Shark Tank Rejects Who Went on to Be Successful Anyway
As it turns out, being a Shark Tank reject isn't necessarily a death sentence. Not even the sharks get it right every time, and there are plenty of successful companies out there to prove it.
Let’s take a look at what happened to some Shark Tank hopefuls who were either turned down flat or given deals that didn't pan out after the cameras stopped rolling. As you will soon see, Shark Tank rejection was the best thing that ever happened to them.
Back in 2013, James Siminoff appeared on Shark Tank with a pitch for Ring video doorbell, which was originally known as DoorBot. His smart tech product featured a doorbell with a camera that allowed you to see and communicate with anyone who rang your doorbell.
Steven Sashen and his wife, Lena Phoenix, appeared on Shark Tank in 2013, hoping to gain backing for their product Xero Shoes. After suffering an injury during a run, Sashen started running barefoot, which inspired him to create a virtually weightless running sandal.
The Lip Bar
In 2015, former Wall Street executive Melissa Butler made an appearance on Shark Tank in an effort to get funding for a new line of makeup called "The Lip Bar." Butler's lipsticks were not only vegan and cruelty-free, but also affordable.
In 2013, Abe Geary appeared on Shark Tank seeking a $200,000 investment in exchange for a 20% equity stake in his company, PetPaint. His product is exactly what it sounds like, a safe, veterinarian-approved product for coloring your dog's hair.
In 2011, a firefighter named Jeff Stroope introduced a product on Shark Tank that had both professional and practical implications. His company, Hy-Conn, produced products that made it much quicker and easier to connect hoses to fire hydrants and garden faucets.
If you're looking for a more health-conscious pancake, then Kodiak Cakes is the brand for you. The Utah-based flapjack company uses a flour-based mix that utilizes more protein and whole grains than your average everyday pancake mix.
Hammer and Nails
Michael Elliot appeared on Shark Tank in 2014 to sell the idea that many men appreciate a good mani/pedi just as much as women. He was looking for a $200,000 investment for his men's nail salon "Hammer and Nails" in return for a 20% stake.
In 2015, a former NASA employee named Mark Aramli attempted to find an investor on Shark Tank for his climate-controlling mattress pad, BedJet. His dream was to put an end to sleepless nights caused by blankets that were either too hot or not quite warm enough.
Season 6 introduced Chris Ruder and his idea for a new sports game called Spikeball. The game involved two teams of two players, competing to bounce a ball off a trampoline-style net.
In 2017, Mark Bernstein appeared on the show to ask for a $300,000 investment in return for 8% of his company, MealEnders. Bernstein's products consisted of a variety of lozenges that were designed to naturally curb the appetite and help people lose weight by signaling the end of the meal.
In 2016, two enterprising young fitness buffs named Ben Young and Gregory Coleman pitched the sharks on a workout app named Sworkit. The app allowed users to skip a drive to the gym by providing a huge library of workout videos that could be done at home.
Renata and Doug Storer appeared looking for an investor for Night Runner 270. Marketed as "headlights for shoes," the product featured rechargeable LED lights that fit right onto your shoelaces.
Back in Season 2, Shawn Davis appeared on Shark Tank looking for a $200,000 investment to help get his shrimp burger business off the ground. He was first inspired by his daughter, who had decided to become a pescatarian, to make the all-seafood burger.
When Ray Phillips brought his adorable SoapSox washcloths on the show in 2014, he was hoping to raise a $260,000 investment in exchange for 10% of his company. To his surprise, Daymond John offered him the money for 33%, and Lori Greiner teamed up with Robert Herjavec and offered to buy the company for $1 million.
Echo Valley Meats
Generally, when the sharks reject a product, you won’t see it make an appearance on the show a second time. That wasn’t true for Dave Alwan and his Echo Valley Meats company. When he first appeared in Season 4 to seek an investment offer, he left without a deal but decided to take some of the sharks' advice to heart.
