The demand for useful and innovative products is greater than ever. In today’s fast-paced society, we want efficient shortcuts and inventions to make life flow more smoothly. There have been plenty of times when we see a product in the store and think “Why didn’t I think of that myself.” But, thankfully someone else did.
In order to jumpstart young and underdeveloped products, ABC television created Shark Tank. Equipped with a panel of investors with deep pockets, the show offers inexperienced innovators the chance to grow their company. With eight seasons on the small screen, many money-hungry millionaires have appeared on the show. However, there are consistent investors that are always more than willing to expand their empires. Robert Herjavec and Kevin O’Leary are two longstanding Sharks on the show and both have completely different tactics when it comes to securing a deal. Dallas Mavericks’ owner, Mark Cuban, and fashion industry titan, Daymond John, also appear on the hit show. Rounding up the rest of the panel is Lori Greiner, the QVC Queen, and Barbara Corcoran, an American business icon.
When appearing on Shark Tank, eager entrepreneurs get the opportunity to potentially see their dreams come to life if any of the five Sharks agree to invest in their ideas. While not all products are accepted by the Sharks, many are given deals in order to grow under the direction of the business moguls. However, there are many times when Sharks surprisingly agree to invest in a company that doesn’t seem like it will achieve great success. But with the funds and intellectual insight from the Sharks, those products achieve a whirlwind of accomplishments and profits.
Take a look at 15 Shark Tank inventions that have encountered surprisingly successful results.
15. Wicked Good Cupcakes – $5.5 Million in Sales
There aren’t many people who can turn down a cupcake, including the Sharks of Shark Tank. The mother-daughter team and fellow cake enthusiasts, Tracey Noonan and Danielle Desroches, launched Wicked Good Cupcakes in October of 2011. Comprised with a natural baking process and their delicious treats, the duo needed the help of the Sharks in order to keep up with the high demand of orders and develop their new cake idea. To fulfill the request of nationwide shipping, the mother and daughter business partners created the idea of layering cake and frosting in a mason jar that would be consumed with a spoon. Not only did the Sharks love their sweet treats, but they also wanted a piece of this growing company. In the end, it was Kevin who landed the opportunity to profit from Wicked Good Cupcakes. Following their appearance on the show, the cupcake company has experienced great success. Since Wicked Good Cupcakes partnered with Kevin, it has made over $5.5 million in sales. The company has additionally partnered up with Cinnabon for a cinnamon flavor cupcake jar option.
14. The Paint Brush Cover – $2.5 Million in Sales
Painting can be a messy hassle, but the clean-up of wet paint brushes is by far the worst element of the process. After rinsing the excess paint off the brush, the bristles become stiff and difficult to work with on another project once dried. In order to preserve the integrity of the brush, three New Jersey entrepreneurs created The Paint Brush Cover. Following this pitch that encountered several flubs, the trio was able to impress the Sharks right off the bat and offers began to wash over them. However, the bidding war was ceased when the friends decided to accept Lori’s offer of $200,000 for 10% interest of The Paint Brush Cover company. After airing on Shark Tank, the company was able to double the sales from the previous two years. With Lori’s strong ties to QVC, The Paint Brush cover was then able to find a home at Lowes, Walmart, Home Depot, and Bed, Bath & Beyond. The package was additionally changed due in part to Lori’s suggestion of making the packaging stand out when on shelves. Now, in over 14,000 stores, The Paint Brush Cover has reached $2.5 million in sales.
13. Chord Buddy – $1 Million in Sales
For many, learning a musical trade can be extremely difficult and confusing. In order to make teaching his daughter to play the guitar easier, Travis Perry developed the Chord Buddy. At first glance, it would appear to resemble Guitar Hero with the color-coordinated chord buttons, but the product is sure to help anyone accurately strum a guitar. When facing the profit-hungry Sharks, Perry’s Chord Buddy quickly produced multiple offers from all sides. In the end, Perry agreed to Robert’s $175,000 offer for 20% stake of the company. Easily considered one of Shark Tank’s most profitable investments, the Chord Buddy quickly surpassed one million dollars in sales and continues to rapidly grow. Much of their success can be further credited to their official National Spokesperson, John Rich, of the country band “Big and Rich”. Other celebrities such as Willie Robertson, from Duck Dynasty, have also publicly expressed their love for the instrumental teaching tool.
