a single wipe product marketed for men – let alone a flushable one.

Students heard about how Riley had his product made, how he initiated sales of his product both online and in retail stores, how he engaged with influencers, and even important procedures such as how he secured loans to continue growing his business.

Entrepreneurship students at Tinley Park High School and across Bremen High School District 228 are encouraged to come up with ideas and products throughout the year. At the end of the year, they present and try to market or sell these items or business concepts to staff members and peers at a trade show fair. Learning and hearing from Riley will undoubtedly help these students as they move forward throughout their course and consider pursuing a career in entrepreneurship.