Shark Tank is a business reality show broadcast on ABC. It’s an exciting program to watch, as it involves real business deals being pitched to a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs. These investors take on chance on unique inventions and startup companies and put their own money on the line. Many companies have gone from being started in someone’s garage to a being household name in short time. It’s great to see how Shark Tank can help so many people launch their brands.
When it comes to Shark Tank, there are going to be some inevitable misses along with the hits. Some pitches are so bad that it’s shocking the company made it onto the show in the first place. Sometimes the Sharks decide to invest in a product that seems excellent. But after the show, it completely fizzles. There are quite a few Shark Tank products that should have never received funding. Many of these ended up causing the Sharks to lose money. Read on to learn all about the ideas from Shark Tank that should have never been funded.
The inventor of the UroClub felt that there was a potential need for a product to appeal to both men who golf and frequently need to go to the bathroom. He invented a golf club with a receptacle attached that allows men to urinate in the golf club while on the golf course. It’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to use a product like this.
Somehow, however, the UroClub was funded for $25,000 in exchange for a 75 percent stake in the company. The Sharks figured the UroClub would do well as an infomercial product. Unfortunately, this product hasn’t taken off much. It seems like the concept is just too off-putting for most people.
I Want to Draw a Cat for You
Who doesn’t like cats? That’s what the creator of ‘I Want to Draw a Cat for You’ figured. He pitched his business to the Sharks, and it involved people going to his website and giving him a type of cat and a scene to draw. For $10, he would draw their picture and mail it to them.
This concept is unique but doesn’t seem like a lucrative idea. How many people would be willing to pay for a basic cat drawing? Shark Mark Cuban decided to invest some money in I Want to Draw a Cat for You. Compared to other deals he’s made on the show, this business is just not strong.
The Sub Safe
For those who eat a lot of sub sandwiches and store them in coolers, the Sub Safe is intended to be your ideal contraption. This product is a small plastic container that protects sub sandwiches from getting soggy when they’re stored in a cooler. Instead of putting a sandwich in a plastic bag or regular Tupperware container, you would use the Sub Safe.
Most people aren’t interested in buying products that only have one use. Also, one small Sub Safe costs $18. That’s a lot to spend on a small chunk of plastic. Somehow, the product was funded on Shark Tank, however, and is still in business.
Hy-Conn was pitched on Shark Tank as a tool to help firefighters do their job more efficiently. The device attaches to fire hoses and cuts the time it takes to connect to a fire hydrant. With this product, firefighters can save time and save lives much faster.
The reason Hy-Conn should not have been funded isn’t necessarily that the product is terrible. Shark Mark Cuban invested in Hy-Conn and was excited about the company. After the show, negotiations fell apart and the founder of Hy-Conn blamed it on Cuban and his colossal ego. Things got extremely messy between Cuban and the maker of Hy-Conn.
HillBilly Clothing was a clothing brand pitched on Shark Tank. Coincidentally, this pitch was on the same episode that featured guest Shark Jeff Foxworthy. This line of clothing designed for outdoorsy men and women appealed to Foxworthy, and he partnered with Sharks Daymond John and Robert Herjavec to invest $75,000 for a 100 percent stake in the company and a 7 percent royalties.
After the show, the deal fell apart when all parties involved couldn’t agree. It seems that the owners of HillBilly Clothing were unwilling to part with all of the business. They also had significant creative differences with the Sharks. The brand is still available, but hasn’t grown as much as they thought it would.
Cat Wine by Apollo Peak
One of the weirdest products to be pitched on Shark Tank is Cat Wine by Apollo Peak. This line of feline-friendly wine is made from beetroot juice and catnip. The creator wanted to make a safe wine for his cat to drink with him while he relaxed with a glass of regular wine.
Does the market need a line of cat wine? It’s hard to see this being a long-running business. The Sharks felt differently because a deal was made. But we still don’t see cat wine becoming the next big trend in pet products. The company is still running though.
At one point in time, subscription services were a hot ticket. So many companies wanted to become the Netflix of whatever field they were in. One of those companies was Toygaroo, who aimed to become the Netflix of toys.
Toygaroo was a service that let customers rent toys for their kids. When their kids got bored with the toys, they could exchange them for new ones. The Sharks seemed into the idea and both Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary invested in the company. But Toygaroo was dead in the water and ended up filing for bankruptcy. Cuban calls it the investment he regrets the most.
