Pancakes make people happy, and that’s an absolute fact. Whether you’re a toddler, a picky auntie, or an aging adult, it’s a food that most everyone can agree on. And if you like or use store-bought pancake mix but hate the carbs, you’ll absolutely love Utah-based Kodiak Cakes.
Owner Joel Clark walked away empty-handed on the show because he didn’t want to give up more than 10 percent equity. However, because of health-conscious carb lovers, the company recorded $54 million in revenue in 2017 and is now the fourth-largest pancake mix on shelves. Not too shabby for this breakfast food of kings.
Don’t you hate when you can’t find your glasses even though you just had them? Rick Hopper sure did, and he had his bright idea in 2010 when he was continually misplacing his reading glasses. Frustrated by limited choices to secure them, he invented ReadeREST (“reader rest”), a magnetic pocket filler that allows glasses wearers to clip their spectacles to their shirt when not in use.
The clip prevents them from slipping out and crashing to the floor when a person bends over, and it keeps them tucked right in front where you can find them. Lori Grenier read the future because the rest is history. They sold $100,000 in product the first time it appeared on QVC and have done over $27 million in sales.
Cousins Maine Lobster
The number one thing to do in Maine is eat a lobster roll. The Maine lobster roll experience was once limited to the extreme northeast--until 2012 when cousins Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis started their Cousins Maine Lobster food truck in L.A.
These two entrepreneurial fellas captured the eye of Shark Barbara Corcoran, who invested $55,000, which helped facilitate growing the number of food trucks and led to total sales in excess of $20 million. Now, anyone can order live Maine lobsters from their website and enjoy this classic Maine delicacy.
Remember when you had to wait to see what your photos looked like until you developed them? Despite the advent of digital cameras and phones, it turns out that print isn’t dead—at least not print on demand. GrooveBook, an nifty app, allows users to flag social media photos and request physical prints as part of a customized photo book.
Dynamic duo Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary seized the opportunity to invest, and what a great investment it turned out to be. Following the broadcast, GrooveBook subscribers rose from 16,000 to 500,000 in two days. Eventually, the company sold for $14.5 million to Shutterfly.
In what is one of the weirdest commercials ever, a unicorn has trouble pooping. Little did we know that a small, curiously shaped plastic stool meant to facilitate more efficient emptying of the colon, the Squatty Potty, made a splash when it was featured on the Shark Tank.
Lori Greiner’s $500,000 investment helped the company secure $30 million in sales by 2016. Creator Bobby Edwards cites a chronically constipated family member as his inspiration. Turns out, they were definitely on to something. There are scientific papers in agreement that using a toilet stool helps make pooping easier.
Grace and Lace
On a 2013 Shark Tank episode, there was a peculiar accessory that led real estate magnate Barbara Corcoran to invest $175,000. The product? A faux sock garter that you could secure around your calf to have the appearance of being ‘socks’ or ‘lace’ within the boot itself.
As crazy as that sounds to men, women were delighted at a ‘problem solved’ and sales exploded--growing from $1 million to over $20 million in sales. Lace boot socks became a hit and expanded into a large clothing empire.
Bubba's Q Boneless Ribs
Former NFL player Al “Bubba” Baker holds a unique patent that led to his $16 million success. He pitched his Bubba’s Q boneless ribs (no one else can sell these) to the Sharks in 2014. Think of a McRib only with real meat.
Shark Daymond John saw immediately what the fuss was about. For a modest investment of $300,000 for a 30 percent stake, the company went from doing $154,000 in sales prior to the show to $16 million in 2017. The ribs can be found online, in Costco, on QVC, and even at chain restaurant Carl’s Jr.
Everyone loves a great holiday ugly sweater, and they’re not just at thrift shops anymore--they’re a mainstream staple in people's wardrobes. Tipsy Elves co-founders Nick Morton and Evan Mendelsohn saw an opening for a market and forged ahead.
They convinced Shark Robert Herjavec to invest $100,000 for a 10 percent stake in their business during a 2013 appearance. Peddling the clothing—which features awful designs or really funny designs, depending on your mood—hit the jackpot, with sales exceeding $10 million in 2015.
In 2013, one guy had the foresight to invent a video doorbell that would become a hit one day, as well as the best-selling rejected product in Shark Tank history. His name is James Siminoff, and he faced a tough lineup of Sharks who could barely keep their eyes open during the presentation for his revolutionary product, DoorBot.
