Shark Tank first premiered in 2009 and has taken the start-up world by storm as fans watch pitch after pitch of incredible (and not so incredible) businesses, all hoping to land a deal with an investor. The panel of shark’s includes Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec and in later seasons, Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner.
Over the many years of the show, the sharks have seen several amazing pitches that struck many deals, but these five were some that have stood out.
In season three, Dallas Robinson and Mike Buonomo pitched their innovative lip balm to the sharks. Presenting the problem that we all know too well, having chapped lips, combined with the gross taste of chapstick, does not make you too kissable.
This pair created Kisstixx, lip balm that comes in two compatible flavours that create a chemical reaction between the kissing pairs. They even got O’Leary and Corcoran to kiss during their pitch to show them just how it worked. Turns out, the taste test worked, and the business partners landed a deal with Cuban for an investment of $200,000 for 40% of their company.
Founded by Charles Michael Yim, Breathometer was the first to get all five sharks in the tank in on a deal. Breathometer is a breathalyzer for your smartphone. When all sharks jumped on the product, Yim told them that regardless of what happened he was going to be looking to raise $1 million in the following two months and was happy to get more than one shark in on the deal.
After hesitation, and a bidding war, eventually Cuban agreed to invest $500,000 for 15% equity and John, O’Leary, Greiner, and Herjavec split another 14% for $125,000 each.
Al “Bubba” Baker made his Shark Tank debut in season five. The 1978 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year gave an impressive pitch of his business, Bubba’s-Q Boneless Ribs. The idea came to Baker when his wife wouldn’t prepare his favourite dish, ribs, because they were too messy and took too long. Desperate to be able to eat his favourite food, he created a boneless, pre-cooked alternative.
John loved the product and was quoted in Business Insider saying that for someone who built a career in fashion, he never expected his most profitable investment would be in a rib business. Baker walked away with a $300,000 deal in exchange for 30% equity in licensing and rights to his company.
Cousins, Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikies developed their idea for Cousins Maine Lobster when they realized the food truck industry that was taking over Los Angeles was missing tasty Maine traditions they both loved. From there, they pulled together their savings to create a food truck celebrating Maine.
Corcoran loved the high-energy, clear and concise pitch, combined with their ability to answer every question that was thrown their way like geniuses. Because of this, the cousins landed a deal with Corcoran for $55,000 in exchange for 15% of their company.
Another one of the few entrepreneurs that had all five sharks fighting each other for the deal, Max Gunawan, founder of Lumio, a foldable lamp company, wowed the sharks with his pitch. Lumio is a multi-functional lamp that conceals itself in the form of a hardcover book and opens to 360 degrees.
Gunawan won over the sharks as he was trustworthy and dedicated to his product, after he explained that he spent four months living in a Chinese factory to ensure his products were high quality. The pitch ended up landing a deal with Herjavec for $350,000 in exchange for 10% equity.
About the Author
Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.