CATEapp was created by a police officer who was inspired after one of his coworkers was caught cheating on his wife when she discovered his lewd text messages. The app was intended to keep secret phone numbers, emails, and text messages all hidden. The creator claimed it wasn’t specifically an app for cheaters even though the word mistress was used in marketing.
The Sharks saw some value in the app, and a deal was made with CATEapp. Oddly, an app for committing adultery would be a wise investment. Yet it looks like it wasn’t since the app was removed from all App Stores not long after the show aired.
Gayla Bentley Fashion
Gayla Bentley appeared on Shark Tank to pitch her clothing business. She made high fashion clothing for women over size 12. This is a great concept that is needed in the fashion industry.
She got a deal on Shark Tank and walked away with $250,000. After the show, she virtually disappeared, however. Her website became defunct, and she never produced any clothing. It seems like she got the check from her investors and took off. Not an excellent investment at all. It’s a shame because the fashion industry could use more designers making clothing in extended sizes. Who knows if we’ll ever hear from Bentley again.
Cactus Jack appeared on Shark Tank to promote his exercise contraption called The Body Jac. It was a device that helped people do push-ups by taking the pressure off the arms and shoulders. The Sharks were somewhat interested in the product, but there was one concern.
Cactus Jack was not in shape. They told him that it would be hard to sell an exercise product if the face of the company was overweight. Shark Barbara Corcoran offered Cactus Jack a deal if he lost 30 pounds. He took it and ended up losing the weight, but The Body Jac never took off and his business shuttered.
Cake pops are delicious and quite trendy right now. A company called Sweet Ballz wanted to enter the cake pop business and make a fortune. They pitched their tasty cake pops without the sticks on Shark Tank, hoping to make a deal.
The duo who started Sweet Ballz received a $250,000 investment from Sharks Marc Cuban and Barbara Corcoran for a 25% equity stake in the company. In a dramatic turn of events, one of the founders sued the other for breach of contract. He even redirected the Sweet Ballz website to a new site where he sold cake pops. It’s no surprise this company did not flourish.
Qubits are toys created by an architect to resemble the tools used by people who draft buildings. The creator claims that all kid love to play with his blocks, but the Sharks aren’t too sure about that. Most of them think breaking into the toy industry with this kind of product is a bad decision.
In the end, Shark Daymond John still made a deal with Qubits for $90,000 for a 51 percent stake in the company. The offer was only valid if they call one of the four leading toy companies and make a deal to distribute Qubits with them. It seems that Qubits are still for sale, but haven’t entirely made their mark on the toy industry.
You Smell Soap
You Smell Soap started on Shark Tank with a disadvantage because the company hadn’t really been established yet. No sales had been made, and the only thing the founder had to show for it was an inventory of handmade soap bars. A bidding war ensued on the show, and Robert Herjavec ended up making a deal for $55,000 for a 20 percent stake in the company, and he would also pay the founder a yearly salary of $50,000.
Behind the scenes, the deal fell apart rapidly. Herjavec changed his mind after doing some due diligence on the company and turned the offer to $50,000 for a 50 percent stake in You Smell Soap. The deal fell and the company ended up being sold to another investor. As of 2014, You Smell Soap was out of business.
ShowNo Towels were towels for kids that had a slit in the center so a child could wear them like a poncho. It made changing out of swimsuits more discreet and worked for drying off at the beach. The Sharks weren’t too interested until they learned the owner was close to making a deal with Disney amusement parks.
In the end, Shark Lori Greiner made a deal with ShowNo Towels for $75,000 for a 25 percent stake in the business. After the episode, the deal with Disney fell through, but several water parks carried the product. It seems like Greiner wasn’t too hands-on with ShowNo Towels and didn’t put much effort into helping it grow.
Night Runner appeared on Shark Tank to revolutionize the way people run. They were headlights designed to attach to a runner’s sneakers so they could see where they were running in the dark. They were also water-resistant so people could wear them during rainy weather conditions and on uneven terrain.
In the end, Night Runner made a deal with Shark Robert Herjavec, but the deal was short-lived. The team behind Night Runner got funding from another investor and filled up their inventory, so they had enough to sell after the episode aired. Their website ended up crashing almost immediately. Reviews for Night Runner aren’t great, with many people saying they aren’t bright enough, fall off too quickly, and are too noticeable when running.
On paper, Breathometer seems like a good idea. It’s a small device that you can keep on hand to check your blood alcohol level after you’ve been drinking to see if it’s safe to drive. It was designed to attach to a smartphone and work with an app.
