I am an unabashed fan of Shark Tank, now in their 13th season. The show inspires future inventors and entrepreneurs who work hard, with passion, grit, and perseverance, to take their dreams to the marketplace and make them a fortune. We picked the best Shark Tank products we use and discuss what the show teaches us.
Suppose an entrepreneur is fortunate enough to get on Shark Tank. In that case, they have the potential to raise capital, boost their credibility, gain expertise, and a partner (or partners) to lift off their product, its brand, and business to astronomical heights.
Giving a two-minute pitch to the well-known Sharks is not for the faint-hearted. Despite years of getting to this particular moment, the chosen ones have only a short time to impress the Sharks.
Let’s face it. Those who get the opportunity to come onto the show will face a tough crowd with stellar careers, notably Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, and Kevin O’Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful. Each is quite wealthy and has monumental successes behind them, but most came from humble backgrounds. This group challenges the entrepreneurs with vigor, but their empathy sometimes shines.
Just don’t cry in front of Barbara Corcoran if you are a woman.
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8 Benefits of Shark Tank And What It Teaches
1. Watching the show is entertaining and educational. Participants showcase their innovation and savviness in building products and a business. They seek partners who share their vision. Those picked to pitch to the Sharks range from young kids encouraged by supportive parents to seniors who share their life’s dreams.
2. I encourage my students in marketing to watch and learn techniques in presenting a short elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a brief description of a product that can explain its virtues in a short period of time
3. My students share their observations of specific products, how will it work in the marketplace, and for what market segment and demographics. Besides teaching, I often serve as a faculty advisor to students competing for grant money at entrepreneurship challenges in our college and graduate school.
4. Our students share what products we use from past shows. They discuss the products’ longevity in the marketplace. ScrubDaddy seems to be among the most widely used product in our homes. The prices on many of the Shark Tank products are at affordable levels that please the most frugal among us.
5. The participants work hard to give their two-minute pitches and props to highlight the product in the best manner and capture the interest and attention of the Sharks without getting eye-rolls or yawns. A lot is riding on this short communication which can make or break their potential deal. Answers to follow-up questions are critical, but many veer off the path.
6. Valuation matters to those who may want to participate as a partner. This is a key lesson to any investor. The Sharks may have deep pockets, but they are not fools. When participants make outlandish offers of giving a 5% stake in return for $500,000 (for a $10 million valuation), they had better have existing sales to back such an offer or face an aggressive tank of sharks likely to chip away.
7. Shark Tank inspires all kinds of investors and entrepreneurs to carry their dreams and products to fruition. Making pitches to the likes of Mark Cuban and succeeding in getting a partner means an opportunity to build businesses and provide generational wealth for their families.
8. Many of Shark Tank’s best products have social relevance for issues like health, safety, can reduce fraud, can teach skills, entertainment, or a better mousetrap. Recent products have essential purposes we care significantly about since the COVID pandemic, like eliminating 99% of bacteria.
Donations by business owners are increasing, such as giving a percentage of their sales to the homeless. This trend has inspired more sharks to ask for this as part of their offer.
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We Use Many of The Best Shark Tank Products
My daughter, Alex, has been watching the series for years with me, criticizing some of the sharks and praising others for endorsing their products and offers she feels fair. She and I talk about specific products she may favor. We enjoy reading how each of them is doing now.
Our family uses many products from various Shark Tank seasons and has become our favorites, each with its own success stories. The Sharks haven’t gotten everything right as they missed two colossal success stories by not making offers. They are the Ring Video Doorbell in 2013 acquired by Amazon in 2018 for a $1 billion price tag, and the Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook in 2017, bought by BIC in 2020.
Best Shark Tank products from our perspective:
Aaron Krause, ScrubDaddy’s inventor, is our family’s hero in the kitchen. In season four, he pitched this product in 2012, looking for $100,000 for a 10% interest in his business. By the time he was on Shark Tank, his patented and proprietary scrubbing pad had over $100,000 in sales and went into 3,000 retail outlets.
A bidding war among the sharks ensued, and Lori Grenier paid $200,000 for a 20% interest for the smiley face ScrubDaddy. Sales are still booming and among the most successful products on Shark Tank.
