‘Shark Tank’: Entrepreneurs Who Got a Second Chance in the Tank
Competition is fierce when it comes to getting to pitch a business idea on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank. So imagine the odds on being granted a second shot to swim with the sharks. Highly unlikely? Yes, but it can be done – just ask these entrepreneurs.
Jason Woods – Kymera Body Board
In Season 5, California resident Jason Woods entered the tank to introduce the Kymera Body Board asking for $250,000 for a 25% equity stake in his company. Woods was able to present the electric-propulsion body board, but little else. According to Fox Business, shark Daymond John called it the “worst pitch” he ever heard due to Woods’ lack of a business plan and wasted money on prototypes without obtaining a patent.
“You’re not an entrepreneur, you’re a want-to-preneur,” shark Mark Cuban told him, as reported by USA Today. “In ten years you couldn’t figure out how to go get a product and sell it. Find someone else to run the business, but it’s not going to be me.”
That’s exactly what Woods did. He left the show empty-handed but put the advice given to him by the sharks to work. Partnering with Adam Majewski, who had seen Woods on Shark Tank, the two turned Kymera into a company that sold $350,000 for the year to date as of the episode’s taping in April, with a projected $2 million in annual sales, according to USA Today. The new numbers were enough to get Woods back on the show in Season 10.
“As you may remember, my last lap around the tank didn’t go so well,” Woods told the sharks when he began his pitch, this time asking for $250,000 for 5% of his company. John immediately pounced, saying, “So we beat you down. You said we helped you. You come back and ask for $250,000 for 5%. This is how you thank me?” according to USA Today. But that didn’t stop shark Robert Herjavec, who offered $500,000 for 10% stake. “I love the second chances,” Herjavec said. “I mean, that’s one of the things that makes this country great. Everybody deserves a second chance.”
Dave Alwan – Echo Valley Meats
Dave Alwan first pitched his company, Echo Valley Meats, in Season 4 asking for $300,000 in exchange for a 20% equity stake, according to the Gazette Review. Alwan walked away without a deal. While the sharks loved his food, they felt he did not know his numbers and needed a better business plan.
Alwan took their suggestions and applied them going forward, giving him a much better chance for a second shot at a deal. “Not receiving a deal in Season 4, made me scrutinize my business from top to bottom. I did my homework, hired great employees, made necessary changes and implemented a new management strategy.” Alwan said according to Heavy.
By the time Alwan was back in the tank in Season 6, several of the sharks were already customers of his meat products from his website and catalog. This time around, Alwan lowered his ask, seeking $150,000 in exchange for 20% equity in his company. As the Gazette Review reported, Alwan struck a deal with Mark Cuban, with Cuban getting 25% of the company, and an additional option of earning an another $150,000 in exchange for 25% of the other portion of Echo Valley Meats.
“Our slow, steady and successful growth prepared me for going back into the tank in Season 6 and securing a deal with Mark,” Alwan told Heavy.
James Martin – Copa Di Vino
One of the most infamous entrepreneurs to enter Shark Tank was James Martin, founder of Copa Di Vino, a single-serve wine company. According to ABC News, the sharks gave Martin several offers during his first pitch in 2011 but they could not agree upon terms, and Martin also rubbed some of the sharks the wrong way. “He was arrogant, he didn’t listen,” Barbara Corcoran told ABC News. “He made every shark hate him within minutes.” Martin, who was asking for $600,000 for 30% of his business, refused all the offers. “I was so confident in my product that I thought for sure I would get the biggest deal that anyone got on this show,” Martin told ABC News.
Take two: Martin returned to the tank the following year, after getting a huge bump in sales and investment offers after his first appearance going from $600,000 to $5 million in sales in just one year, as reported by ABC News. Again, the meeting didn’t go very well, with John telling ABC News that Martin was “the most obnoxious and most stubborn” entrepreneur they had on the show.
Though Martin did receive offers from the sharks, again they could not agree on final terms, and the sharks became frustrated with his attitude, “I think in the second one he forgot his place,” Herjavec said, according to ABC News. “He is not the shark. We’re the sharks.”
Martin left the tank without a deal for the second time, but his business continues to thrive. Copa di Vino is being sold everywhere from local convenience stores and supermarket chains to Marriott hotels and sports arenas. The company’s sales are in the millions.