Ring doorbell and phone
Ring didn't score a deal on 'Shark Tank' but that didn't stop it from becoming a blockbuster success. — Ring.com

Ten years after its debut, ABC’s business reality TV show “Shark Tank”is bigger than ever. Each season, entrepreneurs stand before a panel of renowned business moguls, trying to convince them to invest some of their millions (or billions) of dollars in a great idea.

Striking a deal with one of the Sharks can provide the capital and support needed to take a startup to the next level. However, simply appearing on the show can give entrepreneurs explosive exposure and growth.

Below are 10 “Shark Tank”businesses that made a huge splash — whether or not they were funded at the time.

[Read: A Guide to Raising Venture Capital Funding]


Julie and Brian Whiteman came up with the idea for Groovebook after Julie lost thousands of photos from her phone. Groovebook is an app that prints your digital photos to a scrapbook for a low monthly subscription fee. The Whitemans secured funding from the Sharks, which led to an exponential increase in subscribers. Groovebook was acquired by Shutterfly for $14.5 million in 2014.

Copa di Vino

James Martin of Copa di Vino took his passion for wine to develop an on-the-go wine glass. Although the Sharks expressed interest, Martin ultimately walked away from the deal. The TV appearance brought tons of publicity, and Martin was invited to appear on “Shark Tank”a second time — but ultimately walked again. Despite this, the company continues to thrive, with 13,000 retail locations as well as an online store.

Lollaland (Lollacup)

Hanna and Mark Lim, founders of Lollacup, drew inspiration from their daughter for their product: an easy, safe toddler straw cup. These two “Shark Tank” fans decided to apply for the show and reached a deal with the Sharks. Since then, Lollacup has become Lollaland, expanding its line of toddler feeding products.

Kodiak Cakes

Cameron Smith and Joel Clark of Kodiak Cakes presented their whole grain pancake/waffle mix on “Shark Tank.” The entrepreneurs previously secured a deal with Target, but the superstore ate a large portion of their profits. Though the duo turned down the Sharks’ deal, their TV appearance has helped them expand their product line, become an official food of Weight Watchers and sell Kodiak Cakes in major retail stores.

Striking a deal with one of the Sharks can provide the capital and support needed to take a startup to the next level.

Squatty Potty

The Edwards family, creators of the Squatty Potty, discovered that squatting in the bathroom helped relieve colon issues, and developed an ergonomic toilet stool to promote squatting. After receiving funding on “Shark Tank” (and releasing a viral YouTube video), Squatty Potty’s popularity skyrocketed. The Squatty Potty can be found at Bed Bath and Beyond, with additional offerings (such as bamboo stools and bathroom accessories) available online.

The Lip Bar

Melissa Butler of The Lip Bar sought to create a different kind of lipstick line: all-natural, with bold colors and a message of empowerment. She and creative director Rosco Spears appeared on “Shark Tank” but were ultimately rejected. However, The Lip Bar has since seen nationwide success with products in over 450 Target stores, as well as their Detroit flagship store.

Scrub Daddy

Aaron Krause of Scrub Daddy had little success marketing his foam hand scrubber to body shops. He then discovered that the rigid texture was great for scrubbing dishes, while the sponge softened with hot water. Scrub Daddy was funded by the Sharks and was later named “Shark Tank’s most successful product” as of 2014. Today, Scrub Daddy has an expanded product line and partnerships with leading retailers like Home Depot and Walmart.


The Ring doorbell offers both safety and convenience — users can see who’s at the door through a video and let them in from any location. Although creator Jamie Siminoff didn't secure a deal on “Shark Tank,” the business received tons of exposure and the ability to grow their company. Ring was acquired by Amazon for over $1 billion in February 2018.

Tipsy Elves

When founders Evan Mendelsohn and Nick Morton were college students, they struggled to find unique clothing for themed parties. The duo created their clothing line, Tipsy Elves, and secured funding after appearing on “Shark Tank.” Tipsy Elves has since expanded to over 20 categories of clothing including ugly holiday sweaters, Pride/LGBT gear and Halloween costumes.

Xero Shoes

Husband-and-wife team Steven Sashen and Lena Phoenix created Xero Shoes as a lightweight running shoe that offers the benefits of running barefoot without the drawbacks. Although the duo rejected the Shark’s deal, their episode created significant buzz and an increase in sales. Xero Shoes can now be found in over 100 retailers worldwide.

These 10 “Shark Tank”success stories show how the right resources and exposure can take a business to the next level. They also show the importance of resilience despite the hardships of entrepreneurship — including turning rejection into an opportunity for growth.

[Read: 4 Steps to Bring Your Business Idea to Life]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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