12. Drop Stop – $10 Million in Sales
Living life on the go in today’s society is a common trait for many families and individuals. Whether it’s eating in the car on the way to practice or a meeting, a mess is bound to happen. If it’s not food, then it’s a cellphone or credit card falling in hard to reach places in a vehicle. In order to prevent French fries from falling into the Bermuda Triangle of openings between the seats, Marc Newburger and Jeffrey Simon, invented the Drop Stop. After back and forth offers from a couple of the Sharks, the two friends decide to take Lori’s offer of $300,000 for 20% equity in the business. With Lori’s contacts, the Drop Stop is now sold in major retailers throughout the United States. The availability to customers has thoroughly helped increase sales and the company has now exceeded $10 million and indicates no immediate plans to slow down. Additionally, the Drop Stop is Amazon’s number one selling car accessory.
11. Bubba’s-Q Boneless Ribs – Predicted Profit of $100 Million
After accomplishing a professional football career, the 1978 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, Al “Bubba” Baker, was able to secure a deal during Shark Tank’s fifth season. Baker and his daughter, Brittani, pitched to expand their young business, Bubba’s-Q Boneless Ribs, in order to stay afloat. His company essentially delivers deboned baby back ribs that can easily be prepared in the comfort of one’s home with the microwave. After agreeing to a $300,000 deal with 30% stake of the company with Daymond, the former football star was finally able to see an increase in his sales. Despite Daymond building his career in the fashion industry, the Bubba’s-Q Boneless Ribs deal made in 2013 is his most profitable investment. Baker’s partnership with his Shark allowed him to make an impressive agreement with Rastelli Foods and appear on QVC. The Bubba’s-Q Boneless Ribs are sold at multiple supermarket chains all over the United States, including Costco and Walmart. With the company’s increasing sales, Baker and Daymond predict that the ribs will pass a $100 million profit in just a few short years.
10. GrooveBook – Company Sold for $14.5 Million
Due to the fact that cell phones are essentially attached to our hands during our every waking moment, they are the devices most commonly used to capture memories (nowadays, at least). While the pictures can then be saved on computers for digital use, the desire for physical copies still remains. During the fifth season of Shark Tank, the husband and wife duo presented their photobook company, GrooveBook, to the sharks. The app essentially allows users to create photo books of up to 100 pictures from the phone’s library that are then printed monthly for a cost of $2.99 for a subscription fee. Their pitch to the investors not only equated into a joint deal with Mark Cuban and Kevin, but it eventually transpired into the biggest deal in Shark Tank history. Following their appearance on the show, the company saw their sales triple in just under a week. The success then prompted Shutterfly to acquire GrooveBook for $14.5 million! This buyout occurred just over year after appearing on the show.
9. Tipsy Elves – Sales Unknown
Ugly Christmas sweaters have transformed into a popular trend during holiday celebrations. Prior to the 2013 episode of Shark Tank, ugly sweaters barely made an appearance at parties. But when Evan Mendelson and Nick Morton appeared on the show and introduced their Tipsy Elves line, the presence of the tacky sweaters sky-rocketed. The Tipsy Elves products offer a fun twist on generic Christmas sweaters that are commonly found at thrift stores. After a decent run with online sales, the two friends sought out help from the Sharks to increase their revenue. They agreed to a fair offer from Robert and now three years later, the Tipsy Elves line is exploding in sales. While Robert claims it’s one of the best deals he has ever made on the show, the products now cover several different holidays. In 2015, the Tipsy Elves sweaters made an impressive appearance on the Christmas comedy, The Night Before. In the film, Seth Rogen and his two co-stars wear the ugly holiday sweaters that were custom-made for the feature. Since making their big screen debut, Tipsy Elves has seen a correlating increase of sales.