2. Bombas Socks
Who knew socks could be such an exciting product, but Bombas Socks has shaken up this market with its brightly colored athletic socks. Randy Goldberg and David Heath founded Bombas (Latin for “bee”) after hearing a Salvation Army Major say, “socks are the most desired piece of apparel in homeless shelters.” The founders have taken that to heart, and have donated one pair of socks to the homeless for each pair of socks sold.
The very comfortable stocks feature a honeycomb support system and “stay up” technology. In its sixth season, Goldberg and Heath presented on Shark Tank, asking for $200,000 for 5%, a $4 million valuation compared to an expected sales of $1.2 million for the year. Daymond John countered with final terms of $200,000 for a 17.5% stake. Bombas is considered a GOAT (Greatest of All-Time) for Shark Tank Bombas, with over $170 million in annual revenues.
3. Simply Fit Board
I have some balancing issues, have been on several boards as part of physical therapy, so this product piqued my interest. At first glance, the plastic board comes in multiple colors. The concave curve you stand on looks unstable, but it is comfortable with a twisting motion.
Linda Clark and Gloria Hoffman are the mother-daughter team that pitched Simply Fit Board, the fitness product in season seven in 2015, looking for $125,000 for 15% of their business. Lori Greiner gets the deal paying $125,000 for an 18% stake. The product has had a very successful launch with over $1 million in sales.
4. Sand Cloud Turkish Beach Towel
The three co-founders of Sand Cloud, Bruno Aschidamini, Brandon Liebel, and Steven Ford, went on Shark Tank on season eight in 2017, asking for $200,000 for 8%, and accepted a 200,000 offer from Robert Herjavec for 15%. They had $2.4 million in sales for 2016.
Sand Cloud is a charitable lifestyle company known for its colorful handmade Turkish beach towels sold online. They have donated nearly $1 million to marine-related non-profit organizations on over $7 million in sales.
5. Bala Bangles
The stylish wrist and ankle weights look more like bangle bracelets than for their primary use for low-impact exercise equipment. The founders of the wearable weights Bala Bangles, Natalie Holloway, and Max Kislevitz sought $400,000 for a 10% stake in the business and had strong interest from all the Sharks. Mark Cuban and tennis star Maria Sharapova joined together for an accepted offer of $900,000 and 30%.
They are sold in different colors and weights. The two pounds on your ankles are quite heavy, and one pound was enough to help me regain some strength in my legs.
6. Squatty Potty The Original Bathroom Stool
I debated whether to include this product, but we have more of these than ScrubDaddy in our home, so what the heck! The Squatty Potty is a contoured step stool that elevates your feet while using the toilet and it does its job relieving constipation.
Bobby Edwards and Judy Edwards were seeking $350,000 for a 5% interest in their business. They accepted Lori Greiner’s offer for a 10% interest.
Squatty Potty comes in plastic and bamboo and various colors. Sales have soared since being on Shark Tank, with sales of $12 million.
7. Bantam Bagels
Remember Lender’s Bagels? We still eat those, but Bantam Bagels are wonderful. Nick and Elyse Oleksak is a husband and wife team that began Bantam Bagels in New York’s West Village in the fall of 2013 after leaving Wall Street as former brokers.
They pitched Bantam Bagels in season 6, asking for $275,000 for 11%. Lori Greiner’s accepted offer was $275,000 for a 25% stake in the business. Their sales had gone from $200,000 to $2.1 million after they expanded into 400 Starbuck locations.
The couple sold this business to T. Marzetti Company, owned by publicly traded Lancaster Colony Corporation, for $34 million in 2018.
8. FiberFix Heat Wrap
This product caught my attention when Spencer Quinn and Eric Child pitched the FiberFix Heat Wrap season 5 in 2013. I worked in my parents’ hardware store, listening to my Dad expound on the quality duct tape. How could I not try it? Craig and Tyler did and it works well.
Unfortunately, Dad passed away before FiberFix hit the market. He would have been impressed that this repair tape is 100 times stronger than duct tape, is waterproof, temperature-resistant, and dries quickly without a mess. It works pretty well for our needs.
Quinn and Child seek $90,000 for 10% interest in their business Lori Greiner jumped over Robert Herjavec and sealed the deal for $120,000 for a 12% stake and funding their purchase orders.
