For all of you entrepreneurs out there who are looking to make your mark on your respective industry, the road to success is usually paved struggle and sacrifice. Most entrepreneurs rely heavily on venture capitalists or angel investors in order to make their product/business/service become a reality. The popular television show Shark Tank has tried to commercialize entrepreneurs looking to fund their businesses. The show is headed by a panel of well-established entrepreneurs who are looking to invest in worthwhile endeavors. The show has been on for almost ten years, but it has only become popular within the last few years or so. Because of its popularity, many entrepreneurs are using the show to fund their projects, and several of them have gone on to achieve great success. Here are a few of the best Shark Tank investment stories.
Cousins Maine Lobster
Shark Tank tends to focus more on entrepreneurs who are selling products, but every now and then the sharks will invest in the foodservice industry. This was the case when cousins Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis came to the show looking for an investment in their food truck business, Cousins Maine Lobster. The two cousins were able to gain some traction before the show and became known for their lobster rolls. Once the cousins dazzled the sharks with their pitch, Barbara Corcoran decided to invest $55,000 in the company for 15% of the company. Since then, the company has boasted revenue as high as $8 million.
When you think of ugly Christmas sweaters, you don't assume it's an industry ripe for maximum profit, but the founders of Tipsy Elves would beg to differ. When Even Mendelsohn and Nick Morton came to Shark Tank, their company Tipsy Elves was bringing in approximately $900,000 in revenue for its line of ugly Christmas sweaters. After their appearance, and the generous investment of $100,000 from Mark Herjavec for 10% of the company, Tipsy Elves has had revenue as high as $12 million in 2013.
This is the grandaddy of them all (pun intended). Scrub Daddy is by far the most successful company to ever appear on Shark Tank. The company's product is almost mind-bogglingly simple: a smiley-faced sponge that is more durable and hygienic than the competition. Since shark Lori Greiner invested $200,000 in the company for 20% equity, Scrub Daddy has gone on to make at least $100 million in revenue. Compare that to the $100,000 it made before Shark Tank, and you can see just how far the company has come.
Shark Tank offers some amazing opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to become the next Warren Buffett or Richard Branson. You should also note that, although several companies and ideas do not get an investment from one of the sharks still go on to become successful due to publicity from the show. Hopefully these stories will inspire you to take your product, idea, or business to the tank.