Cousins Maine Lobster

Food truck, online retailer, and restaurant; Los Angeles

Co-founders Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis
Shark Tank appearance October 2012
Corcoran's investment $55,000 for 15 percent
2015 revenue $15 million

Sabin: She taught us that not every idea is a good idea. We would come up with ideas, and we're like, "It's the next big thing!" and we get her on the phone. She asks two pointed questions and we realize it wasn't what we thought it was. She's caring and brilliant.

Jim: The only thing that's wrong with her is that she's not single.

Pipcorn

Gourmet mini-popcorn; Brooklyn, New York

Co-founders Jennifer and Jeff Martin (2012)
Shark Tank appearance November 2014
Corcoran's investment $200,000 for 10 percent
2015 revenue $2.4 million

Jeff: She has a brilliant marketing mind. She's told us how to be confident, how to follow through, and how to execute.

Jen: She's generous with her time. I had to speak at a women's conference, and I was really nervous. I wrote her an email, and she called me back immediately. She was like "talk to me." She goes above and beyond.

Daisy Cakes

Online bakery; Pauline, South Carolina

Founder Kim Nelson (2009)
Shark Tank appearance April 2011
Corcoran's investment $50,000 for 25 percent
2015 revenue $1.1 million-plus (estimate)

Kim: In the South, women are supposed to be sweet, demure, mind our manners, and not butt heads with the menfolk. Every single day, I think: "Is this the way Barbara would handle this?" She says, "Don't have a pity party." After the past six years of the roller coast ride that is this business, I really have learned to stand my ground and not be bullied.

Grace & Lace

Online fashion retailer; Austin

Co-founders Rick and Melissa Hinnant (2011)
Shark Tank appearance November 2013
Corcoran's investment $175,000 for 10 percent
2015 revenue $6.4 million

Melissa: One of the most powerful things she taught me was to hire people smarter than myself and get experts in areas that we don't know about.

Rick: We don't feel like she's an investor. We feel like she's part of the family.

From the November 2016 issue of Inc. magazine