Lifebelt: What Happened After Shark Tank

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If you have been watching Shark Tank since the first season, you might remember Lifebelt. 

It is a company founded by Robert Alliason to stop cars from starting if the seatbelt is not tucked in. This would have stopped accidents from happening and lives from being lost. 

Lifebelt became very famous when the founder came on Shark Tank and asked for $500,000 for 10% stakes, got offered $1 million for his patents but left without making any deals because he thought he could do much better. 

If you remember Lifebelt and wondering what happened to the company after coming on Shark Tank, then this article is for you.

In this article, we will tell you everything about Lifebelt, from its inception, and shark tank pitch to what the company’s present looks like. So read the article completely. 

Who is the founder of Lifebelt?

After losing a buddy in a car crash and finding that more than 1.19 million people die each year in car crashes, Robert Allison from Texas created a device that would stop the engine from starting if the driver is not wearing a seatbelt.

The company was named Lifebelt and launched in 2009. It was made available for sale in the year 2010. 

Lifebelt pitch

Lifebelt was a patented device that anyone could buy for $229 and install in their cars themselves or with the help of a car mechanic. 

Robert wanted every car and truck to have this technology installed to save as many lives as he could save with his product. 

He went on to pitch his product on the first season of ABC Shark Tank in 2009.

Lifebelt Shark Tank pitch

After launchning Lifebelt, Robert went to the first season of Shark Tank which aired in 2009 to pitch his products to the sharks. 

Throughout the pitch, he seemed very confident about his product. His pitch started with a video of his son starting his car without putting on a seatbelt. The engine didnt start unless he put the seatbelt.

Then he went on to tell about the product. He told the sharks that Lifebelt is a patented technology. If installed in cars and trucks, the engine wont start unless the driver and passengers have put on a seatbelt. 

He went on to tell how many people die in car crash each year and how Lifebelt will save thousands of lives specially teenagers who dont put on seatbelts usually. 

When asked about the pricing, he told that the product costs around $229 per piece and any mechanic with car knowledge can install it. 

After Robert was done talking about his product, he asked for $500,000 from sharks for 10% equity in his company. 

Although all the sharks were impressed by Robert’s presentation skill and innovative product, some of them could not agree with the valuation. 

The first one to pass on the pitch was Barbara. She said that she has not seen any product in the market hence she is out. 

After her, Harrington was out because he thought the ask was too high. After Harrington, Daymond John also didnt want to invest in Lifebelt because he was not seeing any value in this unless any major auto company was willing to partner with Robert.

Robert had already told the sharks that one major auto company is willing to integrate his product in his cars but he was unsure because it would take many years to start.

Lifebelt

After three sharks were out of the deal, Kevin O’Leary offered to buy the patent from Allison for $500k. Upon hearing this, Allison kindly refused. 

Lastly, Robert Herjavec offered $1 million for the patent which Robert declined as well

On hearing this, the sharks ask Robert how much does he want for his patent. Robert told them that he does not want much money but want to make his brand, a national brand which is used in millions of cars to save people’s lives. 

If he sells it to sharks, they would just keep it and not make a business out of it. 

Robert and Daymond tell him that although his theory makes no sense but good luck to him for his and his company’s future. 

What happened to LifeBelt after Shark Tank?

After rejecting Robert’s and Kevin’s offer of buying his patent for Lifebelt, Allison moved on to secure a multi-million dollar deal with Gillman Automotive Group, a network of car dealerships in Houston.

Gillman wanted to use the Lifeboat technology in both new and old cars they sold to make sure that everyone uses seatbelts when in a truck or a car. 

However after 2016, there have been no updates from the Gillman or Lifebelt on its usage. There is no information on the Gillman’s website. 

Currently, the Lifebelt official website is down as well and the product is not available for sale anywhere. 

Controversy regarding Lifebelt

When Allison pitched Lifebelt on Shark Tank, it got many appreciations from viewers. 

Shark Tank

However angel investor, David S Rose was very disturbed after seeing that the investors were interested in such a product. He called them insane. 

David says that this technology was already used in cars, however was discontinued after people protested against it.

He goes on to say that the product had no market. And the investors were insane offering $1 million for such a patent. Also he adds that this is the most Robert Allison would ever be offered. 

Final thoughts

Robert Allison started Lifebelt as a means to save life of people who die in car crash because of not wearing seatbelts. 

Lifebelt would not let the engine start if the seatbelt was not buckled in. He wanted to make Lifebelt a very big national brand which would be used in all automobiles as a safety measure. 

He even got a $1 million deal for 100% of his patent on Shark Tank which he refused. 

A few days after Shark Tank, he secured a multi million dollar deal with Gillman automobiles. 

However since 2016, there are no updates about the innovative product. The official webpage is down and the product is not available for sale. 

While Robert could have cased $1 million in 2010, he chose to make his brand bigger but failed. 

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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