9. Drop Stop Car Seat
The Drop Stop product serves an urgent need for many of us. Countless times, as a passenger and a driver, I have dropped things between my seat and the center console, especially pens (I always work when Craig is driving), my phone, notes, money, food, you name it.
When driving, it is distracting to reach for a dropped phone in that gap. That near-death experience led Marc Newburger and Jeffrey Simon to invent Drop Stop to provide an essential solution many of us appreciate.
Newburger and Simon pitched to the Sharks in season 4 in 2013, seeking $300,000 for 15% of their business, telling them they already had sales of $1.3 million. Lori Greiner snagged the deal with $300,000 for a 20% stake. Their business remains strong, doing $5 million in annual revenue.
10. Phone Soap UV Smartphone Sanitizer & Universal Charger
Wesley Laporte and Dan Barnes developed Phone Soap, recognizing that our phones are laden with nasty germs and bacteria. We always hold our phones, bring them in bathrooms, put them down on dirty tables, and the phones, in turn, pick up things we don’t see. The product comes with a phone charger and UV light sanitizer that works like a mini tanning bed for your phones, aptly described by the inventors.
They entered the Tank in season 6, seeking $300,000 for a 7.5% interest, and they accepted Lori’s offer of $300,000 for a 10% interest. They realize strong sales of $13.5 million annually. The product was a welcome addition to our household when we bought it during the pandemic.
11. The Original COMFY Oversized Wearable Sherpa Blanket
Brian and Michael Speciale are the guys behind this excellent product, The Original Comfy, a fleece-lined, oversized hooded sweatshirt in 2017, seeking $50,000 for a 20% stake in the business.
Several Sharks were interested in this product, but Barbara Corcoran stuck to her offer for $50,000 for a 30% stake. This has been among the most popular of Shark Tank’s series, and the company is going strong with annual sales of about $15 million.
It’s reversible with its soft microfiber exterior. I envied anyone wearing one as the product looks so comfortable. My kids walk around all day long in this wearable blanket.
12. ReadeREST Magnetic Eyeglass Holders
Entrepreneur Rick Hopper invented the ReadeREST demonstrating his clever magnet eyeglass holder could do the job when he literally fell into the Shark Tank. He uses high-powered magnet clips to secure your eyeglasses onto clothing, like a shirt or pant pocket, without losing them.
Hopper asked for $150,000 for a 15% interest in season 3 to mass-produce and distribute the eyeglass holders. Lori got the deal, but a big ask using her QVC expertise with an enormous 65% stake in Hopper’s business, generating about $5 million in annual sales.
13. Tipsy Elves Men’s Sweater
Want to buy a classic gaudy sweater for someone special? Nick Morton and Evan Mendelsohn are the entrepreneurs behind Tipsy Elvis company and their quirky Christmas-themed sweaters. They came on Shark Tank in late 2013 asking for $100,000 for 5% and accepted Robert Herjavec’s offer of $100,000 for 10%.
The company is donating $2 from every sweater sale. They have expanded from tacky fun sweaters to other quirky clothing lines, including Hawaiian shirts and all sorts of holidays. They generate about $6 million in annual revenues.
Wombi Rose and John Wise are founders of Lovepop, a pop-up greeting card supplier. They fell in love with the art of paper sculpture and used that idea to design cards using CAD software and fold completely flat. The sculptures are securely attached and pop up when you open the card. They make great gifts worth saving for their beauty.
They entered the Shark Tank in its seventh season to pitch Lovepop, seeking $300,000 for 10%. Kevin O’Leary, as Mr. Wonderful, gets the deal for $300,000 for 15%. They were doing $40 million in annual sales in 2021. They have broadened their offerings to fully customizable wedding invitations.
Shark Tank provides many benefits to its viewers and to those who are able to gain capital and a partner or two among the Sharks. It provides entertainment and education to those who aspire to build a business and a path to wealth. Its content has been a useful tool for me to engage my students. And of course, many of the products make great presents for the holidays and for your household.
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With a passion for investing and personal finance, I began The Cents of Money to help and teach others. My experience as an equity analyst, professor, and mom provide me with unique insights about money and wealth creation and a desire to share with you.