Life Lift Systems: What Happened After Shark Tank

Life Lift Systems: What Happened After Shark Tank

Following their appearance on the hit TV show “Shark Tank,” Life Lift Systems, a company specializing in innovative storm shelters, underwent a remarkable transformation. The deal struck with renowned investor Mark Cuban propelled the company to new heights, and their journey since has been nothing short of remarkable.

With an expanded product line, influential partnerships, and a rebranding effort, Life Lift Systems, now operating under the name “Vortex Vaults,” has emerged as a leader in the storm shelter industry.

This article delves into the post-Shark Tank journey of the company, exploring its new developments, collaborations, and the substantial revenue growth that has marked its success.

What Is Life Lift Systems?

The Vortex Vault Shelter Bed is the main product offered by Life Lift Systems [1]. It is designed as a multi-functional piece of furniture that serves as a regular bed or closet when not in use and transforms into a protective shelter during emergencies.

The shelter is made from ballistic material capable of withstanding EF5 tornadoes, the highest rating on the Enhanced Fujita scale [2]. It is also designed to protect against 9mm bullets, demonstrating its robustness. The shelter is available in three different sizes: twin, full, and queen, accommodating up to five people depending on the size.

One of the standout features of the Vortex Vault Shelter Bed is its hydraulic lifting system. This system allows the shelter to rise and descend smoothly, making it easily accessible for people of all ages and physical abilities. Additionally, the shelter comes equipped with USB ports for charging devices, LED lights, and ventilation fans, ensuring comfort and connectivity during emergencies.

What Is Life Lift Systems?

Unique Features And Concept

The Vortex Vaults 3-Tier Shelter Bed is the pinnacle product of the Life Lift Systems, serving as an innovative fusion of a bed and a storm shelter [3]. With this telescoping bed, the transition to a secure storm shelter can be achieved in less than a minute.

The telescoping bed is equipped with a platform that stands 19 inches high, offering the comfort of a standard bed during ordinary use. However, when the threat of a tornado or storm looms, it can swiftly extend to a towering 57-inch height, transforming the space underneath into a fully-fledged storm shelter.

Designed to match the dimensions of a typical master bedroom, this bed provides ample width. When extended, it offers shelter for up to seven individuals, ensuring that safety and comfort are never compromised during severe weather events.


  • Quick Access: Unlike traditional storm shelters that require you to leave your home, the Vortex Vault Shelter Bed provides immediate access to safety without leaving your bedroom. This can be crucial during sudden disasters;
  • Multi-Functional: The fact that the shelter doubles as a bed or closet means it doesn’t take up additional space in your home;
  • Sturdy Construction: The shelter’s ability to withstand EF5 tornadoes and bullets makes it a reliable choice for personal safety;
  • Accessibility: The hydraulic lifting system ensures that the shelter is easily accessible, even for people with mobility issues [4];


  • Price: Starting at around $ 3,000 for the smallest size, the Vortex Vault Shelter Bed is not a cheap investment. This may make it inaccessible for some households;
  • Installation: Installing the shelter requires professional help, which can add to the overall cost and inconvenience;
  • Limited Spaces: While the shelter comes in different sizes, it might still be cramped for larger families or those with pets;

Who May Benefit From Using Life Lift Systems:

  • Residents in Disaster-Prone Areas: People living in regions prone to severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes will find Life Lift Systems particularly beneficial. The product has been tested to withstand an EF5 tornado and 250 mph winds, providing a secure shelter during these dangerous events;
  • Homeowners Looking for Integrated Solutions: The design of Life Lift Systems allows residents to build storm shelters into their homes as everyday items such as beds and workbenches. This makes it an ideal solution for homeowners who prefer integrated and space-saving safety measures;
  • Individuals with Mobility Issues: While not explicitly stated in the search results, the hydraulic lifting system and the accessibility of the Life Lift Systems can be particularly beneficial for people with physical disabilities or reduced strength. It provides a safe and efficient way to access shelter during emergencies;
  • Investors Interested in Safety Innovation: From an investment perspective, Life Lift Systems’ innovative approach to personal safety during natural disasters seems to have caught the attention of investors like Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner, suggesting potential benefits for those interested in safety innovation [5];

About the Founders Of Life Lift Systems

Life Lift Systems, founded by Levi Wilson and Tim Todd, emerged as a safety innovation designed to safeguard individuals amid turbulent tornadoes. Hailing from the tornado-prone region of Oklahoma, where an average of 60 tornadoes wreak havoc each year, these formidable inventors felt the pressing need for such a lifesaving device. Todd, who weathered two tumultuous twisters in his lifetime, the first of which decimated his grandparents’ abode when he was but a mere child, possesses a profound personal motivation for pioneering the Life Lift Systems, a veritable tornado haven.

