A graduate of Assumption College and Massachusetts entrepreneur will appear on national television when he makes his pitch in front of a panel of judges on ABC's 'Shark Tank' later this month.
Rob Bouley, the inventor of Switch Witch and long-time owner of White Farms Ice Cream in Ipswich has already filmed his appearance on the show, which airs Oct. 23.
Bouley compared the adrenaline rush of pitching the show's sharks to his two years of playing football at Assumption College, where he graduated from with a degree in marketing.
"Being in that room before you go in is like the biggest football game I have ever played. For an entrepreneur, it is the pinnacle," he said. "This is as real as it gets. That's the part that really shocked me."
Bouley tried to get funding for his Halloween product Switch Witch. His product, which includes a plush doll and book, allows parents to switch out some of their children's Halloween candy for something else like money or a toy. Bouley has partnered with Operation Gratitude where the candy can be dropped off by parents at local dentist offices to be sent in care packages to troops overseas.
The idea came to him on Halloween of 2013 when his children came home with piles of candy and his wife told them the tale of Switch Witch before the couple traded out some of their candy later that night for cash.
The company so far has been mostly self-funded, Bouley said, with the product being located in select stores and numerous sales taking place through Amazon. Being able to go on Shark Tank will help accelerate the product, but for now Bouley is satisfied with slow growth.
"I'm trying to do the old crawl, walk, run. I have been in business for years and years, and I don't mind the slow part. Right now we need to brand this thing, so we are working on getting it branded," he said.
After all, he said, being an entrepreneur isn't all about making money. It is about getting an idea turned into a product and seeing it spread. He regularly receives photos from around the country of happy children with their Switch Witch, he said.
"Entrepreneurs are wired differently. I was even wired differently when I was in college," Bouley said. "It's the enjoyment of seeing things go out."