Coming today: We check in with that chopstick guy from last night's 'Shark Tank'
It's part of our ongoing post-show coverage on the nail-biting venture capitalism docu-series, in which Americans with big ideas try to make money fast by begging five millionaire Sharks for cash. Check out all of our previous interviews with Sharks, unlikely winners, and notorious losers on our AfterShark home page!
Parks, an environmentalist and entrepreneur from Eugene, Oregon, wanted $100,000 for 10% of his enterprise and tried to convince the investors to help recycle some of the 25 billion sets of chopsticks that are thrown away annually by turning them into necklaces, lamps, and a cool-looking bowl that folds flat when it's not in use. They liked it, and were gentle with him, but after calling his concept a mere small business and hardly a million-dollar idea, the Sharks bowed out one after another. "You have no business being here," said Barbara Corcoran, who, as Parks headed home empty-handed, eased the blow by proclaiming him "a sweetie pie."
Other results from Sunday night's show:
* She didn't know how much it would cost to make. She didn't know how many she would sell. She didn't even have a working prototype. All Marian Cruz knew was her Turbobaster, a battery-powered meat baster and marinade applicator, was a brilliant idea that filled a gap in the kitchenware market. Her cheerful naivety, and her request for just $35,000, only incited the Sharks to try to take her for all they could. TV marketing impresario Kevin Harrington, who has sold millions of kitchen tools, tried to buy her idea completely, offering only a 2% royalties, while Daymond John tempted Cruz by offering $15,000 more than Harrington for a closer partnership and the promise of future products. "This is the biggest thing I've ever done besides giving birth to my kids," Cruz said as she deliberated. She went with Harrington and the temptation of massive television sales. With no more than an idea and a slick video presentation, she hooked a Shark -- but did she sell short?
* Lori Lite, a mom from Marietta, Georgia, was stressed. She even began her presentation by shaking out her hands in nervousness. So it made sense that she came to pitch Stress Free Kids, her line of tensino-relief products for children. After reading from a book called "Angry Octopus," which leads children through muscle exercises, the grilling began. As financial queries mounted, her jitters reared. "I really can't believe that you are not appreciating what I've done," she said incredulously. Eventually, both John and Corcoran offered $250,000, but John wanted 51% -- a controlling interest -- while Corcoran wanted to split control. Negotiations got so tense that Lite had to phone her husband for advice, and they agreed they wouldn't want to give away control. "These are my babies," she said, gesturing to her books. Corcoran and John instantly retracted their offers. It was a fake-out, and Lite took the bait. She said she'd take Corcoran's offer anyway, and a deal was struck for 50/50 control.
* Next up was another tool for kids: Ken Bradford showed up in a two-foot-tall stovepipe hat to flog "50 State Capitals," a set of flash cards, with CD, designed to teach the state capitals using visual mnemonic devices. (Sample: To remember Sacramento, California, kids would look at a cartoon of a cow with his toe on a sack of mints -- "sack"-"mint"-"toe." Oy.) Despite the whimsy, Bradford's idea had sold only one set, a fact that drew jeering laughs from the venture capitalists. The Sharks turned him, and his request for $155,000, back around and sent him out the door, but they did it more kindly than you'd probably have done yourself, except for Robert Herjavek's hastily sketched rebus version of that dreaded Shark Tank send-off, "I'm out."
* Last to make the long walk into the tank was Jeff Cohen, who came with his son Josh to solicit a staggering $500,000 for just 5% of their company, Voyage Air Guitar. After choking on those numbers, the Sharks perked up when they saw what the guitar could do: fold in half for travel. The Cohens, who own the patent, soon tangled with the Sharks over a familiar pitfall. They valued their company for its potential, while the investors didn't want to give much more than the company was worth at the moment. Kevin O'Leary offered a half million dollars for 51% of the company that licenses the guitar, which is when Cohen did something few entrepreneurs do in the tank. He asked why O'Leary was the best choice. "Because my whole company that sold for $3.2 billion was all licenses," O'Leary said. Cohen stuttered. "Did... did you say 3.2 billion with a b?" O'Leary didn't blink: "Yes, I did." Neither did Cohen, when he declined to let go of control of the company, even when Kevin Harrington offered to come in as a partner in TV sales. O'Leary fumed. "You're dead to me when you say 'no' to my deal. You're dead. You're gone. I don't even know who you are. You're vapor." And with that, the Cohens were gone. Their chance at owning 49% of a product that could make hundreds of millions through TV sales went with them.
Keep coming back for the latest coverage on the series, and for more information on Shark Tank, check out its official site on ABC.com.