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Newington couple become instant millionaires on ‘Shark Tank’

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A couple from Newington took their invention to the hit ABC show Shark Tank Sunday night, and walked out of the tank millionaires.

Alyssa and Zach Brown went into the Shark Tank to demonstrate their invention, the Moki Door Step. The device is a simple and clever way for shorter people to be able to reach the top of vehicles.

To illustrate the product, Alyssa, who stands an even 5-feet tall, attached the device to the vehicle’s striker. This allowed her to easily stand up to reach a kayak that was tied to the roof of an SUV.

“The Moki doorstep is a vehicle rooftop assistance device,” the couple told the sharks on the show. “This gives you that quick and easy step up to the top of your car. Moki doorstep is here to give you the boost you need. “

The idea for the product came from Zach’s work as a firefighter. During car crashes, firefighters would use the Jaws of Life to pry open metal doors. Zach learned that the striker, the small metal latch on the inside of a car door, could withstand up to 2,200 pounds of pressure. The Moki Doorstep hooks onto the striker, and can easily support the weight of a person so they can reach the top of a vehicle.

The Browns initially went into the Shark Tank looking for $150,000 in exchange for a 5-percent stake in their invention. Shark Daymond John was interested, and offered $450,000 for 20-percent, but Alyssa said the couple was unwilling to give up that much equity.

“For that amount of equity, I think we would be better just selling it outright,” Zach said, explaining  they had a baby on the way. “I came here with a $3 million valuation, so I would probably stick around that.”

Upon hearing Zach say that, John quickly came back with a buyout offer at $3 million for the entire company. Alyssa and Zach accepted the offer and as for that baby who was on the way? Cole Brown was born last Friday — 2 days before the Shark Tank episode aired on Sunday night. So, to say it’s been a whirlwind last few days for the couple would be an understatement. They actually flew out to Hollywood in June to tape the episode. The show made them sign confidentiality agreements to not tell anyone how well they did.

It was a hard secret to keep.

“It’s difficult at first because we were very excited and wanted to tell everybody,” Alyssa said.

Excitement was just one of the emotions they felt while pleading their case to the sharks.

“Your heart starts racing and it’s very intimidating,” Zach said.

“I think once we got passed the first few minutes into it we got a little more comfortable in talking, the heart rate slowed down a little bit,” Alyssa said.

They both say since the word has gotten out and the show has aired, their social media pages have blown up and people in town have extended their congratulations. Despite all of the newfound fame and fortune, Alyssa says this won’t change them. Zach will continue working as a firefighter and she will continue working towards becoming a nurse. Alyssa does admit the money will make paying for Cole’s future a lot easier and it’ll also help with some important items for his station in life right now.

“It’ll buy a lot of diapers,” she said. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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