The Sharks were so impressed with Breathometer that they teamed up to offer $1 million for a 30 percent stake in the company. Everything seemed great, but in 2017, Breathometer was charged with fraud by the FTC because they had not been accurately representing how spot on their product was. Because of that. Breathometer was forced to refund all of its customers.
GoGo Gear was a line of fashionable-yet-functional motorcycle gear pitched to the Sharks on Shark Tank. The line focused on women’s fashion and intended to be stylish enough to work as a complete outfit for daytime or evening. Most of the clothing was made of leather.
Shark Daymond John made a deal with GoGo Gear for $300,000 in exchange for a 65 percent stake in the company. After the episode aired, John never ended up giving the owners any money. Instead, he became a business advisor to them so they could formulate a concrete business plan. GoGo Gear is still in business, but hasn’t grown the way the founders had envisioned.
The Style Club
In an attempt to appeal to the younger generation, the owner of The Style Club developed a company that offered a mobile shopping experience for teens. It used social media and influencers to boost sales. One issue the Sharks had is that items offered on The Style Club were sold exclusively through Urban Outfitters.
In the end, Cuban made a deal offering a $500,000 loan for a 22 percent equity stake in The Style Club. While the idea is cool, there are many retailers out there who sell similar items for way less money. The Style Club is still going strong, but who knows how long this type of business can last.
RuffleButts is a line of children’s clothing that features different styles of bloomers that kids can wear to cover up diapers. Several of the Sharks were impressed by the idea and a bidding war ensued. Tensions ran high between Sharks Lori Greiner and Barbara Corcoran, who ended up fighting over their offers.
RuffleButts chose to partner with Greiner and made a deal for $600,000 for 10 percent of the business, with half the amount being a loan. Shark Mark Cuban said that it was the worst offer Greiner had ever made. After the show ended, nothing happened with RuffleButts and Greiner. The company tried to negotiate a better deal, but it fell through.
The team behind Elephant Pants is passionate about protecting elephants and making the most comfortable pants in the world. They also donate 10 percent of the net profits from Elephant Pants to elephant conservation organizations. After a flashy albeit over-the-top presentation, they were ready for field any offers from the Sharks.
Elephant Pants was wise to accept an offer from fashion expert Daymond John for $500,000 for a 15 percent stake in the company as well as 2.5 percent in advisory shares. Elephant Pants are still in business, but they aren’t sold in any major retail stores. These are seen mostly as a novelty item and not a real fashion product.
Montikids are toys based on the Montessori way of learning. They were created as a way to aid in the development of young children. These toys are marketed to help kids learn through play and creativity.
After a bit of a bidding war, Montikids partnered with Shark Kevin O’Leary for $200,000 for a 2.5 percent stake in the business as well as a $10 royalty until all of his money was made back. It seems like MontiKids is still in business, but it hasn’t expanded too much. It’s such a niche product that it’s hard to see these toys appealing to parents who aren’t a part of the Montessori way of living and learning.
Honeyfund is a website created by a married couple that is designed for engaged couples to raise money for their honeymoon. This way, instead of getting wedding gifts from their guests, the newlyweds could accept payment to use for a honeymoon getaway. This concept is like crowdfunding but for married couples.
The Sharks were iffy about Honeyfund, but in the end, the company accepted an unconventional deal from Mr. Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary. He offered them $400,000 for no shares in the company. Once he made his money back three times over, he would be out of the picture. Honeyfund is still in business, but it seems rude to force your wedding guests to give you a chunk of money instead of whatever gift they would like to provide.
Lose 12 Inches With Any 12 Workouts
Exercise companies have appeared on Shark Tank frequently. Like Cactus Jack before him, another cowboy made it onto the show to pitch his plan to build a fitness empire. Lose 12 Inches With Any 12 Workouts was designed as an alternative to expensive gyms and personal trainers.
Shark Daymond John saw value in the Lose 12 Inches With Any 12 Workouts brand and made a deal with the cowboy for $120,000 for a 25 percent equity share in the company. Eventually, the business grew enough to start earning revenue. But a gimmicky exercise program like this is hard to make money off of long term. Just look at the countless infomercials for fitness dads that only last a few months.
How Do You Roll
How Do You Roll is a sushi restaurant that’s a fast food-style business. It allows customers to pick and choose different customizations for their sushi rolls. This concept provides fresh sushi on the go for reasonable prices.
