Shark Tank, the popular TV show where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of wealthy investors, has been entertaining audiences for over a decade. The show has had a significant impact on the startup world, helping many entrepreneurs launch their businesses and achieve unprecedented success. However, not every pitch on the show results in a deal with the sharks. In fact, some of the most successful businesses today were initially rejected by the panel of investors.
These successful “Shark Tank rejects” have proven that rejection from the show does not equate to failure. Many of these entrepreneurs used the exposure from the show to launch their businesses, gain media attention, and ultimately become household names. By thinking outside the box and finding alternative funding sources, these entrepreneurs were able to achieve success despite not receiving investment from the sharks.
In this article, we will explore some of the most successful Shark Tank rejects and the strategies they used to achieve success. From household products to technology startups, these businesses have made a significant impact on their respective industries and serve as inspiration for entrepreneurs who may have faced rejection or setbacks in their own endeavors.
Through these stories of perseverance and ingenuity, we can learn that rejection is not the end of the road for entrepreneurs. It can be a powerful motivator to think creatively and find new avenues for success. Ultimately, the success of these Shark Tank rejects highlights the importance of persistence, resilience, and a willingness to take risks in achieving entrepreneurial success.
Why Do Shark Tank Judges Reject Businesses?
Shark Tank judges reject businesses for a variety of reasons, including:
- Lack of scalability: The Sharks are looking for businesses that have the potential to grow and scale quickly. If a business does not have a clear plan for growth or lacks the potential for scalability, the Sharks are likely to pass;
- Weak financials: The Sharks want to invest in businesses that have a solid financial foundation and clear revenue streams. If a business has weak financials or is not generating significant revenue, the Sharks may reject the pitch;
- Poor presentation: A business owner’s presentation skills can greatly impact their chances of securing investment. If a pitch is disorganized, lacks clarity, or does not effectively communicate the value of the product or service, the Sharks may reject the business;
- Lack of market demand: The Sharks are looking for businesses that offer a unique value proposition and solve a real problem for consumers. If there is no clear market demand for a product or service, the Sharks are unlikely to invest ;
- Personal differences: Finally, the Sharks are people too, and personal differences can play a role in their investment decisions. If a business owner rubs a Shark the wrong way, they may be less likely to invest, even if the business has a solid pitch and financials;
Some common reasons may include a lack of perceived market demand or potential for growth, inadequate financial projections or evidence of profitability, or disagreements over valuation or ownership structure.
Additionally, Sharks may have personal biases or preferences that influence their decision-making.
The decision to invest in a business is based on a combination of a rigorous evaluation of the business’s potential and the preferences and goals of the individual Sharks.
Shark Tank’s Rejects That Became Very Successful:
Ring is a home security company that offers a variety of products, including video doorbells and security cameras. Founder Jamie Siminoff appeared on Shark Tank in 2013 seeking $700,000 for a 10% stake in the company, but none of the Sharks were interested. Since then, Ring has gone on to become a massive success, with Amazon acquiring the company in 2018 for $1 billion .
Copa di Vino
Copa di Vino is a company that produces single-serve wine glasses that are perfect for outdoor events or picnics. Founder James Martin appeared on Shark Tank in 2011 seeking a $600,000 investment for a 30% stake in the company, but the Sharks were not interested. Despite this, Copa di Vino has gone on to achieve great success, with sales exceeding $20 million per year.
Kodiak Cakes is a company that produces high-protein pancakes and waffle mixes made with whole grains. Founder Joel Clark appeared on Shark Tank in 2013 seeking a $500,000 investment for a 10% stake in the company, but the Sharks were not interested. Since then, Kodiak Cakes has become a popular brand, with products available in major retailers like Target and Walmart.
Hammer and Nails
BedJet is a company that produces climate control systems for beds, allowing users to control the temperature and airflow to achieve the perfect sleeping environment. Founder Mark Aramli appeared on Shark Tank in 2015 seeking a $500,000 investment for a 10% stake in the company, but the Sharks were not interested. Since then, BedJet has become a popular brand, with products available on major retailers like Amazon and Home Depot.
Xero Shoes is a company that produces minimalist footwear that mimics the feeling of walking barefoot. Founder Steven Sashen appeared on Shark Tank in 2013 seeking a $400,000 investment for a 10% stake in the company, but the Sharks were not interested. Despite this, Xero Shoes has gone on to become a popular brand, with products available on major retailers like REI and Amazon.
The Lip Bar
Melissa Butler, the founder of The Lip Bar, had a clear vision of creating a line of lipsticks that catered to all skin tones, but the Sharks didn’t see the potential in her business during her appearance on the show in 2015. However, after leaving the show, Butler’s company received a huge boost in publicity, and she was able to expand her product line and get her products in Target stores nationwide.
