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Shark Tank Season 5: Food Pitches Funded and Not Funded

Shark Tank Season 5: Food Pitches Funded and Not Funded

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From a modernized chef’s hat to a reinvented lunchbox, or a de-boned baby back rib “steak” to cookie dough that’s safe to eat right out of the jar, ABC's Shark Tank saw a whole host of food products ranging from the mundane to the ridiculous pitched to investors in its fifth season, which recently wrapped up. We've assembled a list of 10 of the most intriguing food-related products that were pitched this season, and it's fascinating to see which products receive funding and which ones don't.

Shark Tank Season 5: Food Pitches Funded and Not Funded (Slideshow)

Reality television was taken to a new, entrepreneurial level with the launch of the series in 2009. The show is a platform for budding entrepreneurs, many of whom happen to be in the food business, to pitch their products and businesses to a panel of "sharks," who are often well-known, self-made multimillionaire investors.

The popular TV series is produced by Mark Burnett and modeled off a Japanese reality show, Dragon’s Den. The concept is one where entrepreneurs present an hour-long pitch (which is then edited to a much shorter, action-packed clip) to the panel of investors. The investors can ask questions and potentially poke holes in the entrepreneurs’ business model. If a "shark" is interested, they can make a bid to invest in a particular business. If the panel decides to pass, the entrepreneur goes home empty-handed.

Many of the episodes also follow the progression of businesses that have been funded in the past by the show’s "sharks," which have included famous investors such as Mark Cuban, the "queen of QVC" Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec, and Kevin Harrington. In 2012, the show soared in popularity, with seven million viewers per episode on average, and received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Reality Program and a nomination for a Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Reality Series.

Typically, entrepreneurs are not funded as easily as the show portrays. The process of creating a marketable product or idea and then getting the necessary funding from investors to logistically get the product/business off the ground can be a grueling and often futile process. For small start-ups, particularly those that are under the $10 million threshold, there are very few investors who are willing or interested in investing in a food venture. To get a successful business off the ground, the inventor has to have product opportunity, a true interest from the market in the product, and a strong management team behind it to see the business through, which is certainly a tall order.

What makes the show so wildly successful is that it vets the entrepreneurs and products ahead of time, matchmaking them and putting them in front of the U.S.’s most successful business tycoons. While the show follows these budding entrepreneurs through the pitching process, it also follows them down a longer path, seeing if they achieve financial and commercial success after receiving the capital they asked for.

Some Shark Tank alumni like Jonathan Miller from Chicago, who founded a company called Element Bars, have seen spikes in the growth of their businesses since appearing on the show. Pork Barrel BBQ, who teamed up with Corcoran to fund the business, has achieved great success. The company’s products are being carried nationwide in stores like Costco, Safeway, and Whole Foods.

Read on to learn about 10 products that appeared on season five of Shark Tank and to see if they received funding or not.

Kook'n Kap

This modernized chef’s hat was invented by two friends from Los Angeles. The hat was designed to be comfortable, chic, breathable, non-flammable, and keeps the smell of food out of the wearer’s hair. Not only does it keep the smell of food out of your hair, it also keeps hair out of your food!

Funded? No

Schulzies Bread Pudding

Schulzies has taken the old-fashioned favorite dessert, bread pudding, and reinvented it in 108 different flavors. All of the puddings are also served chilled.

Funded? No

Additional reporting by Michelle Kiefer.

There&rsquos a Major 'Shark Tank' Keto Pill Scam You Need to Know About

Lori Grenier and Mark Cuban have been trying to end elaborate scams for more than a year.

  • A few of Shark Tank's business moguls have been targeted by fake advertisements for Keto diet pills products that have never appeared on the show.
  • Lori Grenier and Mark Cuban have directly appealed to the public to avoid falling prey to these scams.
  • Keto-related products have rarely ever appeared on the ABC program, and Grenier said she has "never done a Keto or diet product, ever."

Shark Tank has been a platform for thousands upon thousands of products, some of which the series' diehard fans would say seem almost too good to be true. The major commercial success associated with the show (which Inc. reports can be worth double or triple a company's revenue in a single year) has pushed more inventors, brands, and businesses to seek endorsement from one of the shows' stars. And when a product is just too outlandish to appear on the show, some entrepreneurs will simply fake an endorsement &mdash which is the case for a whole suite of Ketogenic diet products, including some of which actually steal Lori Grenier's image to be used on social media.