After fielding several offers from the Sharks, the How Do You Roll team made a deal with Shark Kevin O’Leary. He offered them $1 million for a 22 percent stake in the business along with royalties from each franchise. After the show, negotiations fell through because of creative differences. With the amount of high quality, easy-to-find sushi diners can find out there, who knows if the failed deal was a good thing.
Tom Chee is a grilled cheese and tomato soup restaurant based in Cincinnati, Ohio. This restaurant is known for its eclectic flavors and famous grilled cheese donut. The idea for Tom Chee was pitched to the Sharks, but some of them were unsure if the business would be a big success.
Sharks Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran teamed up to offer Tom Chee $600,000 for a 30 percent equity stake in the business. They also wanted franchise rights in Texas and New York. Cuban eventually dropped out of the deal, but Tom Chee is still around. Reviews have not been good, though, with many people saying their food is not tasty and often cold. It’s hard for a place like this to compete with established chains like Panera Bread.
Sarah Oliver Handbags
The founder of Sarah Oliver Handbags appeared on Shark Tank to promote her line of handmade knitted bags and purses. This company is unique in that it employs senior citizens to create handbags. The mission of the company is to empower seniors and make handbags with meaning.
After the presentation, Sarah Oliver Handbags made a deal with three of the Sharks. Lori Greiner, Kevin O’Leary, and Robert Herjavec offered the company $250,000 for a 30 percent stake in equity. The issue with this business is that it requires a lot of seniors to produce enough bags to make it profitable. Additionally, Sarah Oliver Handbags needed to make sure they were paying their employees fairly. They were investigated by the federal Department of Labor, who believed the seniors were being exploited. It seems the business is no longer active.
The Broccoli Wad
The Broccoli Wad does not have anything to do with the green cruciferous vegetable. This unfortunately-named product is actualy a money clip. It’s intended to hold a large sum of money securely and even replace a wallet.
This mafia-inspired product made an impact on Shark Tank, and Shark Barbara Corcoran made an offer of $50,000 for a 40 percent stake in the business. The business had a brief moment of success but ultimately flopped. The Broccoli Wad is no more and Corcoran was out $50,000. Even having an actor from “The Sopranos” as the spokesperson for the product didn’t help.
Magic Cook is an on-the-go cooker that requires no heat, no gas, and no power. This idea was puzzling to the Sharks, who figured that someone who didn’t have access to a kitchen could go to a restaurant. Even with that mindset, Shark Daymond John invested $100,000 for a 33 percent stake in Magic Cook.
After the show, Magic Cook did not take off as the founders intended. Interest in the product waned, and the website is only offering one discounted item. There were even rumors that the idea and design for the Magic Cook were stolen from another company.
Sealed by Santa
Sealed by Santa is a company that sends personalized letters from Santa at the North Pole to kids at Christmas. The packages offered by Sealed by Santa also included video messages from Old Saint Nick. The company accepted an offer of $150,000 for a 22.5 percent stake in the company.
The concept behind this idea is cute, but how lucrative can it really be? It’s only used for maybe two months out of the year. Also, not every household celebrates Christmas or has kids who believe in Santa and his elves, so it’s not a strong business idea.
Chill Soda hopes to be the next significant healthy alternative to sugary sodas. These drinks have no high fructose corn syrup or simple sugars and are sweetened with agave nectar. It claims to taste just as good as regular sodas.
On the show, Chill Soda made a deal with Shark Barbara Corcoran for $50,000 for a 20 percent stake in the company. This product was on the first season of the show and since then has not been for sale. Despite its website being open with a button to buy the drinks, Chill Soda is effectively a shuttered business.
Have you ever looked at your refrigerator and wished you could change how it looked? That’s what the creator of Fridge Fronts aimed to make happen. Fridge Fronts are magnetic coverings to put on unsightly appliances.
Although the Sharks were skeptical about this business, two of them teamed up to offer Fridge Fronts $100,000 for a 50 percent stake in the company. It seemed like this was a pity deal since the founder gave the Sharks a sob story. This business appears to have slowed down because its social media pages have been inactive for years.
Grill Charms are small steel charms diners put into steak so you can identify how done each piece of meat is as it’s grilled. There are charms for rare, medium, medium-rare, and medium-well. The Sharks liked the idea and most of them wanted to invest.
