Shop Talk Blog

July 25, 2014

Raleigh entrepreneur shares his experience at an open casting call for ABC’s “Shark Tank”

Philip Morrow, inventor of a silk necktie company Hocoo, was the second company in line to try out for ABC reality television show “Shark Tank” in Greenvile on Thursday.

RALEIGH Philip Morrow wasn’t going to risk his chance to pitch his multipurpose necktie on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

That’s why the 32-year-old Raleigh entrepreneur and his fiancée Devin Mackey left Raleigh at 6 p.m. Wednesday and headed to Greenville to audition at an open casting call for the ABC reality television show “Shark Tank” on Thursday morning. Two other casting events were held earlier this month in Des Moines, Iowa, and Milwaukee, Wis.

Morrow started his company Hocoo in New York City in 2012, he said, after walking to a job interview in the cold.

After the interview, he went home and started working on a silk necktie that could heat up and help keep his upper body warm. Morrow, who moved to Raleigh about eight months ago, has started taking pre-orders for his ties, which cost $100 for the first purchase, including a battery, and $59.99 for additional ties that work with the battery. Morrow said he plans to start selling the ties online in November.

Morrow’s supplies for his trip to Greenville included his product, chairs, a cooler and a clear shower curtain liner in case it rained.

Here is a time line from his trip:


7 p.m: Morrow and Mackey arrived at event space The Martinsborough in Greenville and unloaded. They were second in line.

“We just sat down and spoke (to other entrepreneurs) all night,” he said.

10 p.m.: At least 50 people had joined the line in Greenville.


5 a.m.: Media arrived and started interviewing people in the growing long line.

10 a.m.: Entrepreneurs are welcomed into a large, plush room with chairs, couches and televisions playing episodes of “Shark Tank.”

10:05 a.m.: Morrow goes to a back room, sets up at a table before one of five members of the casting team and made his one-minute pitch. In his pitch, he explains how the silk-tie, which will be available in 16 different colors and patterns, and its battery can warm up the upper body, hold cash and credit cards or charge a dying cell phone.

“I let her feel the necktie heating up,” Morrow said. “She basically said it was a great way for her to start her day.”

The casting agent told Morrow that if the show producers were interested, they would reach out to him within seven days.

10:08 a.m.: Morrow returned to the large room, talked to other entrepreneurs, watched episodes of “Shark Tank” and played games.

12:00 p.m.: Morrow and Mackey headed back to Raleigh.

1:10 p.m.: Morrow arrived home and went to sleep.

“I just crashed,” he said.

1:11 p.m.: Marrow’s waiting begins.

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