Tom Hanks said it about baseball in "A League of Their Own" and Friday, Barbara Corcoran said it about entrepreneurs looking for investors: There's no crying in "Shark Tank."
Not surprisingly, that teary business woman didn't get a deal. But two other businesses did on the latest edition of "Shark Tank," and another went home wondering why nobody listened when the business founders didn't seem to have much to say.
First up was Jesse Wolfe, a business student from the University of Central Florida, who seems to have been paying attention in class. He's whipped up O'Dang Hummus, his own take on the ancient mash of chick peas and olive know as hummus, but in decidedly non-traditional flavors, such as Bomb-a-licious Buffalo Wing, Dillionaire Dill Pickle and Sweet and Spicy Black Bean.
Wolfe tells the sharks that he "accidentally" sold $790,000 worth of the products, after entering a business plan contest and taking his product to local farmers markets just to prove his concept. Now O'Dang Hummus is kind of a thing in the Orlando area and he expects to get a purchase order from supermarket chain Publix in a matter of weeks.
Wolfe cashed in stock options and his 401(k) from a job at Auto Zone to invest $40,000 in the business. He makes the product now for $1.25 and wholesales it for $2.25, but can get the cost down to 85 cents. He projects calendar year sales of $1.3 million, and is looking for a $50,000 investment for 10 percent of the company.
Barbara Corcoran is not impressed. " I think you're underestimating what it takes to go into the big-box stores," she tells Wolfe. " I've never met a more naive person standing there, about to go big-time in the food space." Not surprisingly, she's out.
Robert Herjavec has always wanted to go into a food product, but feels that he's never had "the guy" and that the Wolfe is the one. He offers $50,000 for 15 percent of the business, saying, "It's an investment in you."
Kevin O'Leary also wants in and offers $50,000 for 20 percent of the business, but wants Wolfe to be laser-focused on bringing out three products into Publix, while Lori Grenier warns Wolfe that, "It's great to be passionate, but you also have to have all the right things" to make a go of it.
Wolfe wants Grenier and Herjavec to go in together, and asks if the two will invest $40,000 for 15 percent equity. She counters at 25 percent equity for an investment of $50,000, with Herjavec. Wolfe wisely takes the deal, telling the camera afterward, "There's no better feeling on Earth. You can't buy this."
Up next are Doug and Chad Clark, two brothers who founded a secure password management application called Splikity. It runs across all platforms and sync across multiple devices, creating strong passwords. They're looking for $200,000 for 10 percent of the company, and because this is the biggest interview of their lives, they say, they're wearing tuxedos.
Things do not go well. The brothers explain that they don't have a background in computer security, and Mark Cuban instantly is out. "You don't just figure out security," he says.
Herjavec, who does have a background in computer security, having made his fortune there, notes that the two are coming in at the tail-end of the password management business and wants to know what's unique about their product, which appears to be nothing. Meanwhile Kevin O'Leary looks into his magic ball and predicts, "You're about to get fried."
Splikity had $55,00 in sales in the last month and has been approached by a large security company that wants to license the product, but the brother can't give details and also can't give a cost per user. The sharks don't like the lack of details and turn a cold shoulder, with Herjavec telling them, "I' not your investor-I know too much."
O'Leary feels there is demand and makes an offer: He'll loan $200,000 as venture debt and take 10 percent of sales until they pay him $600,000, along with 5 percent of the company. The brothers balk, noting that they're talking to five other companies and will be profitable in a month, and turn the deal down.
Mikki Bey Eyelash Extensions
Mikkie Bey offers extensions for eyelashes and has a salon and celebrity clients in Los Angeles, along with a propriety system for streamlining the eyelash extension application process. She's steadily grown the business from $69,000 in sales in 2012 to $130,000 in 2014, and is looking for $300,000 for 20 percent equity.
The sharks are dubious, and don't really see a business here. O'Leary and Corcoran both see it as a service with nothing that's proprietary, not a business that can scale. O'Leary says flatly: "You're not going to get a deal today on 'Shark Tank'."
After more back and forth, Bey, who appears to have read just a few too many motivational self-help books, chokes up, telling the sharks, "This is very important to me. I have done this by myself. I'm not stopping. This is my passion. This is my destiny. I'm asking you to take the chance on me."
The sharks aren't unsympathetic (well, at least by their standards), and note that she has a good business going, but that there's nothing concrete in which they can invest. She should continue to grow and expand the business, and succeed on those terms. Says Cuban: "I think it's right in front of you and you just have to grab it."
Corcoran adds: "You've got to give up this crying stuff. The minute you cry, you're giving up your power. When I get a woman who's crying, I don't trust her in terms of keeping a cap on her emotions."
Just like baseball, there's no crying on "Shark Tank," and Mikki strikes out.
Last up are Chelsea Briganti and Leigh Ann Tucker, two Parsons School of Design grads who've co-founded Loliware, a line of edible, disposable (or at least highly biodegradable) cups. The cups are made from vegan vegetable gelatin and were the outcome of a design contest. Launched three months ago, Loliware has $110,000 in sales, including 3,500 cups just at one trade show, and is signing a letter of intent with a New York City event-planning company that wants 1.3 million cups.
It's not blood in the water the sharks smell, but the vegan gelatin aroma of money, and they proceed to go on a feeding frenzy. "This cup is really delicious," Grenier says, and Cuban declares: "I'm in."
The women disclose that the product costs 97 cents for each cup, and sells for $1.50 apiece, but that they think they can get the costs down to 50 cents in the next year. They've invested $10,000 themselves, raised $100,000 from family and friends, and have started a venture round to raise $1 million, with $400,000 raised so far.
Herjavec offers to fill out the venture round at $600,000 for 25 percent equity, and Cuban, Corcoran and O'Leary want in on the deal. Grenier is out, saying, "I think it's a party thing."
Circling, the sharks begin to pair off, with Corcoran telling the women, "I'm the best partner you could ever meet." The deals comes down to either Cuban and Herjavec or Cuban and Corcoran and, even though Herjavec had the initial idea to fill out the venture round, the women go with Cuban and Corcoran.
"This is a really surreal moment for Leigh Ann and I," Briganti says, and the two young entrepreneurs float off on vegan gelatin cloud.