For about a decade, the hit TV show Shark Tank has offered inventors and entrepreneurs a platform to take their product or service to the next level. Ordinary people with extraordinary ideas would scramble to create a pitch and find a rapid manufacturing company in California so they could have their product ready to go for the presentation of a lifetime.
Shark Tank investors have backed a number of notable successes. The products range from a mail-safe cupcake in a jar to an early detection system for bed bugs. The investors on the show have even backed a highly successful live action horror-themed event company, with excellent results.
Not every investment can be a success, however. Here are a few of the investments that did not provide a good return
Mike Abbaticchio and Shon Lees trademarked the name “HillBilly” for their clothing line. They got a deal on the show, but backed out of it later, even after comedian Jeff Foxworthy invested in their company. They were very honest about why the deal fell through, stating that they didn’t really want it in the first place. They just wanted to be on the TV show to get some free advertising for their company.
Renata and Doug Storer developed rechargeable LED lights for running shoes, addressing a common problem for runners who are out early in the morning or after dark. While they got a deal on the show, when they returned home they decide to turn it down. They didn’t need the investment money for the company and decided they did not want to give up any equity in the company.
William Strange’s subscription model for men’s underwear seemed poised as the perfect solution for men who hate to go to stores. Two of the investors on the show liked his business model enough to offer him a deal. After the show, however, Strange chose to devote his time to his other startup business and let Three65 Underwear fall by the wayside
James McDonald and Cole Egger walked into a sweet deal with investment in their cake ball company. While they had the investment to grow their business, some personal issues between the two of them led to the end of their company.
Even with the many rejected pitches and companies that didn’t quite make it, hopeful business owners still go on Shark Tank hoping to reach the next level. With their practiced pitches and products thanks to a rapid manufacturing company in California, some will someday find themselves in the position to invest in other new businesses.