5 of the Most Beautiful Shark Tank Entrepreneurs
Tiffany Krumins (Ava the Elephant)
Tiffany Krumins is a nanny who took her talents to the entrepreneurial field. She invented a unique way of administering medicine. She understands the difficulty of administering medicine to children as she has worked with special needs and child cancer patients.
Enter Emmy the Elephant (later called Ava the Elephant). Tiffany created the initial prototypes out of supplies such as sponges and cloth. She noticed that despite the initial samples being crude, the children had a positive response towards the dispenser.
As usual, "Mr. Wonderful" Kevin O' Leary was pessimistic about the product and feared that the child may eventually see through the gimmick and stop using Ava once he realizes that Ava gives ill tasting medicine.
The other sharks did not see much potential in the product either. Robert Herjavec saw a bit of potential in the licensing field but not much else. Barbara saw a lot of potential in the product but wanted more skin in the game. She felt that a mere 15% was too small for her.
They finally settled at a 55% stake for Barbara which in effect gave her controlling interest in the young company. While many entrepreneurs would fight tooth and nail to keep control of their company, Tiffany understood that she had a product and not a company yet. She needed Barbara's resources and expertise in order for Ava to succeed.
While Barbara was successful in the real estate space, she knew nothing about the medical field. She had to learn as she went along and she ended up spending $285,000 to launch Ava successfully unto the marketplace. It was not an easy ride for her and Tiffany as it takes a lot of effort and resources to take an unknown product and concept to the marketplace.
Tiffany also had to overcome illness. She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She has had an uphill battle in marketing Ava as well as conquering her own illness.
In the end, Ava became a success and sold in thousands of retail locations and online. Retailers included Walmart, CVS and Walgreens.
Ozma Khan (Kookn' Kap)
Ozma Khan is a manager in the advisory department of Ernst & Young - one of the largest accounting firms in the world which has nearly a quarter of a million employees and operated in 150 countries. She and her partner Juli Deveau are the owners of Kookn’ Kap - a cap that aims to protect your hair from absorbing odors during cooking.
Cooking is a fun and rewarding experience especially if your dish comes out well and is appreciated by your friends and family. However, the downside is that your hair tends to absorb the odor of whatever you were cooking and your hair smells like the dish you just cooked.
The idea came about when Ozma and Juli were cooking fish as they were hosting a dinner party. After dinner, the girls went out to paint the town red. Someone went up to Juli and told her that her hair smelled like fish and the bartender confirmed this. Juli felt embarrassed and swore this would never happen again.
Thus Ozma and Juli came up with Kookn' Kap. The cap looked like a shower cap but was made of a different non-flammable material. It kept your hair from smelling like your dinner.
Although the cap was meant to be non-flammable, the cap had a flammable warning. This caught Ozma off guard as she did not notice the error. It is understandable that people make mistakes. However, Ozma should have made sure there were no hitches in the presentation. This is national television after all and the whole country would see it. Not a time for amateur hour.
The sharks were not impressed by the look of the cap. Mark Cuban says it reminded him of Little Bo Peep. Robert said the cap made Ozma and Juli look like grandmas and even suggested that a simple shower could get rid of food odors. Kevin did not think the business as profitable and thought of it as a mere hobby.
While the sharks were amused that Ozma and Juli were very energetic and spoke in unison the sharks did not bite.
As pretty as Ozma was, her product was panned by the sharks on how awful it would look on the wearer.
Caitlin Powers (Solsource)
Alternative energy is big nowadays. Whether it be solar, wind, hydroelectric, tidal or geothermal, people are looking for ways to replace traditional sources such oil and coal. Not only are coal and oil non-renewable sources of energy, they also cause a significant amount of pollution.
Enter Dr. Catlin Powers. Catlin has master’s and doctoral degrees in environmental health from Harvard University TH Chan School of Public Health and has a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Wellesley College.
While the other sharks are not very interested in the potential of the solar grill, Mark Cuban sees a bigger picture and wants to use the technology in other applications. He wants to "put the fear of God" into Elon Musk.