In 2016, Justin Kittredge pitched the sharks on ISlide, customized men’s slide sandals, in the hopes of raising a $500,000 investment in exchange for 5% of his company. Although Robert Herjavec was impressed enough to offer Kittredge the money, he wanted 20% of the company in exchange.
Don Hejny went on Shark Tank hoping for a deal and mentorship from Mark Cuban or Lori Greiner. His product was called Nerdwax, and it provided an all-natural way to prevent glasses or sunglasses from slipping down your nose. He didn't get either of the things he wanted.
After having his own coat stolen at a nightclub, Derek Pacque developed the idea for CoatChex. The ticketless coat checking system relies on phone numbers, social media handles and photos taken on the spot rather than the traditional ticketing system.
In 2013, Jan Goetgeluk made a Shark Tank appearance and introduced his company, Virtuix Omni. The company sells a unique omnidirectional treadmill used for 360-degree virtual reality gaming. Goetgeluk asked the sharks for $2 million in exchange for a 10% stake in his company.
Copa Di Vino
James Martin became one of the most notorious guests in Shark Tank history when he appeared in 2011 to pitch Copa Di Vino. Martin was seeking an investment of $600,000 in exchange for a 30% stake in his single-serve wine glass idea.
How Do You Roll?
Austin, Texas, brothers Yuen and Peter Yung started the first How Do You Roll? sushi restaurant in their hometown in 2008. By 2011, the brothers had managed to upgrade to 15 locations in five different states. So, in 2013, it was no surprise that they scored a deal on Shark Tank.
Pediatric physician Amy Baxter, MD, appeared on Shark Tank in 2014, assuring everyone that she understood the fear of needles. That common fear led to the development of Buzzy, a small, insect-shaped ice pack that uses vibrations to help numb a patient's skin before they get a shot.
Coffee Meets Bagel
These days, dating apps may be a dime a dozen, but few are designed by women, with women in mind. That's why Dawoon, Arum and Soo Kang went on Shark Tank looking for an investment for Coffee Meets Bagels, a dating app that matches potential daters based on their Facebook profiles.
The Smart Baker
When Daniel and Stephanie Rensing appeared on Shark Tank in 2012, they were hoping to get a $75,000 investment for 25% of their company, The Smart Baker. The company offers convenient tools, such as cupcake towers and pre-cut parchment paper, for baking enthusiasts everywhere.
Voyage Air Guitar
Voyage Air Guitar, a folding guitar developed by father and son Jeff and Josh Cohen, has one of the most interesting histories of any product ever to appear on Shark Tank. The product has made three appearances on the show, with the first culminating in Kevin O'Leary's Season 1 offer of $500,000 for a 51% stake.
During Season 4, the sharks met Mona Weiss and Scott Shields, the founders of Eco Nuts natural detergent company. The couple's product consisted of dried berries that serve as a laundry detergent alternative for people with sensitive skin. Eco Nuts was looking to raise $175,000 in return for a 15% equity stake.
First Defense Nasal Screens
When Joseph Moore appeared on Season 2 of Shark Tank, he was looking for a $500,000 investment in exchange for 10% of his company, First Defense Nasal Screens. He already had an $8 million overseas contract, making it incredibly easy for the sharks to see his potential.
Idaho brothers Tanner, Brookes and Taylor Dame cashed in on the eco-friendly movement with Proof Eyewear, their handcrafted wooden sunglasses company. In 2013, they asked the sharks for a $150,000 investment in exchange for a 10% stake in their already successful business.
With as much time as people spend on smartphones these days, it only makes sense to offer the devices a little added protection. That's where CellHelmet, a liquid screen protector for your smartphone, comes to the rescue. In 2013, its creators appeared on Shark Tank seeking $160,000 for a 20% stake.
The Bouqs Co.
John Tabis went on Shark Tank in 2014 hoping to find an investor for his online flower delivery service, The Bouqs Co. He wanted to score a $258,000 investment for 3% equity in his company as part of a larger fundraising goal. The sharks all thought his pitch was absurd, and he left without a deal.