As reported by fact checkers at, there have been many digital advertisements for Keto diet pills that purport that the product has appeared on Shark Tank. Some even claim to have been funded or personally endorsed by the business moguls featured on Shark Tank while pitching on the show. The pills are billed as a supplement to help boost weight loss for those working their way through the Keto diet, a targeted program that pushes one's metabolism to process fat (or, to reach ketosis) as the main source of energy, as opposed to carbohydrates like sugar.

But viewers may be surprised to learn that there have only been a few instances when a Keto-related product has crossed the Shark Tank stage &mdash and none have ever secured an investment from one of the show's main "Sharks."

A brand called Nui first appeared on Shark Tank in 2018 to seek investment in their Keto-friendly cookie product that skipped added sugar but doubled down on saturated fats. During the episode, guest investor and sports icon Alex Rodriguez ended up sinking a $300,000 investment into the cookie, according to CNBC. In another episode in 2018, a brand known as the Honest Keto Diet tried seeking investment for a supplement that supposedly helped Keto dieters maintain ketosis without strictly observing required sugar limitations that the diet is famous for. The product didn't earn an investment from any of the show's stars, but blogs like The Health Radar believe the appearance allowed fraudulent businesses to start pedaling fake ads.

@ftc @fbi these scammers are taking tens or millions from hard working Americans. Please throw them in jail

&mdash Mark Cuban (@mcuban) July 28, 2019

Fake advertisements for "Shark Tank Keto pills" have even caught the eye of the Better Business Bureau, as officials found that one product used images "taken from a separate Shark Tank episode that does not mention PureFit KETO. "Some advertisements have even gone as far to manipulate images of Greiner, the "Queen of QVC' television personality who has funded more than 35 new businesses and products on Shark Tank alone, per her website.

How widespread are these advertisements, you might wonder? They're big enough of a problem for Grenier to appeal to her social media followers to ask them to stop buying any products associated with the Keto diet claiming to have her endorsement. She also appeared on an episode of The Dr. Oz Show to address the scam once and for all, alongside a Federal Bureau of Investigation cybersecurity agent and Dr. Oz himself, who has been the source of a few fake ads as well.

BEWARE - I DO NOT DO ANY KETO PRODUCTS. My image & name, are being used on FAKE Facebook/Instagram/Twitter ads. &ndash I do not promote any Keto, weight loss or diet products, it&rsquos a scam. PLEASE SHARE! #SharkTank #FakeNews #Keto #ketodiet #FakeKetoAds #KetoAdScams #KetoScams

&mdash Lori Greiner (@LoriGreiner) November 18, 2019

"They take our images and they Photoshop our product into their hands, and they make it like we are endorsing or are behind these products, but we are not," Grenier said in a video posted to her social accounts. "I have never done a Keto or diet product, ever."

Keto diet pills have been the subject of many shopping scams (Chrissy Teigen recently shut one down publicly on Twitter) over the years. If you should come across an advertisement floating a Keto product featured on Shark Tank, it probably hasn't ever appeared on the show or earned any endorsement. The Snopes team says these Keto advertisements often allow scammers to participate in something called "dropshipping," which allows them to earn money by getting shoppers to order often questionable products from suppliers directly, earning a commission-like fee in the process. If you're truly interested in hearing more about the Keto diet and how it may help you manage your weight, start by learning about the diet's rules and how it works &mdash and consider a meal plan to begin before discussing long term changes to your diet with your doctor.

The 11 Most Ingenious Foods Ever Featured On Shark Tank

Shark Tank pitches are essentially glorified infomercials with heartstring-tugging backstories, and we can't help but find ourselves hooked. Here are nine of our favorite foods to ever cross the stage &mdash including one that didn't even score a deal!

Season 10, Episode 15

Moink (moo + oink, get it?) caught the attention of guest Shark Jamie Siminoff who appeared on the show to pitch the video doorbell Ring. The company's co-founder Lucinda Cramsey calls herself a tender-hearted carnivore. So while the meat and fish subscription service send animal products to customers, it depends on family farms with humanely-raised and ethically-sourced meats.

You can get a box every three, four, or six weeks, and it can be customized with beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and salmon.