Only one Shark, O’Leary, even bothered to make an offer, and when it was declined, he said, “You’re dead to me”. Even Mark Cuban later stated that he would decline the opportunity again if given the chance, citing a high valuation as a stumbling block. Unfortunately for the Sharks, Ring Video Doorbell hit it big with the market and sold to Amazon for $839 million, showing that the $7 million in equity was, indeed, worth the valuation.
Everyone loves to be comfortable when they’re sleeping, which includes controlling the sleeping climate. However, few entrepreneurs have struck out as spectacularly as former NASA employee Mark Aramli in 2015 when he introduced his revolutionary BedJet, a climate-controlling mattress pad that allows users to adjust to their preferred temperature. Sounds like a dream, right?
It was a hard pass for the Sharks, who disagreed with his $2.5 million valuation and $499 price tag. Even the charming Lori Greiner tweeted she was “pissed off” by his disposition. And although no Sharks wanted to get in bed with him, Aramli got the last laugh with $3 million in sales in the 18 months following the broadcast and has sold over 100,000 units since.
Copa di Vino
This product had two appearances on the show and still never found a willing investor, a rarity in Shark Tank history. Copa di Vino founder James Martin first appeared in 2011 with his idea for single-serve wine glasses that are sealed to maintain freshness. Seems like a glass of perfection.
While he failed to find a partner, Martin still profited from the airtime, going from $500,000 to $5 million in sales. And his success led him back again in 2017, where the Sharks were turned off by his brazen approach. But Copa is still doing fine, selling 38 million cups through 2017.
Simply Fit Board
Exercise is more than just a fad, but the specific methods come and go. And that’s exactly what happened in 2015 with the Simply Fit board, a contraption that looks like a wheelless skateboard. It’s a core balance device meant to strengthen abdominal muscles.
Co-founders Gloria Hoffman and Linda Clark persuaded Lori Greiner that it was a wise investment and she needed to act fast. Without a patent, copycats would become a problem. Sales went from $575,000 to $9 million in a matter of months, with placement in Home Depot and Walmart locations. Not a bad investment at all!
It seems crazy, but a simple smiling sponge is one of the best selling Shark Tank products of all time. Inventor Aaron Krause created the Scrub Daddy, which is more than an ordinary sponge. Rinsed under hot water, it gets pliable enough to use on counters; run it under cold, and it firms up to tackle baked-on messes.
That alone was enough to impress Lori Greiner enough to invest $200,000 in this silly sponge, and she’s had the last laugh. Through 2019, Krause has had over $209 million in sales.
Don’t you hate when you drop something in the black hole between your car seat and the console? Could this be the greatest invention since the light bulb? Co-founders Marc Newburger and Jeffrey Simon appeared on the show in 2012 and showed why the Drop Stop is the ultimate car accessory.
Lori Grenier took a chance on investing, and it paid off big. She invested $300,000 and obtained 20% equity, which paid off when Walmart picked up the product. As of now, the company has exceeded $24 million in revenue.
DIY and thrifty people know that duct tape fixes a myriad of problems. But what happens when Phil Swift isn’t around, and you need something as flexible as duct tape but a little more durable? Spencer Quinn and Eric Child pitched their solution, FiberFix, in 2013. It's an ultra-durable adhesive tape that hardens into a steel-like texture, creating a permanent and water-tight covering for repairs on most surfaces.
Once again, Lori Greiner saw the future and believed that everything could be fixed with FiberFix. She invested $120,000 and watched as the company collected $50 million in sales since her meager investment.
Co-founders Zac Holzapfel and Jeff Jensen saw a need in the men’s accessory world and invented a product to address it. By reinventing the belt and installing a click-lock system instead old-fashioned belt holes, the scene was set. The Mission Belt comes in a variety of styles and colors and guarantees you'll never have a too-tight or too-loose fit.
The accessory piqued the interest of clothing Shark Daymond John, who ponied up $50,000 for a 37.5% equity position. The success was twofold: Mission Belt made over $25 million dollars in sales and loaned more that $1.5 million in microloans to people in developing countries.