The Life Lift Systems, a sanctuary for emergencies, is capable of elevation to shelter an individual during both tornadoes and potential home invasions [6]. Tornado shelters come in two main categories: the above-ground shelters, which consume significant floor space within a dwelling, and the below-ground shelters, prone to infiltration by leaks and unwelcome pests. Remarkably, Life Lift Systems stands apart from these concerns.

In the United States, where roughly 1,200 tornadoes wreak havoc each year, there is an unequivocal demand for tornado shelters. The Life Lift Systems, resembling a vortex of safety, transforms into a telescopic vault and even serves as a comfortable bed, all within the span of a mere 60 seconds.

About the Founders Of Life Lift Systems

Furthermore, the ingenious minds behind Life Lift are diversifying their offerings with a concealed pool table, kitchen table, and workshop table, all ingeniously designed to camouflage the shelter when not in use. Their system boasts unparalleled strength, capable of withstanding the ferocity of an EF5 tornado, which unleashes winds whipping at 250 miles per hour and the potential projectile onslaught of vehicles.

While Wilson and Todd had propelled their enterprise to success, a thirst for additional capital remained. Thus, they made a strategic decision to seek investment in the renowned television show “Shark Tank,” where their bid met with resounding success during the 13th episode of the 10th season.

The Pitch Of Life Lift Systems At Shark Tank

Wilson and Todd entered the Shark Tank with a pitch for $ 555,000 in exchange for a 15% stake in their venture [7]. They showcased one of their protective sanctuaries to the Sharks. The contraption comfortably accommodated four out of the five Sharks. The primary concern raised by the Sharks was ventilation, but Wilson demonstrated that the shelter featured vents distributed all around its surface.

Kevin inquired about the shelter’s resilience in the face of a powerful tornado capable of destroying an entire house. He received assurance that it could withstand such forces. Lori questioned whether strong winds could lift the shelter from its position, and she was informed that it was securely bolted to a concrete floor, making it resistant to displacement. Cuban sought details about the installation process.

Wilson explained that the shelter could be transported into a residence piece by piece and assembled in the preferred location. Lori wondered if the shelter could accidentally descend while someone was inside. Wilson reassured her that a safety mechanism with a battery prevented such occurrences. Todd also shared his personal experiences with tornadoes.

After a thorough explanation, Charles Barkley inquired about the total cost of setting up the shelter. He learned that the price for a queen or king-size bed variant was $ 6,000, which included full installation in the home. Robert Herjavec asked about the cost compared to other shelter options, and it was revealed that the costs were roughly on par.

Lori inquired about the typical placement of these shelters. The response indicated that finding the optimal location could be a challenge for customers, but many opted for their garage or a concrete slab. Charles Barkley probed further into their sales numbers and discovered that they had sold 119 units within the first 3 to 4 months of their business [8].

Robert asked about their sales strategy, and they explained that they primarily relied on social media and advertising. Kevin asked if all units had been installed, to which they responded that they were in the process of doing so and intended to explore the wholesale market. Charles then sought information about their revenue during that period.

Wilson and Todd reported revenue of $ 550,000 in the 3-4 month timeframe since their business launch, earning them praise from the Sharks. Barkley probed into their production costs, learning that it cost them approximately $ 3,600 to manufacture each unit, which retailed for around $ 4,850. The Sharks believed there was room for higher pricing.

The Pitch Of Life Lift Systems At Shark Tank

Cuban strongly recommended raising the price, although Wilson was initially hesitant. Kevin suggested a potential price point of $ 9,000, but Todd emphasized that their company was relatively new, with only six months of operation, and they had much to learn about the business.

Charles questioned if this venture was their full-time occupation. Wilson revealed that he managed a machine shop, while Todd specialized in marketing. Kevin inquired about a patent, and Wilson indicated that their telescoping system was currently pending.

Confirming that they would charge $ 6,000 for sales and installation, Robert inquired about their plans for expanding the business and expressed concern about their narrow profit margins. Wilson expressed their desire to establish wholesalers nationwide, mentioning two dealers in Oklahoma.

Cuban strongly advised them to increase their selling price. Todd stressed that their immediate priority was to secure installers across the country. When asked about their investment in the company, Wilson and Todd revealed they had put in $ 250,000. Barkley probed further about the valuation, to which Wilson explained it was based on current sales and their revenue projections.

Robert opted out of the deal, as did Kevin, both citing their reasons for not investing. Charles followed suit, expressing doubt about recouping his investment at the proposed terms.

Cuban, however, expressed his enthusiasm for the idea and made an offer of $ 500,000 for a 25% stake in the company. He also committed to providing further financial support as the business expanded and helping establish valuable connections. Lori expressed her interest in a similar arrangement.

Wilson inquired if either Mark or Lori would consider a partnership for a 20% stake, offering a royalty. Cuban expressed his willingness and asked for specifics. Wilson proposed a $ 100 royalty, to which Cuban agreed. Lori also accepted the offer. Todd asked if they would partner with him, but Cuban declined.

