It's Sunday night, and you're tuning in to one of your favorite shows: Shark Tank. As you sit there watching, you think to yourself, “I should definitely go on this show!” Your mind races through all of the interesting inventions and business ideas you have thought of over the years, and you truly begin to wonder if you should apply to be on the show.
Feeling inspired, you grab your phone and search: “How to get on Shark Tank?” After you skim through the application information, you decide that you're ready to dive in and make your dreams a reality.
To prepare, you need to educate yourself on the successes and mistakes of former Shark Tank contestants. Although there are definitely enough Shark Tank failures to learn from, there are plenty more successes! Here, we saved you some time and rounded up the five most successful businesses that have appeared on Shark Tank.
The Squatty Potty aims to help you discover the most pleasurable way to poop. It is a personal care company marketing a toilet stool that was manufactured for easier bowel movements. Even though it is an uncomfortable subject, this product caught the eye of Sharks Kevin O’Leary and Lori Greiner, who invested $350,000 for 10 percent equity. This business got a major boost after appearing on the show. Just 24 hours after the deal, they saw $1 million in sales and revenue rose to $19 million in 2015.
Bottle Breacher was the brainchild of former Navy SEAL Eli Crane with his wife and business partner Jen. The company is staffed by military veterans who turn dummy .50-caliber bullets into stylized bottle openers. The husband and wife duo made a deal with Mark Cuban and Kevin O'Leary for $150,000 in exchange for a 20 percent stake in the company. It has been one of O’Leary’s most successful investments to date with more than $2.5 million in sales this year alone.
The Scrub Daddy is “America’s Favorite Sponge,” and it is shaped like a smiley face. The major selling point of the Scrub Daddy is that the sponge is made of a unique material that becomes soft in hot water and hard in cold water. Lori Greiner is the Shark who bit on this business, investing $200,000 for 20 percent equity. And what a success it’s been since! Scrub Daddy has moved 10 million units for total sales of more than $50 million since appearing on the show.
BuggyBeds is a device placed under your mattress or cushions that serves as an early detector for those pesky bedbugs. It will determine if there are any bedbugs present in your home, in dorm rooms, or even in a hotel, so you can always have peace of mind. This product was so impressive to the Sharks that all five of them bit — the first time in the show’s history that all five Sharks were willing to go in on the same deal. Together, Kevin O’Leary, Robert Herjavec, Mark Cuban, Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran invested $250,000 for 25 percent of the company. It was quite the investment, but it led BuggyBeds to international growth across 23 countries with sales of more than $1.2 million. So it was worth it!
The Cool Wazoo is a diaper bag staple for parents: a five-in-one waterproof and wipeable mat that can be used as a shopping cart cover, changing pad, highchair cover, swing insert and more. With this product, baby is always protected from any germy surfaces. The product's creator, Ginelle Mills, gave an emotional pitch that Lori Greiner went for, making an offer of $65,000 for a 25 percent stake in the company.
Take the Leap
Before you apply to be on the show, you will need to do plenty of research to see if your potential invention or idea is already on the market or trademarked. You will also need to form your own business entity to protect yourself before taking on investors.
Want to make the leap and apply to be on Shark Tank, or just start taking your potential business idea more seriously? Start here. Incfile can assist you with business license research, company formation, business tax information and much more.
Lisa Crocco is a marketer for an international food manufacturer by day and a freelance writer/marketer for startups and small businesses by night. She's written for outlets like USA Today College, Career Contessa, CloudPeeps and Fairygodboss.