Lori Greiner Is the 'Shark' With a Heart
Remember the study that found having thin friends helps you stay thin? I’ve found something similar is true in business -- surrounding yourself with enterprising people can help keep you on your game, entrepreneurially speaking. As entrepreneur partners go, Lori Greiner is as good as it gets. With 120 patents and 500 products to her name, she’s one of the most prolific inventors and marketers of our time. More importantly, there’s a reason she’s known on Shark Tank as the “Shark with a Heart.”
Lori is a true believer that because she’s been lucky enough to succeed, she has a responsibility to give back. (I’d venture that her success is due to much more than luck, but modesty is another great quality in an entrepreneurial partner.) Lori and her companies give generously to charity and Lori has partnered with my company, Charitybuzz, to raise more than $126,000 for some of her favorite causes.
In Charitybuzz efforts supporting the Kind Campaign, Trevor Project, Chicago Police Memorial Foundation and CASA for Children, Lori has lent more than her name and her checkbook to the cause. She’s given generously of her time, providing advice and mentorship to auction winners who bid on the chance to pitch their products to her. One lucky bidder who won a lunch meeting with Lori has now done more than $5 million in QVC sales with her invention, the Running Buddy pouch.
Now, we’re proud to be partnering with Lori for her biggest Charitybuzz initiative yet. We launched a guest curator series this month, featuring auctions personally selected by leading influencers, and we thought the Shark with a Heart was the perfect choice to curate our Valentine’s Day auctions. From the high octane -- racing Ferraris with an F1 driver at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to benefit Daybreak Children’s Rare Disease Fund -- to the tranquil -- seven nights at the luxurious Soneva Kiri resort in Thailand benefitting the Center for Responsible Travel -- Lori handpicked some incredibly Valentine-worthy experiences. Perhaps the most classic offering and what Lori calls “a fabulous romantic getaway,” is three nights at the Hotel InterContinental Paris Le Grand with dinner for two at the opulent Café de la Paix. A VIP experience at the 2016 Grammys, wine tasting with Massimo Feragamo, a private villa in St. Barts and an adventure weekend in Napa round out Lori’s picks.
One of the reasons we like partnering with Lori is that she brings complete authenticity to everything she does. As you can see on Shark Tank, she may be the warm-blooded shark, but she’s not afraid to offer constructive criticism or an honest opinion. That’s the kind of partner every entrepreneur should have -- and the kind of partner every entrepreneur should try to be.
Coppy Holzman is the founder and CEO of Charitybuzz, which has harnessed the power of cause marketing to help brands and nonprofits raise more than $100 million through online charity auctions. Prior to starting Charitybuzz, Holzman was one of the founder members of Webvan.com, one of the first online groccery-delivery services. Before that, Holzman spent many years as a senior executive in retail at Federated Department Stores. He holds a B.S. in economics from University of Pennsylvania.