Today, The Lip Bar has become a popular brand for its inclusivity and bold colors. The company has expanded beyond just lipsticks to include lip glosses, eyeshadows, and foundations, all of which are vegan and cruelty-free. In 2019, Butler’s company made $2.5 million in revenue, proving that rejection on Shark Tank doesn’t always mean the end of a successful business.
Big Shake’s Hot Chicken and Fish
In season 8 of Shark Tank, Big Shake’s Hot Chicken and Fish founder Shawn Davis asked for $200,000 for a 25% stake in his Nashville-style hot chicken and fish restaurant. However, the Sharks didn’t see the potential in his business and Davis left the show without a deal.
Despite the rejection, Davis continued to grow his business and open new locations. Today, Big Shake has multiple locations throughout the United States and has even been featured on the Food Network’s hit show “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.” Davis has also expanded his business to include a line of hot chicken seasoning and sauces that are available for purchase online.
The Bouqs Co.
The Bouqs Co. is an online flower delivery service that sources its flowers directly from sustainable farms. When the founders of The Bouqs Co. appeared on Shark Tank in 2014, they asked for $258,000 for a 5% stake in their business. However, the Sharks didn’t bite and the founders left without a deal .
Despite the setback, The Bouqs Co. continued to grow and is now a well-established brand in the online flower delivery industry. The company has even partnered with popular retailers like Whole Foods and Anthropologie to offer their products in-store. In 2020, The Bouqs Co. was acquired by the flower delivery giant FTD for $18 million, proving that even a rejection on Shark Tank can lead to success.
Rocketbook is a notebook that allows users to take notes and then upload them to the cloud for easy storage and organization. When the founders of Rocketbook appeared on Shark Tank in 2016, they asked for $400,000 for a 10% stake in their business. However, the Sharks didn’t see the potential in their product and the founders left without a deal.
Despite the rejection, Rocketbook continued to grow and expand its product line. Today, the company offers multiple types of reusable notebooks and has even partnered with companies like Google and Microsoft to make their products more accessible to consumers. In 2020, Rocketbook was acquired by the consumer goods company ACCO Brands for $40 million, proving that a rejection on Shark Tank doesn’t always mean the end of a successful business.
MealEnders are small candies designed to help curb cravings and overeating. They contain a combination of sweet and cool sensations that signal the brain to stop eating. While the sharks didn’t see the potential in this product, it has gone on to become a top-selling weight loss aid.
MealEnders were featured on Shark Tank in 2015, but none of the sharks were willing to invest. The company has since sold millions of units and has a strong following among dieters and those looking to manage their food intake.
Coffee Meets Bagel
Coffee Meets Bagel is a dating app that was pitched on Shark Tank in 2015. The app’s founders, three sisters, initially turned down a $30 million offer from Mark Cuban. While the app hasn’t reached the same heights as some of the other dating apps, it has still found success with over 7 million users.
Coffee Meets Bagel stands out from other dating apps by limiting the number of matches each day to encourage users to focus on quality over quantity. It has also been praised for its emphasis on user privacy and safety.
Chef Big Shake
Chef Big Shake’s Original Shrimp Burger was featured on Shark Tank in 2012. The sharks loved the taste but were hesitant to invest in a product that relied heavily on seafood. Despite not securing a deal, the shrimp burger has become a cult favorite, with thousands of fans around the country.
Chef Big Shake, aka Shawn Davis, has since expanded his product line to include other seafood items such as lobster and crab burgers. He has also opened several restaurants in the Nashville area.
ISlide is a company that makes custom slide sandals. The founder, Justin Kittredge, pitched the product on Shark Tank in 2016 but was unable to secure a deal. Despite this setback, ISlide has become a favorite among athletes and celebrities.
ISlide has partnered with the NBA, WNBA, and several colleges to create custom slides for their teams. They have also collaborated with stars like DJ Khaled and Snoop Dogg to create limited-edition designs.
Cinnaholic is a gourmet cinnamon roll bakery that was pitched on Shark Tank in 2014. The sharks were impressed by the taste but were hesitant to invest in a product that relied heavily on one type of dessert. Despite this, Cinnaholic has become a favorite among vegans and those with food allergies.
Cinnaholic offers over 20 different frosting flavors and dozens of toppings, allowing customers to create their own unique cinnamon roll creations. The company has expanded rapidly and now has over 50 locations around the world .
SoapSox is a line of stuffed animals designed to hold soap and make bath time more fun for kids. The founder, Ray Phillips, pitched the product on Shark Tank in 2014 but was unable to secure a deal. Despite this setback, SoapSox has become a popular gift item for parents and grandparents.
