Evine Live Inc. is about to have its “Shark Tank” moment.
The multiplatform video commerce firm is set to unveil a show called “Inventor Showdown” in early March. Hosting the show will be inventor Akos Jankura, better known as “Akos the Solutionist.” The purpose of the show is to give viewers a chance to see — and buy — some of the unique inventions on the market.
Jankura was introduced to the Evine audience in July when he unveiled for sale his collection of innovative products. At the time, Jankura said, “All of my products are designed with a real-life problem in mind.” Jankura had a similar show in 2015 at competing site HSN, which was acquired by QVC in 2017.
Jankura also has a nationally syndicated radio show called “My Cool Inventions,” which gives inventors the chance to pitch their products and get audience feedback.
For “Inventor Showdown,” Evine said four inventors would be pitted against each other on the hourlong shows. The shows are structured to give each inventor the opportunity to tell the story behind their creations. The plan is to have five weekly shows, although not necessarily over five consecutive weeks. Jankura will work with Evine’s merchandising team to select the inventor participants, while viewers pick the winner of each show based on item sales and performance. The products can be ordered during the show on-air, as well as online and on mobile devices. The winner continues on to the next show, with the final winner in show five determined by customer demand for the inventor’s product. The series champion has the chance to return to Evine and be a part of future shows.
As for criteria to determine which inventor gets to participate in the shows, Evine said its merchandising team and Jankura would review products based on “sales history and demonstrability. Items will be chosen that we feel will offer Evine customers something new and unique, as well as items that will have strong future potential in terms of sales. Also important [are] the inventor[s and] their ability to tell their story and engage our viewers.”
Evine has expanded its assortment options to grow its marketplace. Additions include apparel lines from Paula Deen and Vanessa Williams. In September, the company added its newest show, “Evine After Dark.” The show is broadcast at 1 a.m. ET, featuring mental and relational health expert Jen Elmquist. While the initial show offered lingerie, candles and lubricants, it has since added personal massagers to its product mix. The show is in its second season.