Season 7, Episode 2

These cups weren't invented to satiate your hunger, but rather to solve an environmental problem. Friends Chelsea Briganti and Leigh Ann Tucker came up with the concept for Loliware &mdash a biodegradable cup that hardens when filled with liquid but can be chewed like candy when you're done &mdash during a Jell-O mold competition. They put it on Kickstarter (it completely surpassed its goal), then brought it to Shark Tank where it started an all out bidding war. Mark Cuban and Barbara Corocran eventually teamed up to invest, and Briganti and Tucker are developing shot glasses and larger cups.

Season 6, Episode 9

Pipcorn's founders, brother and sister Jen and Jeff Martin, experienced the dark side of Shark Tank success: too much demand and not enough supply. Pipcorn is essentially just miniaturized popcorn, but people went crazy for health angle. The kernels are all-natural, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, and whole grain. Corcoran's deal allowed them to raise sales from just $200,000 to more than $1.5 million in three months.

Season 4, Episode 22

A mother-daughter duo, Tracey Noonan and Danielle Desroches, created this cupcake-in-a-jar idea, which earned the support of Kevin O'Leary. He got back his $75,000 investment in just 74 days &mdash easy, considering Noonan and Desroches did a quarter of a million dollars in the week after Shark Tank. The attention allowed the pair to publish a cookbook and expand their Massachusetts-based business.

When you're craving New York-style pizza but the closest you're getting to a coal-fired oven is your nearby Chuck E. Cheese, don't despair: You can get Table 87 shipped anywhere. The team behind these slices make pies to order, then immediately freeze them, so you can enjoy a Brooklyn-caliber pizza even if you're in the middle of bumblef*ck.

Season 4, Episode 6

Maine natives and cousins Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis started their business as a single food truck in Los Angeles, but the funding and attention from Shark Tank has since allowed them to grow to include more than a dozen trucks, a brick-and-mortar restaurant, and an online market. Corcoran is to credit for helping the pair bring the Maine classics &mdash authentic lobster rolls, whoopie pies, and bisque &mdash to the rest of the country.

Season 4, Episode 18

Three Rhode Islanders, Dennis Iannotti, Peter Ferreira, and Neil Cameron, had the idea for a souped-up nut butter. Theirs is packed with added whey protein, organic flax, and a natural sweetener. Cuban and Robert Herjavec teamed up to offer the team a deal, and they've since experienced skyrocketing sales and have had their product added to GNC and Whole Foods shelves. The best part is, while they're healthier than the average peanut or almond butter, they're also tastier. The flavor roster includes birthday cake, chocolate maple pretzel, cinnamon raisin, pumpkin spice, and toffee crunch, among others.

Season 7, Episode 5

Daymond John decided to back this high-end beef jerky company run by just two self-proclaimed "occasional jerks," Daniel Fogelson and Jordan Barrocas. They were able to expand the company 600 percent in just two months. Their filet mignon jerky comes in six offbeat flavors, including teriyaki, hamburger, and maple bacon churros, and you can find it in major grocery stores like Publix and Hy-Vee.

Season 6, Episode 13

If a bagel and a jelly donut had a baby, Bantam Bagels would be it. They're balls of bagel dough stuffed with cream cheese, and before founders Nick and Elyse Oleksak even brought the product on Shark Tank, they'd had runaway success on QVC and made the list of Oprah's Favorite Things. On the show, they found an investor in Lori Grenier. The overnight success caught Starbucks' attention: Now the coffee giant carries them in every store. They're in the freezer section at grocery stores too, and if you visit their Manhattan flagship, you'll find even more flavors, including cookies and milk, French toast, and cinnamon bun.

Season 5, Episode 11

Prior to his Shark Tank appearance, Al "Bubba" Baker, a former NFL player, was bringing a little more than $150,000 in sales. Now, he averages $16 million. The spike for his boneless ribs is all thanks to his appearance on Shark Tank, where Daymond John invested, saying he believed this could be his biggest deal ever. Baker's already got a contract with Carl's Jr., and the ribs are sold at big-name stores like Costco and Sam's Club, too.

Season 4, Episode 2

Despite the fact that Becky App and Abby Jordan didn't actually ink a deal on their mail-order ice cream business, they raked in half a million dollars in sales in the three months after their appearance on Shark Tank. They'd done only $2 million in the five years before the show. The shtick is that you can personalize your own pint by printing a funny name on the carton or completely customizing a flavor.

We Fact-Checked Seven Seasons Of Shark Tank Deals. Here Are The Results.

On Shark Tank, the deal you make on camera often isn't the deal you end up getting -- if it happens at all.