In the end, Wilson chose to partner with Mark Cuban, accepting the offer of $ 500,000 for a 25% share in their venture. Todd believed that this deal would propel their idea to rapid growth, thanks to Mark’s involvement.

Life Lift Systems At Shark Tank

Life Lift Systems After The Shark Tank

The partnership with Mark has successfully closed, and the company is now prominently featured on his website. Since their appearance on the show, Life Lift has rapidly expanded its reach, adding a total of 19 distributors, with more partnerships in development. They’ve also introduced a new product, the “Safe Shield,” designed to serve as a tornado-safe room and can be easily installed in a garage.

Notably, renowned weather personality Aaron Tuttle has become the official spokesperson for the company, lending his credibility and expertise to their cause. Life Lift, now operating under the rebranded name “Vortex Vaults” as of June 2021, has continued to innovate [9]. They’ve unveiled the “Project Station Shelter,” a versatile solution that can be used as a shelter when needed and doubles as a practical workbench during regular times.

The company’s remarkable progress is evident as of April 2023, with reported annual revenues reaching an impressive $ 4 million, underscoring their commitment to providing cutting-edge shelter solutions for their customers.

The Net Worth Of Life Lift Systems

Based on the information available, as of 2022, the net worth of Life Lift Systems is estimated to be around $ 15 million [10]. The company’s profit margins have reportedly increased to approximately $ 4 million annually. However, the cost of their product can range anywhere from $ 4,600 to $ 5,500 depending on the options you choose.

The Net Worth Of Life Lift Systems

Alternatives To Life Lift Systems:

  • Storm Defense Shelters: This company offers a storm shelter bed that is certified by the Texas Tech Wind Institute. This product seems to be a direct competitor to Life Lift Systems, providing a similar solution for secure and accessible shelter during severe weather conditions;
  • DIY Van Bed Lift System: Although not exactly a storm shelter, this DIY solution provides an elevating bed system. For individuals who live in mobile homes or vans and need space-saving solutions, this could be an interesting alternative;
  • Stair Lifts: Brands like Bruno, Stannah, AmeriGlide, Acorn, Harmar, and Access BDD offer stair lifts. While these products are mainly targeted at people with mobility issues, they might serve as an alternative to Life Lift Systems for those who need help moving vertically in their homes, particularly during emergencies;
  • Scissor Lift System: Although the source mentioned discusses alternatives to scissor lift systems due to high stress upon starting its rise, one could infer that some people might use such systems as an alternative to Life Lift Systems, depending on their specific needs and circumstances [11];


  1. Is Life Lift from Shark Tank still in business?

Yes, Life Lift Systems, now rebranded as “Vortex Vaults,” is still in business and has seen significant growth and product expansion since appearing on Shark Tank.

  1. How much is a storm shelter bed?

The cost of a storm shelter bed can vary widely depending on its features and size. Typically, it may range from $ 4,000 to $ 7,000 or more, depending on the specific model and brand.

  1. What is the most expensive storm shelter?

The most expensive storm shelters are typically large, custom-built underground shelters designed to accommodate a significant number of people. These can cost tens of thousands of dollars, ranging from $ 10,000 to $ 50,000 or more, depending on size, construction materials, and additional features.

  1. What are the best tornado shelters?

The best tornado shelter depends on individual needs, location, and budget. Popular options include in-ground and above-ground steel shelters, concrete safe rooms, and innovative solutions like telescoping beds offered by Vortex Vaults.

  1. Do storm shelters have windows?

In most cases, storm shelters, especially underground ones, do not have windows. Windows can compromise structural integrity and pose safety risks during severe storms. Shelters are designed to protect from debris and high winds, and windows are generally avoided.

  1. Has Shark Tank made anyone rich?

Yes, Shark Tank has played a significant role in making many entrepreneurs and business owners financially successful. Several businesses that struck deals with the Sharks have gone on to achieve substantial growth and profitability. However, the level of success varies among different deals and the entrepreneurs behind them.

  1. What is the safest type of tornado shelter?

The safest type of tornado shelter often includes underground storm shelters, such as in-ground steel shelters or concrete safe rooms. These are designed to withstand strong winds and flying debris and are typically certified to meet FEMA or ICC standards for tornado safety.

Do storm shelters have windows?

  1. What is the best home shelter for a tornado?

The best home shelter for a tornado depends on factors like available space, budget, and personal preferences. Some popular options include in-ground or above-ground steel shelters, concrete safe rooms, or innovative solutions like telescoping storm shelter beds.

  1. What is the best structure to survive a tornado?

The best structure to survive a tornado is typically an underground storm shelter or safe room, specifically designed to withstand extreme winds and flying debris. In the absence of such structures, an interior room or closet on the lowest floor of a well-built home can offer some protection. The key is to stay away from windows and seek the most secure location available.

Useful Video: Bed Storm Shelter