SoapSox comes in a variety of animal designs and has won numerous awards for its innovative design. The company has also expanded to include bath scrubs and accessories.
Scrub Daddy is a product that was created by Aaron Krause, which is a sponge made from a unique material that changes its texture based on the temperature of the water. It was presented on Shark Tank in Season 4, and Krause was seeking a $100,000 investment for a 10% stake in the company. The Sharks were initially skeptical, but after Krause demonstrated the product’s versatility and effectiveness, they became interested.
Lori Greiner ultimately made a deal with Krause, offering $200,000 for a 20% stake in the company. Since then, Scrub Daddy has become one of the most successful products to come out of Shark Tank, with sales exceeding $170 million . It has expanded its product line to include other cleaning products, such as the Scrub Mommy, a dual-sided sponge with a smiley face, and the Scrub Daisy, a cleaning system with interchangeable heads.
Proof Eyewear is a brand that sells sunglasses and eyeglasses made from sustainable materials such as wood, cotton-based acetate, and recycled aluminum. It was founded by brothers Brooks, Tanner, and Taylor Dame, who presented their idea on Shark Tank in Season 6.
The brothers were seeking a $150,000 investment for a 10% stake in the company. While the Sharks were impressed with the product’s design and mission, they were concerned about the company’s profitability and ability to scale. Robert Herjavec ultimately made a deal with the brothers, offering $150,000 for a 25% stake in the company.
Since appearing on Shark Tank, Proof Eyewear has become a successful brand, featured in publications such as Forbes and Inc. Magazine. It has expanded its product line to include watches, wallets, and other accessories made from sustainable materials. The company has also partnered with non-profit organizations such as the Wood River Land Trust and the ClearWater Initiative to support environmental conservation efforts.
Nerdwax is a product that prevents eyeglasses from sliding down a person’s nose. It is made from natural, organic ingredients that help the wax adhere to the skin without causing irritation. It was created by Don Hejny, who presented his idea to the Sharks in Season 7. Although the Sharks praised the product’s simplicity and effectiveness, none of them made an offer to invest.
Despite not getting a deal, Nerdwax has been successful, selling over a million units in over 130 countries. It has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Forbes, and Entrepreneur. The company has also expanded its product line to include other items such as pocket clips, t-shirts, and stickers.
Eco Nuts is a brand that sells laundry detergent made from dried berries from the Sapindus mukorossi tree. The product is eco-friendly, hypoallergenic, and free of harmful chemicals. It was presented on Shark Tank in Season 4 by Mona Weiss and Scott Shields, who were seeking a $175,000 investment for a 10% stake in the company.
The Sharks were skeptical of the product’s effectiveness, and some expressed concerns about its scalability. Barbara Corcoran ultimately made an offer of $175,000 for a 50% stake, but Weiss and Shields declined the deal.
Despite not getting a deal, Eco Nuts has gone on to become successful, receiving accolades from publications such as Real Simple, Parenting Magazine, and Good Housekeeping. The company has also expanded its product line to include other household items such as all-purpose cleaners, wool dryer balls, and stain removers.
Recommendations For Businesses After Shark Tank:
It Can Take a Lot of Rejections to Get FundedThe key is to keep pitching and refining your pitch until you find investors who see the same vision that you do. You can also look into other funding sources, such as venture capitalists, angel investors, or crowdfunding.
Many Startups do Just Fine without Outside FundingOne advantage of not taking on outside funding is that you maintain full control over your business and can make decisions based on what is best for the company, rather than what is best for the investors. This can be especially important for businesses with a strong vision and mission.
It Is All About Storytelling
One of the biggest takeaways from Shark Tank is the importance of storytelling. The Sharks are not just investing in a product or service; they are investing in the people behind it. To get investors excited about your business, you need to be able to tell a compelling story that captures their attention and makes them want to be a part of your journey.
Your story should highlight what makes your business unique, why you are passionate about what you do, and what impact you hope to make on the world. It should also include details about your background, your team, and your vision for the future .
Not Everyone Will See the Opportunity
It’s important to remember that not everyone will see the same opportunity that you do. The Sharks are successful investors because they have a keen eye for identifying businesses with high growth potential. However, they are also human and can make mistakes.
If you don’t get a deal with the Sharks, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your business isn’t a good investment. It could just mean that the Sharks didn’t see the same potential that you do. Don’t let their decision discourage you or make you doubt your business’s potential.
There is No Such Thing as Bad Press
After appearing on Shark Tank, it’s important to leverage the exposure to your advantage. You can use social media to connect with viewers, offer special promotions to Shark Tank fans, and reach out to local media outlets to share your story.
What is the most successful product that Shark Tank turned down?