(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

The hit ABC show that gives entrepreneurs a chance to pitch celebrity investors depicts some business owners walking away with life-changing deals. But more often than not, those hand-shake agreements change or fall apart after taping.

FORBES found that 319 businesses accepted deals on-air in the first seven seasons of Shark Tank. We spoke to 237 of those business owners and discovered 73% did not get the exact deal they made on TV. But tweaked terms or dead deals don't necessarily spell doom for a business for many contestants we spoke to, the publicity of appearing on the show ended up being worth more than the deal.

Design: Nick DeSantis, Forbes staff

About 43% of the people we spoke with said their deals didn’t come to fruition after the show. They attributed this to sharks pulling out of the agreement or changing the terms to ones that didn’t work for them. Others canceled deals after getting term sheets that included unappealing clauses. And occasionally the deals ended amicably.

Another 30% of the people FORBES interviewed said the equity and investment amount offered on-air changed after taping -- but they chose to take the deal anyway. They said that the changes often occur during negotiations or in due diligence, an investigation into a person or business before signing a contract.

Although our analysis was not exhaustive (FORBES was able to interview 74% of contestants who got deals on camera), the numbers suggest that some investors are less likely to change their deals after the cameras stop rolling. Mark Cuban, who by our count closes more deals than any other shark, changed the agreements he made on-air change only 25% of the time.

Design: Nick DeSantis, Forbes staff

ABC is transparent about the due diligence process and isn’t accountable for how deals pan out during negotiations. ABC did not return requests for comment by time of publishing.

We contacted as many of the 319 businesses as possible, but some refused to share how and if their deals evolved, and others simply did not respond. While the results aren’t comprehensive, this is the most complete record of how often deals change after taping and why that occurs.

The goal of entrepreneurs going on Shark Tank is to make a deal and see it close. But if it falls apart, it’s not always a tragedy. About 87% of the businesses we spoke to that didn’t get deals are still operating. The remainder have shuttered, were acquired or sold.

Design: Holly Warfield, Forbes staff

Matt Canepa and Pat Pezet appeared on season four of Shark Tank to pitch their company Grinds, which sells chewable coffee pouches. They agreed to give Daymond John and Robert Herjavec 15% equity for $75,000. However, the deal died in negotiations.

“Pat and I went on the show 100% wanting to get a deal,” Canepa said. “Regardless of whether or not you get the deal, there are a lot of success stories.”

Design: Holly Warfield, Forbes staff

In 2012, before their episode aired, Grinds made about $300,000 in sales. The month their segment premiered, the company saw $330,000 in sales.

Grinds brought in $1.35 million the year their episode aired, and have watched that number rise. This year, they are expecting to do over $4 million.

Grinds isn’t alone. Nicholas and Alessia Galekovic, cofounders of the grooming accessories company Beard King, made an agreement with Lori Greiner during season seven last year. But around the time they filmed their episode, business took off, and the deal no longer met the needs of the company.

Design: Holly Warfield, Forbes staff

The agreement broke down in negotiations. But in the year after the episode aired, the company did around $700,000 in sales. This year, they are expecting over $1.6 million.

"I think that [Shark Tank is] absolutely amazing," Nicholas said. "For anyone considering trying out or going for it: It's well worth it."

Editor’s note: This post was updated on Nov. 2 to reflect additional reporting.

I am the homepage editor and cover whatever crosses my keyboard. Before joining Forbes, I wrote for The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Daily and POLITICO. My…

What Happened to These Shark Tank Pitches?

Shark Tank begins its 10th season on Oct. 7 on ABC, which means 10 years of successful pitches and business bombs. Stepping in front of the sharks isn’t easy when you have judges like Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran or Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary there to add some snark to the presentations.

Yet sometimes, Mr. Wonderful isn’t enough to deter the most eager entrepreneur. They can walk away without a deal and still wind up successful. Other times, they make a deal with a shark only to have it fall through later on or, even worse, the business doesn’t make it in the long run.

We took a look back at a few of our favorite pitches and what happened to them after their Shark Tank appearance.

1. Ring (formerly DoorBot)

The Ring, a video doorbell system, was originally known as the DoorBot when it aired on season five. CEO Jamie Siminoff was looking for a $700,000 investment in exchange for 10 percent equity in the company. Only O’Leary gave an offer that included a loan, a royalty deal and equity, but most of the sharks didn’t think the company was ready for the next step.