Not everyone learned valuable fire-starting skills as a youth in a scouting program, but having access to quick fire-starting products is essential, especially for serious campers. Entrepreneurs Konel Banner and Frank Westo created InstaFire, a kit which consists of volcanic rock, wood pellets, and paraffin wax. The kits can produce flames up to 16 inches in height that will stay lit for up to 30 minutes.
Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner stoked the flames by investing a total of $300,000 in 2016. After beginning with $378,000 in sales prior to the show, InstaFire is on track to move $5 million in products. As a business for good, InstaFire-ready logs are being produced to help cut down on deforestation in still-developing countries.
Everyone who has used a microwave has had a similar experience--you’re waiting on your ramen, oatmeal, or hot bowl of soup from the microwave only to burn your hands grabbing it. Inventor Cyndi Lee had the idea for Safe Grabs after spending a lifetime nursing singed palms. By creating a silicone mat that is placed in the microwave underneath your reheated dish, the entire mat can wrap around the bowl once your meal is done heating and save you from some nasty burns.
Safe Grabs has done over $5 million in sales since appearing on the show in 2016, where Lori Greiner invested a cool $75,000 to take the product on QVC.
Wicked Good Cupcakes
Cupcakes are the symbol of birthdays and celebrations all over the U.S. But sometimes, they can be damaged in shipping. What’s a cupcake lover to do? The mother-daughter duo Danielle Descroches and Tracey Noonan started a cupcake in a jar business, offering up delicious, jarred desserts in a wide variety of different flavors.
One bite was good enough for the royalty king Kevin O’Leary, who sweetened the deal with $75,000 and a $.45 per sale after his money was paid back. Turns out he was right--Wicked Good Cupcakes went on to publish their own book and expand their business, selling $14 million worth of treats.
Bombas co-founders David Heath and Randy Goldberg were working together at a lifestyle website when they saw a post on Facebook about homeless shelters struggling to find socks, The duo conceptualized a “socks for good” business, much like Tom’s Shoes--for every pair sold, one is given away, 100% free.
Daymond John was skeptical at first, claiming to have a warehouse full of FUBU socks at his disposal. However, he was quickly swayed, and John’s Bombas investment quickly became one of his most successful in Shark Tank history. The company has made over $50 million in sales and given away over 4 million pairs of socks.
If you’ve ever gotten a chill while sitting, you may have pulled a stray blanket over your shoulders. Brian and Michael Speciale noticed this and understood that a comfortable blanket sweatshirt was the answer. They brought their product, The Original Comfy, to Shark Tank and got a fabulous bite.
Barbara Corcoran and 3 other sharks understood that chill in the air and the appeal and softness of the super-cozy garment. Corcoran, though, underbid her competitors and offered up $50,000 for a 30% position, and the impact was immediate. The brothers sold out immediately and have had nothing but warm days ahead. They’ve extended their product line and seen over $50 million in sales.
Greeting cards are big business in the United States, with over 5 billion sold annually. So, a new greeting card company better have a unique idea to take on the large conglomerates like Hallmark and Dayspring. Best friends and naval engineers Wombi Rose and John Wise called on their love of pop-up books and 3-D to create a new greeting card obsession. Thus, Lovepop was born.
The Sharks got a look at the idea in 2015, and the duo managed to secure a $300,000 deal with Kevin O’Leary for a 15 percent stake. Today, Lovepop estimates $2 billion in their future for wedding invitations alone. That’s a huge disruption to the greeting card industry that has us seeing stars.
Heat-free hair styles are often hard to come by. The market is flooded with all sorts of products that chemically burn your hair into submission. Inventor Tara Brown had the answer to these unpleasant products--a flexible, heat-free hair roller you can sleep in. The Sleep Styler was created using yoga towel fabric and memory foam, allowing the wearer to relax and obtain beautiful curls overnight.
Inventor and entrepreneur Lori Greiner got the appeal and invested $75,000 for a 25% stake in the company. The results were beautiful. Sleep Styler earned $1.5 million in 24 hours after appearing on Shark Tank and earned $100 million more since 2016.
Eco-friendly farms that produce beautiful blooms were in short supply in 2012. That’s where founders John Tabis and Juan Pablo Montufar found their niche. To help connect environmentally-conscious, sustainable flower farms around the world to the $100 billion-dollar floral industry, the college classmates founded The Bouqs Company.
