Mark Cuban-backed haunted hayride sued over woman’s injuries

By A.J. Bursick, Associate Editor, Money Morning • February 12, 2018

Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban believes he’s found a way to take on Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk.

Last night (Feb. 11), the “Shark Tank” host found promise in a contestant’s innovative solar technology.

‘Shark Tank’ Investors Just Pumped $400K Into an All-Avocado Restaurant

Catlin Powers, a 27-year-old entrepreneur, introduced her a solar-powered grill on “Shark Tank” as a revolutionary product that runs on solar batteries. “It stores energy in organic molecules over multiple days at a time, a lot like plants do,” she said, according to Yahoo Finance this morning. “It’s a natural biomimicry system, and that system will allow us to cook at night and also cook indoors.”

Mark Cuban’s Latest Ambition: Put the \”Fear of God\” into Elon Musk

But it wasn’t convenient food preparation that piqued Cuban’s interest.

The all-avocado restaurant in Brooklyn just got a huge investment on Shark Tank

It was Powers’ solar-powered battery, in which Cuban saw an energy empire.

“Do you think that you can put the fear of God in Elon Musk and put them out of business?” Cuban asked Powers.

Her “I think” is a mighty big hedge, if you ask us. Although Cuban dropped $500,000 on the spot for a 4% stake in the company, we at Money Morning are less convinced that this startup will make a dent in Tesla.

It would be fruitless for Cuban to try to contend with Tesla’s solar storage business, let alone “put them out of business.”

That’s because Elon Musk’s head start in the sector has every other solar battery company out there terminally outdistanced. There’s no catching up.

In fact, Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald has long been bullish on Tesla because of its innovative technology, not its cars.

Just look to Tesla’s 5.5 million-square-foot battery plant, called the Gigafactory, for proof that Musk understands how key battery power innovations are for his firm’s future.

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“The way I see things, investing in Tesla is not just about the company itself but also about the thousands of companies it will wipe out along the way – and the enormous profit potential created as it happens,” Keith added.

He pointed to Amazon.com Inc.’s (Nasdaq: AMZN) rise to power as proof of Tesla’s massively profitable future…

“Amazon rose and companies like Sears and other retailers cratered,” Keith explained. “The same logic applies.”

Indeed, Tesla is leading the way in solar-powered batteries, and it dominates in the U.S. electric vehicle market, too. Tesla is even the country’s largest solar installer, after Musk absorbed his cousins’ business, SolarCity, in November 2016.

“Tesla is at the vanguard of a titanic shift in how we use energy,” Keith said.

In fact, Musk laid out his energy goals for Tesla on a conference call to the media last Wednesday…

“Energy-storage sales will triple [in 2018],” Marketwatch reported Musk as saying. “Revenue growth rate will exceed 2017, when [overall] sales grew by more than 52%.”

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America’s obsession with avocados runs deep, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon. We’re putting the fruit on our toast, in our salads and on every sandwich imaginable. At this point, it wouldn’t be surprising if someone engineered a safe way to inject the green stuff straight into our veins. Our national admiration for avocados led to a shortage in 2016, causing their cost to soar through the roof. 

Last year, New Yorkers’ love for avocados was taken to its logical limit when a new restaurant opened in Brooklyn with one simple mission: Put them on everything. The spot, called Avocaderia, bills itself as the “world’s first avocado bar.” Its menu includes six varieties of avocado toast, four avocado-filled bowls, a trio of avocado smoothies and a handful of other items all revolving around the pit-filled deity.

The restaurant has enjoyed a great deal of buzz since opening in Sunset Park’s Industry City, enough to enable it to open another location at a Chelsea Terminal Warehouse this spring. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. On Sunday night, Avocaderia’s owner Alessandro Biggi appeared on an episode of Shark Tank, the ABC show that aims to make Americans believe that rich people actually care about small businesses. He presented his pitch, allowed the hosts to taste his dishes and walked away with a $400,000 investment in exchange for 20 percent of his company.   

During his presentation, Biggie boasted that his shop did $75,000 in sales over the previous month and is projected to rake in $4.3 million of revenue in 2018. The investment, he says, will allow him to open 20 new restaurants, bringing his all-avocado concepts to the rest of the country. 

So get ready, rest of America—you’re about to get a chance to taste the refreshing, quasi-healthy child of show business and venture capitalism. 

Clayton is a digital editor for Time Out New York. He has an overwhelming love for south-facing windows and bicycles. Follow him on Twitter @ClaytonGuse.



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