Fast-forward five years, and The Ring was acquired by Amazon in February 2018 for $1 billion. O’Leary doesn’t regret that Siminoff didn’t accept his deal.

“I never think about it a second time, I really don’t,” he explains. “I feel that the road is always going forward,” O’Leary told CNBC. “You can’t go looking back &mdash you can’t second guess yourself. You have to do what you think is right in the moment… For that time, I made the correct decision.”

Congrats Jamie . Always a beautiful thing when an entrepreneur succeeds. Way to ring the Amazon bell! #TheAmericanDream

&mdash Mark Cuban (@mcuban) February 28, 2018

2. Scrub Daddy

In season four, Shark Lori Greiner invested in Scrub Daddy, a sponge that changes texture when hot or cold water is applied. Aaron Krause was seeking a $100,000 investment for a 10 percent stake in the company. Greiner loved the presentation and gave him $200,000 for 20 percent equity and promised to make him a millionaire.

Greiner wasn’t lying. Scrub Daddy is considered the most successfully funded Shark Tank company of all time. As of May 2017, the company has sold more than 10 million units and totaled over $50 million in sales.

3. The Bouqs Company

The Bouqs Company is a disruptor in the flower industry. They take out the middleman and sell flowers directly to customers. While that seems like a surefire strategy for getting sharks to invest in the company, founder John Tabis got no bites from the sharks in 2014.

Three years later, Robert Herjavec was planning his wedding to Dancing With the Stars pro Kym Johnson when he realized flowers are pretty darn expensive. He decided to talk to Tabis to find out why.

&ldquo[Tabis] said, &lsquoCome and see me. I&rsquoll explain the flower business to you.&rsquo [He] draws it out for me, shows me what they&rsquore doing. I&rsquom like, &lsquoI love it,&rsquo&rdquo Herjavec told ABC News in February 2017. &ldquoSo I took part of their last round. We just raised $24 million.&rdquo

And the best ending to the story? &ldquoI saved a ton of money on my flowers for my wedding,&rdquo Herjavec laughed.

4. You Smell soap

You Smell was a luxury soap line looking for a $55,000 investment in exchange for 20 percent of the company. Megan Cummins gave a charming presentation, and Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran and Robert Herjavec jumped in with bids.

In the end, Herjavec won out with a $55,000 investment and $50,000 entrepreneur salary for 20 percent. The deal didn’t wind up smelling so rosy in the end. Cummins claimed she couldn’t get in touch with Herjavec, while he claimed he offered her a revised contract that she rejected.

The company is no longer in business, but Cummins didn’t let her entrepreneurial dreams die. She’s now the owner of Sparklepop, a jewelry company that donates a portion of the proceeds to no-kill, nonprofit animal shelters.

5. The Body Jac

The Body Jac was a machine that helped a person do push-ups. Jack Barringer, aka Cactus Jack, invented the fitness equipment after his doctor told him to start losing weight by doing push-ups. When he came on Shark Tank in season one, Barbara Corcoran and Kevin Harrington split the $180,000 investment for 50 percent equity that came with a major contingency &mdash Barringer would have to lose 30 pounds before he would get a signed deal. He lost the weight and the deal was signed, but the partnership eventually fell apart without Corcoran ever giving a solid reason.

&ldquoMy worst [investment] was investing in a fast-talking cowboy selling exercise equipment who needed to lose 50 pounds,&rdquo Corcoran told Forbes in 2012. &ldquoInstead, he lost my $50,000.&rdquo The company went out of business in 2012.

Shark Tank will return for its 10th season on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 10/9c to celebrate the show’s 200th episode.

22 Worst: Squirrel Boss

It's certainly an irritating problem: You put out a bird feeder and fill it with seeds and other goodies for your feathered friends, only to have greedy squirrels come by and help themselves to the treats. Michael DeSanti, creator of Squirrel Boss, decided that the only way to discourage squirrels from invading your bird feeders is to shock them. Literally.

You might be wondering how Squirrel Boss knows to differentiate between birds and squirrels in terms of what to shock and what to leave alone. Therein lies the problem— it doesn't. The Sharks collectively rolled their eyes when they discovered that Squirrel Boss requires you to constantly watch the device and then actually have to press a button to activate the shock. Between that and the high price of the product, all Squirrel Boss ended up driving away was an investment.

