Vail Valley local Ken Hoeve jumps into ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ |

Vail Valley local Ken Hoeve jumps into ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’

Flated launched in 2021 and makes products out of inflatable drop-stitch material

Have you ever had a good idea and wanted to take it to the next level? Eagle resident Ken Hoeve and his business partners at Flated are attempting to secure investments from the sharks in this week’s episode of “Shark Tank” on ABC.

Flated launched in November of 2021 and makes products out of inflatable drop-stitch material, the same kind used in inflatable stand-up paddle boards, to create versatile and practical products like toppers for trucks that can be added and removed easily and stored when they are not in use. Flated has also created other products like the Air-Carrier, a rooftop cargo carrier; the Air-Deck, a raised platform that you can place in your vehicle for sleeping and still have storage underneath; and the Air-Chalet, an inflatable pet crate that allows you to take your pet with you on all your adventures.

The key is versatility, convenience and ease of storage. Many products flatten to something that is about the size of a backpack and can be stored in a closet or a garage.

Flated specializes in inflatable products like truck toppers and cargo carriers that inflate and deflate easily.
Ken Hoeve/Courtesy photo

Flated attracted the attention of some of the producers of ABC’s “Shark Tank” who had read about the products in a magazine and reached out to the team.  

“The process takes a while,” Hoeve said. “From submitting all the information the producers need, to sending in a video, you also have FaceTime calls and you go through a vetting process, so even though they are showing interest, you never know how long it’s going to take and if you’ll get picked to be on the show,” Hoeve said.

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Hoeve and his business partners at Flated got the call that they had been approved to be on an episode and sprung into action. Flated consists of four founders: Hoeve, Ryan Guay, Monique Keefer and Dan Watts. Hoeve, the chief marketing officer, Guay, the CEO, and Keefer, the CFO, traveled to the “Shark Tank” studio in Culver City, California for the taping in September. They’ve had to remain mum about the experience ever since.

Hoeve said that Flated knows they are not the only truck topper company around, but what they offer is ease and versatility to convert your truck into a camper for the weekend and be able to convert it back to a truck by Monday morning. The Flated Instagram page shows how quickly the products can be blown up with a pump and utilized and then how efficiently they can be broken down and stored in a compact way. Some of the videos show how durable they are, with people standing on top of the inflated products and Hoeve himself even taking a truck topper and floating down the Colorado River on it.

“We worked really hard for a long time to develop this product, to bring it to market, we’re already in business, we’re already doing sales, but this was an amazing opportunity to be on the “Shark Tank” show with these very wise investors and get their take on our company,” Hoeve said.

This Friday, watch the episode of “Shark Tank” on ABC at 7 p.m. to find out if Hoeve and the Flated team got a deal or not, which shark or sharks are backing them, and how much money was invested. Hoeve is hosting a watch party at El Segundo in Eagle Ranch starting at 6 p.m. for those who want to see the episode on TV for the first time and hear more about the story behind this once it has aired. For more information on Flated, go to

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