8. 180Cup – $5 Million in Sales
Placing a new spin on the infamous Red Solo cup as a party favorite, Soloman Fallas, invented the 180Cup that encompasses more drinking versatility than the original cup. Seeking a $300,000 investment from the panel of Sharks, Fallas introduced the added convenience of a built-in shot glass when the cup is flipped upside down. Maintaining the FDA’s regulated amount of alcohol, the Red Solo Cup can now act as both a cup and shot glass. Previously sold in small shops around college campuses, his deal with Daymond allowed his company to experience tremendous growth. The 180Cup not only has a new professional website, but a College Ambassador Program. With the program, anyone in a college town can become an ambassador in exchange for providing 180Cup with necessary insight about local college bookstores and liquor stores in the area. In return, the company is able to target the appropriate marketing strategy for that campus. Since its appearance on Shark Tank, 180Cup has expanded its line with disposable flasks, a glass 180Cup, and a beer pong set. The launch of new products in due in part to the increase number of stores selling the enhanced party cup and steady sale profits.
7. AVA The Elephant – Sales Undisclosed
Getting young children to take liquid medication while sick is no easy task. Their fussy demeanor mixed with the bland taste of their dosage is not a recipe for success. Tiffany Krumins pitched her product on the pilot episode of Shark Tank in hopes that the investors would recognize the need for disguising generic medicine droppers. While initially named Emma the Elephant, the name was changed to AVA the Elephant following the deal made with Barbara for $50,000 for 55% of the company. As one of Shark Tank’s first accomplishing products, AVA the Elephant is now sold in over 10,000 retail stores such as Walgreens and CVS. In 2013, sale profits reached over one million dollars. While Krumins failed to disclose sales from 2015 due to being in the middle of negotiating a licensing agreement, the company continued to create additional characters. In addition to increasing her sales, the AVA the Elephant line is set to release four new health-related products that will be available in the next year.
6. Breathometer – $20 Million in Projected Sales
Set up to prevent the dangerous act of driving while under the influence, Charles Yim created Breathmometer in 2012. The portable breath analysis program can easily be plugged into the audio-jack outlet of an iPhone in order to test one’s blood-alcohol-content level before getting behind the wheel. Due in part to his potential life-changing product, all Sharks on the panel wanted to invest in Breathometer and in the end, that’s exactly what happened. The million-dollar investment of the company for 30% stake in Breathometer, was equally divided amongst the Sharks. Following Yim’s appearance on Shark Tank, the portable breathalyzer can be purchased at several retailers for $39.99. At the end of 2015, the company was projected to reach $20 million in sales, which is double from the previous year. The Breathometer is accurately compatible with several phone devices including, Android, BlackBerry and iOS. Following his Shark Tank deal, Yim managed to secure a partnership with the Cleveland Clinic to develop several other health devices in exchange for $6.5 million in funding. Since its success with alcohol related use, the company is developing a new product that is referred to as ‘Mint’. The product will apparently be a newly developed diabetic testing device.
5. Ride On, Carry On – $500,000 in Sales
For anyone who’ve traveled with children, they understand the need for this product. While waiting in long security lines and walking great distances to reach the intended gates, children can become tired quite quickly. Which is why Randy and Darryl Lenz invented the Ride On, Carry On attachment for wheeled luggage. Prior to their season two appearance on Shark Tank, the Lenz’s company had been up and running for 14 years, but only managed to sell 20,000 attachments during that time. With no inventory to sell, the couple sought help from the Sharks in order to distribute an unfulfilled 2,000-unit order. Their deal with Barbara was enough to complete their backed-up orders, as well as sell an additional half million-dollar worth of Ride On carry, On luggage attachments. Today, the product can be distributed all over the world and is widely popular on the online retailer, Amazon.