Zipz Wine, Season 6

Zipz Wine chief consultant Andrew McMurray landed the biggest "Shark Tank" deal of the past six seasons when Kevin O'Leary agreed to invest $2.5 million in return for 10% equity.

What's especially interesting is that the Shark started with a bias against McMurray simply because his company reminded him of another single-serving wine company, Copa Di Vino, whose founder was the only person to decline an offer on two separate "Shark Tank" appearances.

McMurray's main strength was a keeping a cool head and having the willingness to negotiate aggressively but reasonably.

Shark Tank Season 5: Food Pitches Funded and Not Funded - Recipes

Part of what makes Shark Tank great is the unscripted, real-life quality that no longer exists in most reality television. As a result, most fans know by now that none of the entrepreneurs who pitch their businesses are actors, that Mark Cuban and the other sharks really do invest their own money, and many other facts about the show. Still, there are many aspects of the hit business-themed series--and what it's like to be a shark--that end up on the cutting-room floor. Here are 10 things that may surprise you.

1. Shark Tank got its start in Japan.

The first precursor to Shark Tank was a reality show that debuted in Japan in 2001 called Money Tigers. In 2005, a production company in the United Kingdom licensed the concept to create a British version called Dragon's Den. That show spawned a Canadian spin-off that both Robert Herjavec and Kevin O'Leary took part in before they became "sharks" in the U.S. series, which reality-show producer Mark Burnett developed in 2009. Other countries with their own versions of the show include the Czech Republic, Finland, Poland, Spain, and Ukraine.

2. Shark Tank is harder to get into than Harvard.

Of the 45,000 people who applied to be on the show in 2014, less than 1 percent got the opportunity to pitch their businesses to the sharks. Out of that group, many entrepreneurs never saw themselves on TV, as only the pitches that make for good reality TV see the light of day.

3. Shark Tank was not a popular show at first.

The first season of Shark Tank didn't even break the top 100 primetime shows in terms of average viewership. It was only after Mark Cuban joined in season 2 that the series began to grow its audience. Season 5 attracted an average of more than 8 million weekly viewers, up from 4.8 million during the first season.

4. ?The vast majority of what happens in the tank never actually makes it on TV.

Most pitches take about an hour before a deal is made or all the sharks opt out of investing, but each segment is edited down to just 10 minutes. Some of the worst pitches get dismissed in as little as 20 minutes. The longest pitch in the show's history, according to Cuban, was Michael Tseng's microwave-safe food cover PlateTopper. The pitch lasted two and a half hours before Lori Greiner invested $90,000 for 8 percent of the company.

5. The sharks love talking trash--even when they're not in the tank.

All the sharks have friendly relationships, but that doesn't mean they pass up opportunities to throw each other under the bus. "Kevin [O'Leary] is a jerk on camera and he's a bigger jerk off camera," Mark Cuban joked at Inc. magazine's 2014 GrowCo conference. "I'm sure they say the same things about me. Robert [Herjavec] is a great guy, but he's so syrupy. And he's so naive too."

6. The simplest ideas often make the most money.

While many entrepreneurs come to the tank with a mobile app or other tech product, some entrepreneurs have scored big in the marketplace with remarkably simple consumer goods. Screen door repair product ScreenMend, for example, went from $4,000 in sales to more than $1 million in a single year. All-purpose cleaning tool ScrubDaddy has done $50 million in sales, according to Greiner, making it the most successful product in Shark Tank history. "If you have one genius product and good entrepreneurs, you can turn that one product into a huge success," she says.

7. The sharks back out of a lot of deals.

The agreements made on the show between sharks and entrepreneurs are non-binding handshake deals, and many of them never close. Why not? Entrepreneurs have been known to fudge some of their company's financial figures, or make false claims like they have a patent on a product. When the sharks look under the hood of the companies they've agreed to invest in, they frequently don't like what they see and back out.

8. Shark Tank entrepreneurs also back out of deals.

The percentage of entrepreneurs who experience seller's remorse after making a deal on the show has grown during the past few seasons, according to Robert Herjavec. "A lot of people come on and change their mind," he says. "I would say 90 percent of the time it's the entrepreneur [who backs out]." During the most recent season, for example, entrepreneurs Ellie Brown and Becca Nelson agreed to sell 100 percent of their wearable fabric sticker company evREwares to Mark Cuban for $200,000 before changing their minds and deciding not to sell.