Asking for $258,000 for a 3% stake in the company proved to be a turn off for the Sharks, along with their name and the 6-day delivery period. They left without a deal, but Canadian entrepreneur Robert Herjavec invested three years later after purchasing flowers from The Bouqs for his wedding. Sales to date top $100 million.
Blueland Cleaning Products
Sarah Paiji Yoo was always environmentally conscious, but it became very personal when she realized that she was feeding her new baby microplastics due to the tons of disposable plastics poisoning our food and water supply. She resolved to lessen and ultimately eliminate her use of plastic and co-founded Blueland to produce cleaning products formulated from safe, eco-friendly ingredients.
But not everyone was impressed in the Shark Tank, including Mark Cuban, who accused them of grandstanding for publicity. After alienating almost all the sharks, Ms. Yoo offered Mr. Wonderful a deal he couldn’t refuse--$270,000 for a 3% equity and a $.50 royalty on every kit sold. Kevin O’Leary even starred in a commercial for them, showing him scrubbing toilets.
Under the Weather Pop-Up Tent
A real-life problem was tackled with this next product--how can happy parents stay protected from the elements on the sidelines of their kid’s sports games? Inventor Rick Pescovitz had just the solution that was better than wrapping up in a blanket or standing under an umbrella. Under the Weather pods are constructed in durable steel, weather-resistant polyester, and color-treated clear PVC, allowing you a clear view of the event.
Seeking a hefty $600,000 investment was a huge ask on Shark Tank, but Mark Cuban came through with the cash. Since the show, the company has continued to expand their product line to include a MegaPod that will house 3 to 4 people. With the COVID crisis, people used the pods to travel and isolate from others as well as being used in ICUs across America when PPE was in short supply.
Nick and Elyse Oleksak had about a great food idea--a stuffed bagel. What could be better than having a portable snack with your favorite cream cheese or topping? The bite-sized stuffed bagel company appeared on Shark Tank in January 2015 with $200,000 in sales and big dreams for their bite-sized offerings.
After their appearance on Shark Tank, the Oleksaks received $275,000 for 30% from Lori Grenier in and had sales of $2,000,000 less than a year later. And within four short years, Lancaster Colony Corp's T. Marzetti Co. acquired Bantam Bagels for $34 million.
Tower Paddle Boards
Stephan Aarstol was the right man in the right place at the right time. In 2010, he founded Tower Paddle Boards after witnessing the sport’s rising popularity on the Internet and in real life. Tower Paddle Boards are inflatable, stand-up boards that are cost effective and easily transported. Aarstol bombed his appearance, giving what he thinks is the worst pitch ever in Shark Tank history.
But one Shark was listening--Mark Cuban decided to invest $150,000 for 30% of Tower Paddle Boards. Prior to Shark Tank, the company was selling about $100,000 a year. They just passed the $30 million point and shows no signs of slowing down. This was one time the right Shark jumped in the water!
What can we say? Sharks love the beach, and that’s apparent from the investment in a stylish Turkish beach towel with an environmental cause. Founders Branon Leibel and Bruno Aschidamini had a great idea and quit their jobs selling life insurance from a call center in San Diego. Drawing on the mandala design and numerous prototypes, these guys created a product that also benefited marine life by giving part of their proceeds to charities. The result was Sand Cloud--a lightweight towel made of recycled material that easily releases sand. What a product!
Robert Herjavec invested $200,000 for 15% stake in the company, and guess what? Sales skyrocketed from $430,000 to $2.4 million in the following year. Starting in 2017, they were realizing sales in excess of $7,000,000 and donating $1,000,000 to marine life non-profits.
What’s the best part of the brownie? If you guessed the edge, then you’re not alone. But as with any good pan of brownies, there’s always more middle than edge pieces, and you’re left wanting a bit of gooey brownie with the crispness of the edge. Matthew and Emily Griffin saw a hole in the market and decided to fix it. The result? Baker’s Edge, an innovative line of bake ware that allowed everyone to share in that coveted edge of baked goods.
The problem was that the Sharks were unimpressed because the Griffins had only one product that they felt was viable. Prior to their appearance on Shark Tank, they were making around $2 million a year. After their appearance, they were enjoying 50% growth in sales year over year and were considered a best buy on Amazon. The Baker's Edge even managed to get an endorsement from Oprah herself!