One of the most successful products that Shark Tank turned down is Ring, a smart doorbell and security system. In 2013, Ring founder Jamie Siminoff pitched his idea to the Sharks, but they all passed on the opportunity to invest. Despite the rejection, Siminoff continued to build his company, which was eventually acquired by Amazon in 2018 for over $1 billion.
What is the biggest Shark Tank failure?
One of the biggest Shark Tank failures is probably the Ionic Ear, a wireless earpiece that was meant to be implanted in the ear. The product was pitched in Season 2 of the show, but the Sharks quickly realized that it was not practical or safe. No deal was made, and the product never made it to market.
Who is the most successful contestant from Shark Tank?
It is difficult to determine the most successful contestant from Shark Tank as there have been many success stories. Some notable examples include the Scrub Daddy sponge, the Simply Fit Board, and the Squatty Potty. All of these products have generated millions of dollars in revenue and have become household names.
Who rejected the Shark Tank offer?
Many entrepreneurs have rejected offers from the Sharks on the show, often because the terms of the deal were not favorable or did not align with their vision for their business. Some notable examples include the founders of Coffee Meets Bagel, who turned down a $30 million offer from Mark Cuban, and the creators of Ring, who did not receive any offers but went on to achieve great success outside of the show.
Have any Shark Tank deals flopped?
Yes, there have been several Shark Tank deals that have not been successful. Some of these include the CitiKitty toilet training kit, the Hy-Conn fire hose connector, and the UroClub portable urinal.
Who invested least in Shark Tank?
Several Sharks have made small investments on the show, but the least amount invested by a single Shark was $50,000 by Robert Herjavec in Season 1.
Has anyone from Shark Tank made it big?
Yes, many entrepreneurs who have appeared on Shark Tank have gone on to achieve great success. Some of the most successful include the founders of Ring, who were acquired by Amazon for over $1 billion, and the creators of the Scrub Daddy sponge, which has generated over $100 million in revenue.
Which “shark” invested the most?
The Shark who has invested the most on the show is probably Mark Cuban, who has made over 100 deals and invested more than $22 million in various businesses.
Is Lori Greiner a billionaire?
While Lori Greiner is a successful entrepreneur and investor, she is not a billionaire. Her estimated net worth is around $150 million.
Do Sharks regret not investing in Scrub Daddy?
While the Sharks may regret not investing in some of the more successful companies that have appeared on the show, it is unclear if they specifically regret not investing in Scrub Daddy.
Has the Shark Tank ever made a bad investment?
Yes, there have been some investments on Shark Tank that have not panned out. For example, the Sharks invested $700,000 in a company called Groovebook, which was later acquired by Shutterfly for only $14.5 million.
What is the richest business on Shark Tank?
The richest business to have appeared on Shark Tank is probably Ring, which was acquired by Amazon for over $1 billion.
Who turned down $30 million on Shark Tank?
The founders of Coffee Meets Bagel turned down a $30 million offer from Mark Cuban in Season 8 of the show.
Why do most Shark Tank’s deals not close?
Most Shark Tank deals do not close because they are subject to due diligence, which can reveal issues with the business that were not apparent during the initial pitch. Additionally, the terms of the deal may not be agreeable to both parties, or negotiations may break down over equity or valuation. Finally, even if a deal is agreed upon on the show, there is no guarantee that it will be finalized after filming, as the Sharks have the option to back out if they uncover additional information that changes their decision.
What Shark Tank products have failed but made millions?
There have been several Shark Tank products that failed to impress the Sharks but still went on to make millions in sales. Some examples include the Squatty Potty, the Scrub Daddy sponge, and the Simply Fit Board.
Which Shark has made the least deals?
Kevin O’Leary, also known as “Mr. Wonderful”, has made the least deals among the Sharks, with a total of 68 investments as of 2021.
What deal did all 5 sharks go in on?
There have been a few deals that all five Sharks have invested in, including the Breathometer, a device that measures blood alcohol levels, and the Lumio, a portable lamp that folds like a book.
What was Kevin O’Leary’s best Shark Tank investment?
One of Kevin O’Leary’s best Shark Tank investments was in the company Groovebook, a mobile app that allows users to print their smartphone photos into a photobook. O’Leary invested $150,000 for an 80% stake in the company, which was later acquired by Shutterfly for $14.5 million.
How often do Shark Tank deals fail?
It is difficult to determine the exact failure rate of Shark Tank deals, as many factors can contribute to a deal’s success or failure. However, it is estimated that around 50% of deals made on the show do not actually close after filming.
Do Shark Tank contestants get paid?
No, Shark Tank contestants do not get paid for appearing on the show. However, they do have the opportunity to pitch their products to a national audience and potentially secure investment from the Sharks.
Useful Video: Top 20 Rejected Shark Tank Pitches That Became Successful