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Newton resident pitches germ-reducing product on TV’s ‘Shark Tank’
Shark Tank 1
From left are Michael Green and Newton County resident Bob Mackey, inventor of the Yono Clip. — Special | Bob Mackey

The episode is scheduled to air Friday, Feb. 5, from 8 to 9 p.m. on WSB-TV Channel 2, according to the station’s online TV listings. For more information, visit

COVINGTON, Ga. — A Newton County resident and his business partner believe they have a good idea for a product to keep items relatively secure and germ-free in public places.

Now, the world will see if the “sharks” on ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank” are willing to take them to the next level of production.

Bob Mackey and his partner, Decatur resident Michael Green, will pitch their product called the Yono Clip to the group of famed investors Friday, Feb. 5.

Taping of Friday’s episode was done in September — meaning they went from a rough idea for a product to taping “Shark Tank” with a working clip in about seven months.

Mackey, who is CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia, said he cannot disclose what action the “sharks” took before Friday’s episode airs but he has told some of his club’s members that “all your goals are in reach” with the right amount of effort.

Green said he hoped their experience would prove to be an example for others, as well.

“You can have the greatest idea but if you don’t take action it will just stay an idea,” he said.

The Yono Clip is a product designed with a flat suction device on one side and a foldable clip on the other to allow the user to hang items up to 15 pounds — allowing a small purse or bag to be hung from a table rather than on the ground.

“Shark Tank” features a panel of millionaires who hear pitches from entrepreneurs seeking investors for their products. The panelists often pick apart the presentations with criticisms intended to find the weaknesses in the contestants’ production and marketing plans.

Mackey and Green said they applied for the show to gain an investor to allow them to go from producing a few Yono Clips on a 3-D printer to mass production with more advanced injection molding equipment.

A Jackson County native, Mackey has worked with the organization for almost a decade and a half and has served as its CEO since mid-2017.

He said he got the idea for the Yono Clip while working out at a Covington gym. Though lockers were available, Mackey said he was routinely tripping over gym bags others had placed on the floor because other gym users did not want the bags located where they could not see them.

He said he drew the rough design of the product on a napkin and eventually asked friends on social media if they were in position financially to work with him on producing what would become the Yono Clip. Only Green answered the call, Mackey said.

Green, meanwhile, is the president of Science for Everyone, which offers science-based presentations for a wide range of groups including schools and youth organizations.

He said he answered the call to Mackey in late February 2020 — a few weeks before many parts of Metro Atlanta and the rest of the U.S. began shutting down as a safety precaution against the coronavirus.

“My income literally went to zero,” Green said. “It gave me more time to focus on Yono.”

The shutdown allowed the duo to work on refining the product’s design and ultimate production. Green and Mackey bought two 3-D printers and went to work on a prototype.

After some months of testing and design, they used the 3-D printers to begin slowly producing small batches of their product.

They then appealed to the public with a Kickstarter campaign and raised almost $8,000 in 24 hours, Mackey said.

Then, after contacting producers in an effort to appear on “Shark Tank,” the duo was chosen to be among the few to travel to Las Vegas to pitch their product on the show out of about 40,000 applicants annually, according to information from the show’s producers.

Mackey said the pandemic “brought to the forefront” how people need to protect themselves and be cognizant of the numerous surfaces where germs may live.

He said he and Green are not claiming their product will keep items germ-free, but less likely to pick them up from some of the most germ-filled surfaces on the floors of places like gyms or restaurants.

The episode is scheduled from 8 to 9 p.m. on WSB-TV Channel 2, according to the station’s online TV listings.

Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran and Daymond John were set to be the “sharks” on this episode.

Mackey and Green will appear on the same episode with Florida siblings promoting what they believe is a way to prevent drink “spiking”; a Brooklyn woman with “guilt-free” vegan treats; and a Colorado entrepreneur with an eco-friendly skiing product, according to the show’s producers.