Get All Access for $5/mo

A Look at Shark Tank's Most Memorable Deals From cat cartoons to lip balm for couples, the sharks look back that some of their best (and worst) investments.

By Jennifer Wang

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

ABC's Shark Tank

See Shark Tank's own Barbara Corcoran give the keynote address at our 5th annual Growth Conference in Dallas, TX 1/10/13. Reserve your spot today.

You win some, you lose some. And with dozens of business pitches over the first three seasons of ABC's wildly popular Shark Tank, the investors are bound to have varied results.

Here, we take a look at some of the most successful startup pitches, like Ava the Elephant, a medicine dispenser from the premiere episode, that has since seen over $1 million in sales. We also highlight some of the flops, including Body Jac, a fitness device that Barbara Corcoran calls her "worst investment."

Related: The Shark Tank Effect: Top Success Stories from the First 3 Seasons

Ava the Elephant, a medicine dispenser

Airdate: Aug. 9, 2009 (premiere episode)
Deal: $50,000 from Corcoran for a 55 percent stake.
Result: Product is carried at CVS and other retailers; $1 million in sales over past 18 months.

Body Jac

Body Jac, a fitness device

Airdate: Sept. 6, 2009
Deal: $180,000 from Corcoran and former Shark Kevin Harrington--contingent on founder "Cactus Jack" Barringer losing 30 pounds using his product. (He did.)
Result: Corcoran calls this her "worst investment." (We assume all money was lost.)

Toygaroo, an online toy-rental service

Airdate: March 25, 2011
Deal: Cuban and O'Leary gave $200,000 for a combined 35 percent stake.
Result: Company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in April 2012.

Photograph by Jeremy Lange for Bloomberg Businessweek

Flipoutz, customizable kids' bracelets

Airdate: April 1, 2011
Deal: O'Leary, Herjavec and John agreed to pay $100,000 for a 33 percent stake, contingent on patent approval (still pending).
Result: Flipoutz struck a manufacturing and distribution deal with toy-maker Wild Creations.

Daisy Cakes

Airdate: April 22, 2011
Deal: Corcoran paid $50,000 in exchange for a 25 percent stake and $1 for each of the first 50,000 cakes sold.
Result: $50,000 paid back within three months. Daisy Cakes has sold more than 10,000 cakes per month since airdate. (Prior to that, it sold 1,000 cakes over two years.)

I Want to Draw a Cat For You, an online cartoon service

Airdate: Jan. 27, 2012
Deal: Cuban paid $25,000 for a 33 percent stake. (John regrets not going in on this one.)
Result: 8,930 cats drawn and counting, at $9.95 apiece. ($9 of that is profit.)

Chordbuddy, a guitar-learning device

Airdate: Feb. 3, 2012
Deal: Herjavec paid $125,000 for a 20 percent stake, plus another $50,000 for an infomercial to promote the product.
Result: Sales of $500,000 within two weeks of airing.

Talbott Teas

Airdate: Feb. 17, 2012
Deal: O'Leary paid $250,000 for a 35 percent stake. John came in later after extricating himself from a deal with another tea-related company and provided an intro to Jamba Juice.
Result: Jamba Juice acquired Talbott Teas for an undisclosed sum and sells it at its 750 locations.

The Painted Pretzel, chocolate-covered pretzels

Airdate: Feb. 24, 2012
Deal: $100,000 for a 25 percent stake from Cuban, who sells them at his Landmark Theatres chain.
Result: Sales higher in the past six months than in the past 4.5 years combined.

ReadeRest, magnetic reading-glasses holder

Airdate: Feb. 24, 2012
Deal: Greiner paid $150,000 for a 65 percent stake and took the product to QVC.
Result: More than $3.5 million in sales and climbing.

Kisstixx

Kisstixx, lip balm for couples

Airdate: March 2, 2012
Deal: Cuban paid $200,000 for a 40 percent stake (after the founders got Corcoran and O'Leary to smooch).
Result: Sales on track to pass $1 million in 2012.

Nardo's Natural skincare line

Airdate: March 9, 2012
Deal: $75,000 from Corcoran for 50 percent equity.
Result: Sales expected to exceed $100,000 this year.

Tower Paddle Boards

Airdate: March 16, 2012
Deal: $150,000 from Cuban for a 30 percent stake.
Result: Sales up more than 800 percent; on pace to hit $1.5 million for 2012.

Jennifer Wang

Writer and Content Strategist

Jennifer Wang is a Los Angeles-based journalist and content strategist who works at a startup and writes about people in startups. Find her at lostconvos.com.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Solutions

Increase Productivity with This Microsoft 365 Subscription, Now $25 Off

It can make the entrepreneur life a lot easier.

Business News

Apple Pay Later Is Ending. Here's What's Taking Its Place.

The program was available for less than a year.

Leadership

This Artist Answered a Businessman's 'Powerful' Question — Then His Work Became 'the Poster Child for Juneteenth': 'Your Network Really Becomes Your Net Worth'

Reginald Adams was the executive director of a Houston-based art museum for more than a decade before he decided to launch his own public art and design firm.

Leadership

Harvard Business School Professor Says 65% of Startups Fail for One Reason. Here's How to Avoid It.

Team alignment isn't nice to have -- it's critical for running a successful business.

Business News

Here's What Companies Are Open and Closed on Juneteenth 2024

Since it became a holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has been recognized by some major corporations as a paid day off.

Growing a Business

I Hit $100 Million in Annual Revenue by Being More Transparent — Here Are the 3 Strategies That Helped Me Succeed

Three road-tested ways to be more transparent and build relationships that can transform your business — without leaving you feeling nightmarishly over-exposed.