After 10 seasons and 2,000 pitches, ‘Shark Tank’ sharks talk about the best, worst and funniest pitches they’ve heard.
Harrison Hill, USA TODAY
Five shark regulars – Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary – weighed in on memorable moments, from the sublime to the ridiculous, during an eight-hour shooting day in September.
On Sunday’s episode, the sharks will consider four new pitches, including two from Colorado hopefuls: a family with a portable product designed to bring kitchen convenience to the great outdoors, and entrepreneurs with a sports-design process that transforms sneakers into golf shoes.
They’ll need to hurdle a high bar – or crawl under a low one – to earn a “Shark Tank” superlative. Here are the sharks’ picks:
Plated, meal-delivery service, Season 5 (2014)
Kevin O’Leary: “The one that was really remarkable was the pitch for Plated, which I bought into and we sold to Albertsons (supermarkets) . They were great operators, great entrepreneurs, had a great idea at the right time. They started with nothing and they walked away with $300 million.”
Pitching and hoping: ‘Shark Tank’ recap: Hungry sharks circle around mail-in knife sharpening business
Simple Sugars, all-natural skincare line, Season 4 (2013)
Mark Cuban: “Lani Lazzari’s Simple Sugars, which was a (body) scrub. She was 19 years old (when) she came on, she was poised, she knew her business cold. It was like she had been in business for 25 years and she just happened to walk in to pitch us. She had it all together and It was just incredibly impressive.”
Ionic Ear, surgically implanted Bluetooth device, Season 1 (2009)
Barbara Corcoran: “The worst pitch is probably the crazy engineer who had a Bluetooth device that would only work if you surgically put it in your ear. When it ran out of battery (life), you have another surgeon take it out of your ear and recharge it. Nutso!”
Darrin Johnson makes his pitch for the Ionic Ear on the very first episode of ABC’s ‘Shark Tank.’
Sony Pictures Television
Sullivan Generator, machine converting salt water to electricity and gold, Season 3 (2012)
Daymond John: “The guy wanted to build some kind of system in the ocean that twirled around sand and created gold. And I went home and I put a bunch of sand in a blender. I thought I was going to get a pinky ring or something. Nothing ever happened.”
Most emotional pitch
The children of a late New York City firefighter fulfilled his dream of selling his cutting board. Now it’s found a partner.
Cup Board Pro, cutting board, Season 10 (2018)
Cuban: “When Kaley, Keira and Christian (Young) came on and we heard he story of their dad, who was a fireman on 9/11 and had recently died of cancer. Their mom had died of cancer prior to that. And their dad’s dream was to come on ‘Shark Tank’ and pitch his Cup Board Pro, which was a butcher’s block-type thing where you can cut and dice and (it) had a really cool edge where you can push off all the extras onto (it) and just swap it out. It was great and it was just heart-wrenching and we were all crying. It was the first time all five sharks have worked together, to help Cup Board Pro really just take off. Since we’ve helped them, the product is doing incredibly well.”
Best pitch for the worst product
Lose 12 Inches with Any 12 Workouts, weight-loss DVD, Season 4 (2013)
Lori Greiner: “Who was the abs guy? (‘Cowboy Ryan’ Ehmann) Rodeo Abs. The guy was fantastic and he was really funny, crazy, zany. We were laughing throughout, but what he was selling was lose weight by breathing.”
‘Cowboy Ryan’ Ehmann says his Lose 12 Inches with Any 12 Workouts program can help achieve Rodeo Abs on a Season 4 episode of ‘Shark Tank.’
Sony Pictures Television
Potato Parcel, potatoes with personalized messages, Season 8 (2016)
O’Leary: “The best pitch for the worst product was Potato Parcel: A guy that puts your face on a potato and then mailed it to you. I own that deal now. I’ve made a ton of money. It’s so whimsical and funny when people see it. They pay $18 for a potato!”
Weak pitches for good products
Tower Paddle Boards, Season 3 (2012)
Cuban: “The worst pitch I ever invested in was Tower Paddle Boards, which has done $10, $12, $15 million in business since then. The guy stumbled on everything, but the one thing he conveyed was that he was an expert in search-engine optimization. That was what his business was all about, trying to sell paddle boards in the new stand-up paddle board business. And he made it known that even though he wasn’t very good at pitching or presenting, he really was an expert in what he did and it’s paid off. I’ve probably made 10 times my money off of that.”
ScreenMend, DIY window and door screen repair, Season 5 (2013)
Greiner: “ScreenMend was a product where (the) young girls did a good job pitching, but they were in high school still. The pitch was base level:” A wax-soaked screen patch sealed with a blow dryer. “But I could see that we could manufacture it and help them with adhesives and (making) the product better. And so we did that and I licensed it to my FiberFix guys (Season 5,), who are experts in adhesives, and we put both girls through college and the dad and mom, I think, have a new home. It was a many, many million-dollar success, but they came in with a very simple idea.”
The one that got away
Ring (then called Doorbot), video doorbell, Season 5 (2013)
John: “I think the surprise we all had was … Jamie (Siminoff) from Ring, (who) sold his company(to Amazon) for $1.2 billion, I believe. Even though he didn’t get an investment (from) us, we’re extremely happy that it happened for him.”
Siminoff’s feat earned him a return visit in Season 10 – not pitching a product, but joining the investor panel as a guest shark.
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