With eight seasons and almost 200 episodes, the popular American reality TV series Shark Tank has seen a number of interesting products and businesses. The point of the show for the contestants is to convince the judges (the Sharks) to invest in their business ideas to make them profitable. Yet, despite their outstanding experience and know-how, the judges have rejected some ideas that later turned out to be very successful and have earned the rejected contestants millions of dollars. From crazy sweaters from Tipsy Elves to the dating website Coffee Meets Bagel, today’s post will show you 25 Wildly Successful Shark Tank Businesses You’ll Want To Hear About.
Founded by Nick Morton and Evan Mendelsohn, Tipsy Elves is a company that produces creative Christmas sweaters. Robert Herjavec was the only Shark to see the high potential in the idea as he offered the company $100,000 for 10% equity back in December 2013. In 2016, the company’s revenues were estimated at a staggering $8 million.
When Lori Greiner nabbed a deal with Scrub Daddy founder Aaron Krause in 2012, offering him $200,000 for 20% equity, she promised to make Krause a millionaire. She fulfilled that promise; two and a half years later, Scrub Daddy, a smiley-faced sponge that boasts to “clean better and be more hygienic” sold more than 10 million units and made over $50 million in sales.
Breathometer is an innovative breath sensing device created by Charles Yim. The product looked so promising that all five Sharks (Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, and Laurie Greiner) wanted to fund it. They offered a total of a $1 million investment for a 30% stake in the company. Soon after being featured in the show, Breathometer partnered with the prestigious Cleveland Clinic and become a very popular and top-selling product.
Bubba-Q’s Boneless Ribs
Season 5 of the show was in for a treat with the introduction of Bubba-Q’s Boneless Ribs. Founder Al “Bubba” Baker brought his idea to the show and signed a deal with Daymond John, who provided him with $300,000 for a 30% stake. Bubba-Q’s Boneless Ribs then expanded to many retail stores including Costco, Walmart, Sears, and other supermarket chains, making millions in sales annually.
Ten Thirty One Productions
Mark Cuban made the biggest investment of his five seasons on Shark Tank in 2013 when he put down $2 million for a 20% stake in Melissa Carbone’s horror attraction company, Ten Thirty One Productions. The company has been a huge success, having expanded from Los Angeles to other US cities. Cuban even said it was one of his most profitable deals.
Wicked Good Cupcakes
Tracey Noonan and her daughter Danielle Desroches entered Shark Tank in Season 4 with a novel dessert idea of a cupcake in a jar. The duo struck a sweet deal with Kevin O’Leary, who invested $75,000 for royalties instead of equity. During the first year after airing on Shark Tank, Wicked Good Cupcakes made $8 million in sales, which was a 600% increase.
Founded by David Heath and Randy Goldberg, Bombas Socks is a company producing high-performance athletic socks. The only Shark interested in the business was Daymond John, who offered Heath and Goldberg $200,000 for a 17.5% stake. After that, the total sales of the company increased from $450,000 to $12 million in just nine months.
An eyeglass company that makes its frames out of wood and other recycled and sustainable materials, Proof Eyewear is one of the most successful Shark Tank rejects. Two Sharks, Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec, were interested in the idea, but no agreement was achieved and the founders of the company, the Dame brothers, left the show with no deal. Yet, since appearing on Shark Tank, sales of the company have gone up more than three times.
Invented by two female entrepreneurs, Veronica Perlongo and Maria Curcio, Buggy Beds is a unique bed bug detection system. All five sharks wanted to invest their money in the company, splitting a total of $250,000 investment. The products are currently available in many countries all over the world, and the company pulled in an estimated $1.2 million in sales in 2016.
In season 6, Young entrepreneur Lani Lazzari landed a deal with Mark Cuban, who offered her $100,000 for 33% of her company, Simple Sugars. Simple Sugars is line of facial and body scrubs. In its first seven years, Simple Sugars notched a total of just $55,000 in sales. However, within just 24 hours after the episode was aired, it sold four times that amount. Since then, the company has become a popular skincare brand, making millions annually.
Created by Max Gunawan, Lumio is an original sculptural lamp that collapses, accordion style, into what looks like a hardcover book. All Sharks were impressed by the product, and they all made their offers, hoping to become part-owners of the company. However, Gunawan decided to make a deal with just one of them – Robert Herjavec, who offered $350,000 for 10% equity. The response to Lumio was overwhelming – just ten minutes after the show, the company got 3,000 orders.
Travis Perry developed Chord Buddy to teach his daughter how to play the guitar. It was so easy to learn this way that Perry knew he had a new hit product that could teach thousands how to play. All Sharks loved the product and the offers started coming in from all sides. Eventually, Perry made a deal with Herjavec for $175,000 and a 20% stake. Chord Buddy has been a great success, and one of Herjavec’s best investments.
