As if the national exposure wasn’t enough, local entrepreneur Hilary Philgreen walked away from “Steve Harvey’s Funderdome” on ABC with a $100,000 prize.
The show, which aired Sunday, allows inventors to compete for cash to help accelerate their businesses.
Overland Park-based StinkBOSS is a solution for everyday odor, eliminating bacteria using ozone technology. Designed for daily home or gym use, Philgreen said, the product doesn’t just mask smells, but wipes them out at the source.
“StinkBOSS is a 14-inch white box that is an all-in-one dryer, sanitizer and deodorizer,” she said. “You put your shoes in, shut the lid, push a couple buttons and then it eliminates the stink.”
On Sunday’s “Funderdome,” StinkBOSS competed against another smell solution: Grand PooBox, a litter box for cats aiming to clean feline paws after they’ve done their thing.
“It’s a really innovative design,” Philgreen said. “Honestly, I was standing there thinking ‘That’s really cool. I need that.’”
After winning the popular vote on the show, StinkBOSS came out on top, earning the firm $100,000. The prize marks the startup’s first capital raise.
“It was really awesome and very surreal,” Philgreen said. “I was standing there like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve really won!’ It was a lot of fun.”
With thousands already sold, StinkBOSS is now available for sale online on Amazon, and at Bed Bath and Beyond, Wayfair, Title Boxing, Costco and other platforms. After the show aired Sunday evening, Philgreen saw an uptick in sales, she said.
“Sales growth really took off after the show, and our website traffic has been insane,” Philgreen said. “‘Funderdome’ was the perfect show for a product like StinkBOSS. Steve Harvey is really funny and a great supporter of entrepreneurs. … For us, it brings great awareness to the demographic we were trying to reach, which is the active family.
A mother of two, Philgreen founded StinkBOSS about three years ago for a straightforward reason, she said.
“The catalyst for launching this firm really is that I am the mom to two teenage boys who stink. Quite literally,” Philgreen said. “My oldest plays basketball and runs cross-country and track, my youngest plays soccer and also runs cross-country and track. They would get in the car, shut the doors, and it smelled really bad. I said, ‘There has got to be a solution for this.’”
Philgreen plans to use the funds to launch new StinkBOSS products in the coming year, she said.
“We know that the growth potential is really big. The product has done well, but it can do better,” she said. “There will be different sizes of machines and other add-on products to the line that will help address every odor in your daily life.”
The StinkBOSS showcase is the second time this summer that a Kansas City startup has appeared on “Steve Harvey’s Funderdome.” In July, the ABC show featured The Fishing Caddy — a product with built in rod holders, a tackle box, cup holder, live well for fish and turns into a seat.