|SEASON 6 EPISODE 25|
|Pitch||allows content creators to add information within ebook content|
|Entrepreneur||Sherisse Hawkins and Alex Malesky|
|Asked For||$350,000 for 10%|
What is Beneath the Ink?
Beneath the Ink or BINK for short, (now PageDip) started as a digital text technology company that hyperlinks the text of e-books with rich content.
It doesn’t require the internet and integrates seamlessly with what you are reading. Highlighted texts can provide additional information or provide maps, photos, and even 3D images.
The goal is to make the reading experience more immersive and informative. Authors need to make their books BINK enabled, and using an online portal can embed additional content into their e-book.
Who Owns Beneath the Inkt?
Sherisse Hawkins (CEO) and Alex Milewski co-founded Beneath the Ink, based in Chicago. Sherisse, holder of a BSc in Engineering from the University of Arizona, worked as vice president of a software development company and did a stint at Disney.
Alex was a recent graduate of the University of Colorado at the time with a background in IT. Julia remains in her stated position within the company. Alex left in 2016 and co-founded Block 1750 in Boulder, Colorado. It is a dance school community center for musically inclined young people to hang out and collaborate.
The pair met through work connections and soon envisioned Cipher This to embed word puzzles into e-books.
After taking part in a start-up accelerator, they pivoted the idea to what would become Beneath the Ink. They were able to raise $300,000 after participating in a University New Venture Challenge.
They also received $250,000 from a state grant. But, being a pre-revenue start-up only operating for about two years, they’d only managed to get eight self-publish authors onboard.
Then, in talks with an author who was on the verge of making it big, they realized they needed more capital to develop it further. With sufficient funding, they could attract big-name authors and publishers, enabling the company to grow.
Beneath the Ink Shark Tank Update
Is Beneath the Ink Still in Business?
Beneath the Ink is still in business. They BINKed a book for the lead singer of Blink 182, Tom DeLonge, which led to other authors coming on board, including big-name magazines like National Geographic and universities. The company has since pivoted from 2016 to become PageDip—a subscription content management software platform. After making this shift to enterprise software, the company became profitable.