The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 26, 2013

Local grad, partners will show product on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’

Kelly Urban

JOHNSTOWN — A Pitt-Johnstown graduate recently took a dip in the shark tank.

Mike Kane, who graduated in 2005 with a degree in marketing/management is CEO and co-founder of the Greensburg-based company cellhelmet, which will be featured in the March 8 episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

The show consists of  panel of five entrepreneurs and business executives called “sharks” who consider offers from other entrepreneurs seeking investments for their business or product.

Those participating try to convince the multimillionaires on the panel to part with their own money to help jump start business ideas. In exchange for the cash investment, participants give up a percentage of their companies’ equity.

Kane and co-founders, Bryan McHenry and Dave Artuso, launched their company a year ago.

They manufacture the only iPhone cases that come with accidental damage coverage.

If the phone should break inside the case, cellhelmet will repair or replace the phone.

“It’s a unique concept that is catching on rather quickly,” said Kane, a Greensburg resident. “We’ve carved out our own little part of the market.”

When you purchase a case you receive one-year protection. They guarantee repairs in three days and there are 50 repair facilities across the country that contract with cellhelmet.

Kane said they were contacted by producers from Shark Tank last year who were interested in having them on the show.

“It’s been a long process for us, and we talked back and forth with them for about five months,” he said.

The cellhelmet team taped their appearance in late September.

Kane can’t comment on how they did until after the segment airs, but said just having the opportunity to show off their brand in front of 7 million TV viewers is priceless.

“Being a small company, I can’t even begin to fathom how we’d go about getting this much exposure,” he said.

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