Exclusive Q&A with Shark Tank's Investors Get inside the mind's of the business and investment experts at the heart of ABC's powerhouse entrepreneurship show Shark Tank, as they dish on what it takes to make it in the world of business.
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It's 6:30 on Friday evening, and six of the world's most famous investors are gathered in a conference room at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, Calif., T-shirts on and smartphones out. Barbara Corcoran, real-estate mogul and founder of The Corcoran Group; Mark Cuban, billionaire businessman and owner of the Dallas Mavericks; Lori Greiner, the "Queen of QVC" and holder of more than 100 patents; Robert Herjavec, founder of $125 million technology firm The Herjavec Group; Daymond John, founder and CEO of global fashion brand FUBU; and Kevin O'Leary, chairman of O'Leary Funds and star-slash-villain of several business TV shows, have just wrapped a long day on set.
You might know them collectively as the Sharks, from ABC's Emmy-nominated reality show Shark Tank. They are fed by producers with a steady stream of cash-strapped business owners and wantrepreneurs hoping to mine them for funding, mentorship and connections.
When pitches go wrong, it's blood, sweat and crushed dreams on the floor of the boardroom set. But there's a lot at stake for the Sharks, too. By the end of the third season, they had committed investments totaling more than $15 million of their own money. While some deals fall through before airdate, the success stories are many. Last season, when Greiner invested in ReadeRest, a company that makes magnetic holders for reading glasses, she plucked the founder out of his garage and, in less than a year, turned his product into one of the most successful businesses to come out of Shark Tank, with distribution through Walmart, QVC and other retailers and more than $3.5 million in sales.