Based on Mark's line of questioning, he plans to put the Solsource technology to use in powering vehicles to compete with Tesla.
Dr. Powers and her team went to Tibet to study climate change. She saw the plight of rural Chinese families who still had to rely on old pollution-causing fuel sources. She and her team made cooking devices that would harness the clean pollution-free power of the sun.
Since many of the families did not have money, they took agricultural produce as a form of payment. She did this as a form of social entrepreneurship where the motive was more about helping others than making a quick buck.
Mark Cuban was offering $500,000 for 5% giving the company a valuation of $10,000,000. Caitlin counters with 4% and a board seat and Mark accepts the offer.
Dr. Caitlin Powers is beauty and brains personified.
Tania Green (PMS Bites)
Tania Green was a graduate of Gordon College who created the concept of PMS Bites - bonbons which were infused with medicinal herbs in order to provide relief for PMS sufferers and provide a healthier alternative to junk food.
Tania not only had the looks but the brains as well. She was able to provide a very entertaining pitch that was very memorable. The pitch began with her exaggerating the effects of PMS and her commenting that Kevin O' Leary suffers from PMS from time to time. This resulted in a chuckle from the sharks.
The sharks sampled the bonbons and they had nothing negative to say. They in fact liked the taste. Tania claimed that aside from tasting good, the bonbons were healthy as they were made from dates, almond butter, and gluten free oats.
The pitch went well until it came to the sales figures. Tania said she had $13,400.07 in sales in the last seven months. This did not impress the sharks at all with Kevin calling her the "princess of small numbers." She then defended herself saying it was a one woman show and she in in Shark Tank to seek expertise and additional resources.
Aside from the low sales, the sharks did not like the name PMS Bites. Though they understand that it is part of the gimmick, they say that the name cuts off a significant portion of the market as it alienates the male demographic.
In the end, the sharks do not bite. The bonbons may have tasted great but they did not see the business being big.
Despite the setback, Tania is still pushing through with her dream and hopes to increase the distributorship of PMS Bites.
Megan Cummins (You Smell)
Megan Cummins came into the tank with her own brand of luxury soap - You Smell. Megan developed the product while in college as they had to design packaging for products. She decided to create a luxurious brand of soap that not only smelled good and had premium packaging, but had a personality as well.
You Smell soaps were presented in bar and paper soap forms. The paper soap had some promise as it was very convenient for people on the go. You just had to apply a few drops of water to the paper and you could use it like normal soap.
Megan was aware that she had a product but not a company yet. She did not have the capital or the inventory. The only inventory she had was sent to different companies and individuals for market research purposes.
As usual, the ever so lovable Kevin O' Leary would try to poke holes unto the entrepreneur's presentation. He asked about the sales. Megan said she had none yet. Mark Cuban then does a follow-up question about her inventory. Megan says she had none either as they were already given away.
Megan was inexperienced in the business field and jumped the gun when she took Robert Herjavec's deal for $55,000 for 20% of the company as well as a $50,000 stipend for her to live on for the first year of operations.She did so without considering Mark Cuban's offer.
In hindsight, Megan told Billionsuccess.com in an interview that she should have chosen Mark Cuban instead of Robert Herjavec as she had heard nothing but great things about Mark from the entrepreneurs who have been in the tank.
She realized she went in too fast on that deal and in the end the deal fell through after Robert asked for 50% in exchange for the $55,000. Robert must have realized that the package he offered Megan was too generous and too risky for him and modified the offer after some due diligence.
Megan and her fiance were undeterred and bootstrapped the company through loans from family and friends and through personal sacrifices. No bank would finance her dream so this was the only way to go.
Megan ultimately sold You Smell to an investor and started an affordable jewelry line - Sparklepop. The products range from $10 to $52. The company has been featured in Oprah Magazine, Women's Health and E!.
It is one of the fastest growing brands in its category and is still around to this day.
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© 2018 Jan Michael Ong