Two Denver high school students take their invention to Shark Tank this week.
—Image courtesy of ABC Television Group
As any parent knows, a summertime trip to the ice cream shop with kids in tow can turn messy fast. A new Denver-based product might just be the solution for moms and dads who are sick of cleaning melted treats from their kids’ clothing, car seats, and who-knows-how-that-got-there spots. Two Kent Denver High School freshmen—Oliver Greenwald and Sam Nassif—invented the Drip Drop, a ring made from edible waffle cone ingredients that fits around an ice cream cone. When the frozen treat melts, the Drip Drop  catches the fast-disappearing dessert before it coats your kid’s hands.
The pair beat out 50,000 applicants to present the Drip Drop to the investors on Shark Tank during the April 22 episode. They hope to score a partner who can help them license the Drip Drop to the largest ice cream cone companies. Yes, it’s impressive for the tennis teammates (and state champs) to be striking into the entrepreneurial world so young, but even more so that they got initial patent funding when they were just 10 years old.
The first inklings of the Drip Drop came to Greenwald and Nassif at an ice cream shop shortly after they were introduced to the Gates Invention and Innovation Competition . The competition challenged the then-pre-teens to create a product that would help solve a problem. They looked down to see a little girl holding an ice cream cone frustrated that her treat was quickly disappearing into a sticky mess on her fingers. They found their problem.
After working with 3D printer models, the pals since preschool sought out a local silicon mold manufacturer who made the template for the cone accessory. It took mixing at least 100 different ingredient combinations to test in a toaster oven before they found the perfect Earth-friendly and tasty mess-stopper. The Drip Drop finished runner-up in the Gates Invention and Innovation Competition and were the program’s youngest ever competitors to receive funding for a design patent that was finalized this past summer.
The self-described “serial entrepreneurs” couldn’t divulge their Shark Tank fate before the show airs, but they both agreed it was an equally nerve-wracking and exciting experience. The episode airs on Friday, April 22 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Update, 4/26/16: Oliver Greenwald and Sam Nassif accepted a Shark Tank offer from Barbara Corcoran, a New York real estate mogul, of $50,000 for a 33 percent stake in the Drip Drop. The duo is in talks with Corcoran and her team to continue improving their business and solidify the investment.