‘Shark Tank’: Mark Cuban Gives a Shout Out to These 2 Entrepreneurs
Mark Cuban has a full portfolio of profitable investments from partnering with aspiring business owners on Shark Tank. The billionaire panelist recently gave props to two standout entrepreneurs within his umbrella of companies for setting an example of grinding toward success.
Mark Cuban joined ‘Shark Tank’ in season 2
The NBA team owner became a part of the Shark Tank panel in 2011 and has since been a sought-after Shark. The ABC series has acquired a massive fan base thanks to the life-changing platform of the show. Now in its 13th season, Shark Tank has prompted scores of endeavoring inventors and business developers to strive for their dreams.
Cuban frequently comments on how Shark Tank transcends all demographics and encourages people of all ages to work toward achieving their goals. The tech guru shared how the show has made a difference in his own life.
“It’s allowed me to impact the lives of an untold number of entrepreneurs, young and old,” Cuban wrote in an email to Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “It’s so rewarding when someone comes up to me and tells me how much they have learned from the show and how it inspired them!”
When asked to name a few exemplary entrepreneurs he invested in on Shark Tank, Cuban pointed out the success stories of season 10’s Noel Durity from Twist It Up and Jenny Goldfarb of Unreal Deli in season 11.
“They turned an idea into a prototype and from there created businesses doing millions of dollars in sales!” Cuban remarked.
Noel Durity of Twist It Up dealt with a knockoff issue
Durity pitched his Twist It Up comb to the Sharks in season 10. Designed specifically for Afrocentric hair, the comb was already a hit with $140,000 in sales by the time Durity entered the Tank. Partnering with both Cuban and FUBU owner Daymond John, the company founder struck a deal for $225,000 for a 25% equity stake.
After the Shark Tank episode aired, Durity’s product was duplicated nationwide. The entrepreneur took action by traveling to 100 stores in 24 cities to retrieve the knockoffs as well as the paper trail to find the sources. Durity wowed Cuban with his tenacity and hustle in solving the issue on his own.
“Noel is a grinder and smart — someone who loved and had confidence in his product,” Cuban said, according to OZY. “I like Noel. He knows his goal and gets after it. [Twist It Up] has no ceiling; it is the best product on the market. Customers love it, and people who know I’m involved stop me to tell me how much they love it. I just wish I owned more of the company.”
Durity’s sales are in the millions and show no signs of slowing down.
Unreal Deli’s Jenny Goldfarb had to pivot ‘really fast’ during the pandemic
Goldfarb appeared in season 11 of Shark Tank with Unreal Deli, a line of plant-based deli meats that are also kosher, animal-free, cholesterol-free, and nitrate-free. Though Goldfarb went in seeking $100,000 for 10%, Cuban was so impressed he offered more than double at $250,000 for 20%.
A few months after Goldfarb’s episode aired in 2019, the nationwide lockdown in March 2020 due to the pandemic pushed the New York City native to redirect her strategy.
“What we had to do was pivot into retail really fast,” she told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “Retail is not a game that you can really get into so fast. It requires certifications and lab tests and packaging and specs on specs on specs. But we did it, we did it all. … [We’re] now in about 3,000, stores including large grocers like Publix and Kroger. I just mentioned Albertsons coming on board soon. … So yeah, we made a really, really big pivot.”
During her company’s restructuring, Goldfarb’s father fell seriously ill with Covid and was put on a ventilator for 28 days. Thankfully he recovered due to a plasma donation, and Goldfarb noted Cuban’s compassion during the difficult time period. The business owner had her sights set on Cuban when she entered the Tank and is grateful for their partnership.
“I really did want Mark,” Goldfarb said. “I knew that he was the only billionaire of the crew. He had a Jewish background and so do I. And that kind of aligns. … My in-laws were joking — they go ‘Get a deal with Mark because we want to go to Passover at the Cubans’. “
Goldfarb had $10,000 in sales when she appeared on Shark Tank. Today, Unreal Deli’s sales are in the seven-digit range (aka millions!).