What do comfortable socks, a video doorbell, a drone academy, and gourmet peanuts have in common?
They’re all products and businesses pitched on “Shark Tank,” and they were all founded by Babson alumni (and one current student).
The popular ABC reality show “Shark Tank” has introduced viewers to more than 450 businesses since its 2009 premiere. And, since its premiere, several alumni from Babson’s graduate, undergraduate, and executive education programs have entered the tank, using the entrepreneurial mindsets they developed at Babson to woo the sharks and pitch their products.
Read on to learn about the Babson alumni and current student behind some memorable Shark Tank products and businesses.
Nadine Habayeb MBA ’17, Bohana
Nadine Habayeb MBA ’17 and her partner Priyal Bhartia brought their popped water lily seed snack to life over the course of Habayeb’s time at Babson. She handled the Sharks solo, as Bhartia was very pregnant during filming, earning even more respect from her would-be investors. Habayeb scored a deal from Kevin O’Leary: $200,000 as a loan with 9% interest over 3 years, in exchange for 8% equity.
Max Feber ’21, BRUW
At the age of 15, Max Feber ’21 discovered a problem he felt he could help solve: why was making cold brew coffee so unnecessarily difficult? This problem-solving attitude brought him all the way to “Shark Tank” with his company, BRUW, the mess-free cold brewing filter. Feber pitched BRUW and received a deal with Mark Cuban of $50,000 for 30% of his company.
Jamie Siminoff ’99, Ring
Jamie Siminoff is what “Shark Tank” has called the billion dollar idea that got away. The Sharks didn’t bite when he pitched Ring, video doorbells that let you answer the door from anywhere using your smartphone. A few years later, Amazon acquired Ring for more than $1 billion, its second largest acquisition. Siminoff appeared as a guest shark on the show on October 7, 2018.
Abby Speicher Carroll MBA’15, DARTDrones
Abby Speicher Carroll came to Babson with the goal of starting a business. While here, she founded DARTDrones, the national leader in drone training, consultation, and expert support for new drone pilots. Carroll was offered $300,000 for 10 percent of her company from Mark Cuban, but later turned the deal down.
Andrew Heath MBA’12 and David Heath ’05, Bombas
The Heath brothers grew up in an entrepreneurial family, and coupled that background with their Babson education to found their one-for-one sock company, Bombas. The brothers succeeded in getting a deal with Daymond John, giving up 17.5 percent of their company in exchange for $200,000 from John, who also provided financing for inventory.
Nate Lawrie, Brazyn Life
Former NFL player and alumnus of Babson’s Executive Education program, The Entrepreneur’s Boot Camp, Nate Lawrie went on “Shark Tank” to pitch his business, Brazyn Life, and the company’s launch product, The Morph—a collapsible, portable foam roller. He received a $250,000 deal with sharks Lori Greiner and Sara Blakely for 20 percent equity.
Sanjiv Patel MBA’02, Lord Nut Levington Gourmet Peanuts
As an MBA student, Sanjiv Patel took an unpaid internship at Stacy’s Pita Chips, which he parlayed into a full-time role as director of finance. After the company’s sale to Frito Lay, he founded Holy Cow LLC, and its brand, Lord Nut Levington, a collection of uniquely and creatively flavored peanut varieties. He didn’t walk away from “Shark Tank” with a deal, but you can find his product at a grocery store near you.
Cameron Sheldrake ’12, Off the Cob Tortilla Chips
Having grown up on a farm, Cameron Sheldrake ’12 craved a fresh flavor in his food. So he decided to make his own tortilla chips using sweet corn, similar to the kind his parents raised. He appeared on “Shark Tank” in 2014. Though he didn’t secure a deal, today Off the Cob Tortilla products can be found in stores nationwide.
David Zamarin ’20, Detrapel
During his sophomore year at Babson, David Zamarin appeared on “Shark Tank” to pitch Detrapel, a nanotechnology protective coatings company. The founder struck a deal with Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner for $200,000 for 25 percent of his company.
Featured photo: Max Feber ’21.
Posted in Entrepreneurship of All Kinds