If you've ever watched an episode of the hit television show, Shark Tank, then you've seen legendary entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban either get excited about a deal--or tear a "potential scammer" to shreds. (They don't call him a 'Shark' for nothing.)
Recently, I had the pleasure of being connected with Mark, and as an avid watcher of the show I asked him what his five favorite investments have been in The Tank.
1. Slyde Handboards
Teaming up with guest 'Shark' Ashton Kutcher, Cuban and Kutcher struck a deal to invest $200,000 for a 22% stake in Slyde Handboards--a company that puts surfing in the palm of your hand.
According to Cuban, "I liked the spirit of the entrepreneurs. I saw they had bootstrapped the company, and I think that people are always looking for new and inexpensive ways to have fun."
He saw the deal as a fit and decided to ride the wave.
2. Simple Sugars
This facial and body scrub company secured a $100,000 investment from Mark Cuban in exchange for 33% of the company.
"I always have a soft spot for entrepreneurs from my hometown of Pittsburgh. I saw Lani (CEO / Founder), who was 19 at the time as a 'mini-me.' She hustled, was always selling and always thinking of new ways to make her customers happier."
3. Tower Paddle Boards
Mark Cuban invested $150,000 for 30% of Tower Paddle Boards--an SEO-driven eCommerce company selling everything from paddles, paddleboarding accessories, paddle surfing gear, and more.
"I invested because Stephan (Founder) had an SEO business that he had previously been very successful with and sold. I thought that he could take over the paddle board niche and leverage his SEO experience to do it."
Cuban was right. As the story goes, Stephan wrote Cuban his first dividend check for $50,000 within 120 days of his investment.
If you've seen this episode, Mark Cuban quietly waited until the rest of the 'Sharks' were out before he asked his questions and ultimately struck a deal: $250,000 for 20% of the company + any related business ventures (assuming the Founder would pivot).
"Shaan (Founder) is incredibly smart and driven. I have yet to fail working with entrepreneurs who are much smarter than me and who were also grinders. Shaan has done amazingly well so far and I expect great things from him."
5. Nuts 'N More
Fellow 'Sharks' Robert Herjavec and Mark Cuban invested $250,000 in exchange for 35 percent of the company Nuts 'N More--all natural, high protein snacks, spreads, protein powders, and more.
"I'm always looking for foods that solve my sweet tooth and are healthy. This company fit that bill perfectly," said Cuban.