In the end, Grill Charms accepted a deal with Shark Robert Herjavec for $50,000 for a 25 percent stake in the business. This concept is interesting but only works for people who eat red meat. Health-conscious people and vegans and vegetarians have no use for these items. As of 2011, it seemed like Grill Charms was no longer under the same ownership.
Flipoutz are silicone bracelets that kids can wear and customize. They have five slots for coins that can be printed with fun designs and messages. The idea behind the product is that kids could trade coins with each other for their Flipoutz.
After their pitch on the show, three of the Sharks teamed up to offer the Flipoutz team $100,000 for a 33 percent equity stake in the business. Flipoutz had a bit of success but closed several years ago. In the rapidly-changing world of kids’ toys and accessories, an idea like this can become outdated extremely fast.
On the Australian version of Shark Tank, an entrepreneur pitched the idea for Three65 Underwear to the Sharks. This company is a subscription service that sends subscribers socks and underwear every three months. Mainly men use the service.
The pitch was rocky and the Sharks gave the founder a hard time, but a deal was still made. Two of the Sharks got together to offer Three65 Underwear $120,000 for a 50 percent stake in the company. In the end, this company was a good idea. But it’s hard to think that many people would sign up for its service when it’s easy to run out and buy underwear and socks.
Soy-Yer-Dough is a soy-based alternative to children’s Play-Doh. It’s designed to work for children who are allergic to wheat. Traditional Play-Doh contains wheat so allergic kids can’t play with it.
After pitching the idea to the Sharks, the creator of Soy-Yer-Dough accepted an offer for $300,000 for a 51 percent stake in the company from Sharks Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, and Robert Herjavec. Soy-Yer-Dough is still on the market, but the reviews haven’t been great. People claim it’ too sticky and doesn’t mold well.
The Nubrella is a personal umbrella helmet contraption designed to work as a hands-free umbrella. The user straps it on like a backpack and it covers its head and shoulders. It supposedly is stronger than a standard umbrella and protects you better from the rain.
The Sharks liked the Nubrella, and two of them paired up to offer $100,000 for a 51 percent stake in the company. The deal was accepted, and Nubrella has funding. This item seems more like a novelty than a usable product. It’s bulky and looks strange. Also, they retail from $70 up to $150.
Naturally Perfect Dolls
Naturally Perfect Dolls is an idea that seemed like an excellent fit for Shark Tank. This company made dolls that were uplifting for little girls around the globe. The message behind these dolls was that every girl is beautiful; therefore, the dolls were designed to be unique and diverse.
The Sharks liked the concept of Naturally Perfect Dolls and were happy to invest. Shark Daymond John made a deal for $200,000 for a 30 percent stake in equity. After the show aired, orders for Naturally Perfect Dolls came in rapidly. The company could not keep up, and customers were forced to wait up to three months for their orders. The company is no longer in business.
Pristine Cleansing Sprays
You may not be able to tell from the name of the product, but Pristine Cleansing Sprays are intended to help people clean themselves after using the restroom. These butt sprays are supposed to be a better alternative to toilet paper and wet wipes. The owners envisioned Pristine Cleansing Sprays being as essential to butts as shampoo is to hair.
Shark Lori Greiner was interested in the product and offered Pristine Cleansing Sprays $50,000 for a 25 percent stake in equity, provided they could get a partnership with Squatty Potty. While this product seems useful, the market is already oversaturated with adult cleansing wipes and bathroom hygiene sprays. Time will tell if this invention is a worthy investment.
TurboBaster is a battery-operated device that was designed to make cooking at home much more manageable. It’s supposed to replace traditional bulb basters and make cooking juicy meat simple and quick. The device can hold various types of marinades as well.
TurboBaster accepted a deal with one of the original Sharks Kevin Harrington for $35,000 for a 30 percent stake in the company, hoping that his expertise would make the product the next As Seen On TV sensation. Unfortunately, that never happened as the TurboBaster never made it on the market and is now defunct. Its website and social media pages are all shut down.
Wild Earth is a line of plant-based dog snacks that was pitched on Shark Tank. These dog treats are free of antibiotics, animal ingredients, artificial preservatives, fillers, and other mystery additives. They’re intended to reduce the carbon footprint made by the pet food industry.
Wild Earth dog treats made a deal with Shark Mark Cuban for $550,000 for a 10 percent stake in the company. This gave the company an $11 million valuation, which is exceptionally high. This is a niche product that still hasn’t been proven to be beneficial to dogs. A lot of research is being done on how effective plant-based diets are for pets.