Created by Julie and Brian Whiteman, GrooveBook is a subscription-based application that allows customers to print their smartphone photos and create a photobook. Just 11 months after making a deal with Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary ($150,000 in exchange for 80% licensing profits), the company announced it was acquired by Shutterfly for whooping $14.5 million.
Invented by mother-and-son duo Judy and Bobby Edwards, Squatty Potty is a stool that lifts people’s legs into the squatting position while doing their “business.” It has been scientifically proven that this position is better and more natural for us, and the Sharks seemed impressed by the Edwards’ presentation. The duo made a deal with Lori Greiner ($350,000 for 10%) who helped them make the product a bestseller.
LollaCup is a valve-free straw cup that comes with a special straw designed to suck up every last drop of liquid. The inventors of the product, married couple Mark and Hanna Lim, made a deal with Sharks Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec for $100,000 for 40% of the business. LollaCup later turned out to be the most successful children’s product to ever come out of the show.
A ticketless coat check system, CoatChex was conceived by Derek Pacque, who was only 23 when he appeared on the show. The Sharks saw some potential in the idea, leading to Mark Cuban offering $200,000 for a third of the business. However, Pacque thought his company was worth more and left without a deal. Yet, just being featured in the show was enough for the company to skyrocket their sales and partner with famous brands such as the Color Run and New York Fashion Week.
Rugged Races is an extreme obstacle course event company founded by two law school mates. The duo appeared in the show in April 2014, and they made a huge impression on Mark Cuban. He offered them $1.75 million for one quarter of the company. The investment allowed Rugged Races to expand to 28 cities, double their sales in one year and significantly increase the attendance of the events.
Grace and Lace
Founded by Melissa and Rick Hinnant, Grace and Lace is a company producing creative boot socks. The couple made a deal with Barbara Corcoran, who offered the couple $175,000 for a 10% equity stake. Corcoran also introduced the Hinnants to the editor of Cosmopolitan, who featured them in the February 2014 edition. The company has been a great success since then, having made millions in sales.
Nuts ‘N More
In 2013, three Rhode Island natives, Dennis Iannotti, Peter Ferreira, and Neil Cameron, went on the show with their original, protein-enriched peanut butter known as Nuts ‘N More. The trio made an agreement with Robert Herjavec and Mark Cuban for $250,000 for a 35% equity stake. The company finished the year out at 1 million in sales, and they made five times more in the next year.
Echo Valley Meats
Dave Alawan was the owner of a fresh meat company, Echo Valley Meats, and he came to Shark Tank for $300,000, offering 20% stake in his business. While the sharks loved the product, they criticized Alawan for not having a clear plan, and he eventually left the show without a deal. However, he worked hard, and his business grew significantly so he returned to the show once again, this time managing to secure $125,000 for a 25% stake, which helped him expand the online storefront.
Coffee Meets Bagel
Three sisters, Arum, Dawoon, and Soo Kang, came to show, seeking $500,000 for 5% of their dating website, Coffee Meets Bagel. Impressed by the company’s growth and potential, Mark Cuban offered a jaw-dropping $30 million to the sisters for the entire business. Confident that the website had a potential to become a billion-dollar-revenue project, the sisters declined the offer. The website has soared in popularity since then, making millions in sales annually.
CityKitty is a revolutionary cat toilet training set invented by cat owner Rebecca Rescate. Most Sharks were skeptic about the idea, but Kevin Harrington ended up making a deal with Rescate. His investment ($125,000 for a 10% stake) and advice have helped Rescate to sell millions of dollars worth of CitiKitty units and make it bestseller on Amazon in the Home & Garden Department category.
Invented by Naushad Ali, Drain Strain is a bathroom sink stopper that prevents clogged drains. Robert Herjavec decided to invest $110,000 in the company for a 10% stake, and it later proved to be a very good investment. Drain Strain is one of very few prototypes featured in the show that have made their way to retail and become a top-selling product.
Chef Big Shake
Chef Big Shake and his shrimp burgers is often considered the most successful Shark Tank reject. Even though no shark was willing to offer $200,000 for a 25% stake, the fame brought by the airing of the show led to other investors pouring their money into the business. This allowed sales to increase up to $5 million. In fact, Mark Cuban even stated once that one of his biggest mistakes on the show was passing up on this idea.
Ava the Elephant
One of the first and most successful products to come out of Shark Tank, Ava the Elephant is a medicine dispenser for children created by Tiffany Krumins. Krumins struck a deal with Barbara Corcoran in the pilot episode of Shark Tank in August 2009. Just a few months after being featured in the show, Krumins was diagnosed with cancer, but she continued to work on the project that soon expanded to thousands of retail outlets all over the world.
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