Technology

‘Just the beginning’: HoopMaps creators to keep shooting despite brick on ‘Shark Tank’

Sacramento State graduates Donte Morris, left, and Dominic Morris created the HoopMaps app so pickup basketball players could find people who are playing. They presented their idea on ABC’s “Shark Tank” but none of the investors wanted in.
Sacramento State graduates Donte Morris, left, and Dominic Morris created the HoopMaps app so pickup basketball players could find people who are playing. They presented their idea on ABC’s “Shark Tank” but none of the investors wanted in. www.hoopmaps.com

Donte and Dominic Morris won’t be swimming in money from “Shark Tank” investors.

The twin brothers pitched their HoopMaps idea on the popular ABC reality show Sunday, but their idea was not purchased. Instead, they’ve taken their quest to Kickstarter.

HoopMaps allows users to find pickup basketball games anywhere at any time. It also lets players set up games and alert nearby users.

On the TV show, they were seeking $100,000 from the “sharks” for a 5 percent stake in their business. Instead, the panelists – including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban – all said they’re out. The sharks gave the brothers some advice: When making their next business pitch, tell investors how they can profit.

So why did the Sacramento State business school graduates create the app? Their website tells the story.

“Two brothers wanted to find a pickup game one day. They drove around the city just to find empty courts. They thought there should be an app that helps you find pickup games. An idea was born. HoopMaps.”

The “Shark Tank” reality series, started in 2009, features aspiring entrepreneurs who make business pitches to a panel of five celebrity “shark” investors. Typically, the prospective investors offer competing bids to help develop the entrepreneurs’ company. That can involve the investors getting a percentage of the business. The entrepreneurs must decide on the best offer, if they receive any.

The Bee’s Mark Glover contributed to this report.

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