4. Cousins Maine Lobster – Company Worth $20 Million
Cousins Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis have been long-time lobster enthusiasts thanks in part to growing up along the shore of Maine. When Lomac moved out to Southern California, he found himself longing to crack open a bright red lobster. However, lobster was only commonly served at pricey California restaurants, rather than being easily accessible like in Maine. Together, the two decided to bring their love for lobster just outside of Los Angeles. After pulling together $20,000 for a food truck and relying on social media for advertisement, they were finally offered the opportunity to appear on Shark Tank just shortly after opening. Their appearance on the show transformed their business over night. After agreeing to a $55,000 investment offer for 15% of their business with Barbara, their Cousins Maine Lobster food truck became a $20 million company. The cousins appeared on several national talk shows and now have 20 trucks in 13 locations all over the United States serving up delicious lobster meat on a split-top roll.
3. Scrub Daddy – $50 Million in Sales
In 2012, Aaron Krause appeared on Shark Tank, in hopes of convincing the billionaire panel that his product, Scrub Daddy, was a product that made cleaning easier. With one glance at the circular scrubbing tool with a cut-out smiley face in the middle, the Sharks were extremely doubtful with Krause’s cleaning device. But when he explained that the sponge changed textured depending on the temperature of water it was immersed in, they become more interested in how it removed stubborn stains. Furthermore, the eyes and mouth cut-outs are fully functional to pristinely clean utensils in rapid speed. After an impressive round of offers and counter-offers, Krause accepted Lori’s offer of $150,000 for a 20% stake in the Scrub Daddy company. Today, the cleaning product has sold over 10 million units with a whopping $50 million in sales. Those numbers continue to increase as Scrub Daddy can be purchased in multiple retailers such as: Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, ShopRite and Ace Hardware. Not bad for a small, yet mighty sponge with a smiley face.
2. Squatty Potty – Sales Unknown
At first glance, you probably wouldn’t take this product very seriously. However, the sharks were chomping at the bit to invest. During the sixth season of Shark Tank, Bobby Edwards and his mother Judy Edwards, introduced their product, the Squatty Potty. Essentially, the potty is a stool that rests under the toilet that lifts the feet and knees of a person as they go to the bathroom. Sitting in such a position, allows the ‘puborectalis’ muscle not to strain, which in turn eliminates issues such as bloating and hemorrhoids. Despite attaining a successful online profit and receiving two thumbs up from Dr. Oz while appearing on his show, the mother and son duo wanted to get the Squatty Potty in to retail stores. While the sharks had quite the time making bathroom jokes throughout the pitch, Lori’s offer for $350,000 for 10% of the company and her connections with QVC, won over the Edwards. Today, the Squatty Potty is sold in more than 11,000 Bed, Bath & Beyond stores. With Lori’s help, the bathroom remedy has launched additional products that have increased the value and sales of the company.
1. The Spatty – Sales Unknown
There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to get the last remains of makeup out of the bottle or peanut butter from a jar. Not only is it wasteful, but it’s inconvenient. These issues were reason enough for Cheryl Rigdon to invent The Spatty. In October of 2012, Rigdon and several of her Spatty prototypes faced the panel of investors in hopes of securing a life-changing deal. However, Rigdon was unsuccessful in landing a deal with the Sharks, but Daymond did offer to reach out to several of his beauty industry contacts. Despite being rejected, Rigdon continued to promote and better her products. The contacts that Daymond promised her allowed Rigdon to increase her Spatty product line by broadening her retail opportunities and receive assistance with licensing deals. Today, the Spatty is a key component of the multi-billion-dollar beauty business and can be found in multiple stores across America and Canada. Rigdon and the Spatty accomplishments are extremely impressive due to the fact that she was unable to land an official deal with any of the Sharks.
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