It has all the makings of riveting television: Moshe Weiss, an irrepressible St. Paul rabbi turned iPad-accessory inventor, going up against Mark Cuban and other cutthroat panelists during a recent recording of the business-themed reality show, “Shark Tank.”
What on Earth went down?
Weiss, inventor of an iPad audio amplifier called the Sound Bender, wouldn’t say. He is supposed to remain mum until after the episode airs on Feb. 1.
But Weiss, described as “a charming rabbi” in ABC Television Network promo materials, said appearing on “Shark Tank” is a thrill.
“It is a tremendous blessing to have this opportunity,” he said. “I have always been a big fan of the show. It is the best reality show on television.”
Episodes of “Shark Tank” feature an assortment of entrepreneurs seeking investment for their businesses or products. The panelists, consisting of business executives and successful entrepreneurs, are in a position to provide such a cash infusion — provided they like what they hear.
Often they don’t.
Weiss’ “Shark Tank” appearance isn’t a make-or-break for him. He got his business off the ground last year in part with two successful Kickstarter crowd-funding campaigns (after a failed one in late 2011).
His Sound Bender accessory consists of a cupped clip-on piece that fits over one of the iPad’s speakers to augment its somewhat anemic audio.
Weiss, a sort of Steve Jobs with a beard and yarmulke, has been relentless in marketing his product during challenging economic times.
He said he is making headway. The Sound Bender is now being sold in 350 Walgreens around the country with, he predicted, more to come. The $9 product also is available on Amazon.com and eBay.
He said he has sold about 18,000 Sound Benders so far.
Weiss notes that his episode will air on a Friday. That’s when he observes the Sabbath, and therefore won’t be able to watch the show live.
“The rest of America will (see it) before I do,” Weiss said. “That is the perfect ending to this story.”