9. Shark Tank provides a major boost even for the companies that don't make a deal.

Entrepreneurs can expect to see a spike in sales after their episode airs, even if they leave the tank empty-handed. This has attracted what are known as "Shark Tank gold diggers": entrepreneurs who have no intention of selling a piece of their company, but come on the show just for the publicity. "We're getting better at spotting the people who are obvious about it," Herjavec says.

10. Being a shark can be grueling.

If the sharks always appear hungry when an entrepreneur offers them food, it's because they usually are. Show tapings last all day, and sessions typically go for 10 days straight. In that time, the sharks will hear roughly a hundred pitches. "We're there 12 hours a day," says Herjavec. "We're hungry and we're miserable."

Shark Tank Season 5: Food Pitches Funded and Not Funded - Recipes

Entrepreneurs who make it onto a "Shark Tank" episode have the opportunity to introduce their company to a viewing audience of 7 million potential customers.

The companies that land a deal with one or more of the show's investors then have the chance to scale and, in some cases, become a nationally recognized brand.

We looked through old episodes and asked the Sharks themselves about their most successful deals. Read on to learn about the biggest "Shark Tank" success stories so far.

Scrub Daddy

A sponge company has far and away become the biggest "Shark Tank" success story. Over the past three years, Scrub Daddy has brought in a total of $75 million in revenue, according to investor Lori Greiner.

Greiner made a deal with its founder and CEO, Aaron Krause, in Season 4 for $200,000 in exchange for 20% equity. At that point, Krause had struggled to reach $100,000 in sales over 18 months, but Greiner saw great potential in the company's signature offering, a proprietary smiley-faced sponge that was more durable, hygienic, and effective than a traditional one.

She helped Krause expand his product line and brought them onto QVC and into stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond, where they have become bestsellers.

Tipsy Elves

When Robert Herjavec invested $100,000 for 10% of Evan Mendelsohn and Nick Morton's ugly Christmas-sweater company in Season 4, it could seem to viewers that he was betting on a fleeting fad. It turned out, though, to be his most profitable "Shark Tank" investment, he told Business Insider.

To stay ahead of trends, Herjavec helped make Tipsy Elves a year-round novelty apparel company that can capitalize off multiple holidays and college-football season.

Before its 2013 "Shark Tank" appearance, Tipsy Elves made $900,000 in annual revenue. Last year it brought in around $8 million, and this year it's on track to make $12 million, according to the company.


In Season 5, Charles Yim got a five-Shark deal for Breathometer, a portable Breathalyzer that works with a smartphone. Mark Cuban, Kevin O'Leary, Daymond John, Herjavec, and Greiner got in on a $650,000 deal for 30% of the company.

Since his "Shark Tank" appearance, Yim secured an additional $6.5 million in funding, partnered with the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, and developed a more accurate and more portable main product in addition to a device that tracks oral health and hydration levels.

Yim told Inc. that Breathometer is expected to end 2015 with $20 million in sales--double last year's number.

Bubba's-Q Boneless Ribs

Al "Bubba" Baker, 1978 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, secured a deal with John in Season 5 for $300,000 in exchange for 30% equity in and licensing rights to his company, Bubba's-Q Boneless Ribs.

John told Business Insider that as someone who built a career in fashion, he never expected that his most profitable investment would be in a rib business.

John helped Baker secure a deal with a large-scale food processing plant and said he thinks he can soon get Bubba's-Q to become a national brand with $200 million in lifetime sales.

5. You can do it.

At the end of the day, I am pro everything entrepreneur. What I like about this show is that we are given the opportunity to see all types of entrepreneurs from all over the country with different businesses and from every walk of life. Most have more than just an idea, and have actual, thriving businesses. You can use this show as motivation to help you realize that no matter how big, small, crazy, normal, whatever your business type is, that just like these entrepreneurs on the show, you can do it.

Building startups is the most difficult and most rewarding activity I&rsquove ever personally done, which I&rsquom sure a lot of you can attest to. (In fact, building a startup is more difficult than going to prison for two years.) I&rsquom a student and observer in everything I do, and having this mentality has helped me learn in every situation I encounter, even watching Shark Tank on NBC .

I&rsquove created a closed Facebook group for entrepreneurs to share advice, ask questions, and learn from one another. Request your invite here.

Watch the video: Southern Culture Artisan Foods Pitch Shark Tank Season 5 Episode 17 (December 2022).