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Appearing on ABC’s hit business reality show Shark Tank with 6 million viewers pretty much guarantees overnight success for entrepreneurs. The elite group of business owners, selected from tens of thousands every year, become sought after experts in their niche. In Season 7, only 104 made it on air out of 40,000 applicants. Serial entrepreneur Elizabeth Moskow, who appeared in a February 2015 episode, has united 77 of her Shark Tank alumni in a new venture — Tank Talkers — in hopes of paying their good fortune forward.
“I’m an ideator, a doer and a “make-sh*t-happener” who follows my ideas and passions to success,” Moskow said.
Launched this month, Tank Talkers serves as a speakers bureau of Shark Tank alumni available for speaking engagements , corporate team building seminars and conferences. The entrepreneurs, aka Tank Talkers, are available to share their vast experience in all business areas such as how to position your brand, compete with big brands for shelf space and expand overseas. Speakers include CEOs of the some of the most successful businesses in Shark Tank history: Tracey Noonan of Wicked Good Cupcakes, Dr. Steven Nakisher of Talbott Teas and Lani Lazzari of Simple Sugars.
Noonan and daughter Dani cut a deal with O’Leary Ventures founder Kevin O’Leary in an April 2013 episode that gave him a 45-cent royalty in perpetuity for a $75,000 investment. He made back his money in only six weeks. Lazarri, age 18, created an all-natural skincare brand because of her sensitive skin’s tendency to get eczema breakouts. Lazzari received a $100,000 investment from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban for 33% of Simple Sugars in a March 2013 episode. Her sales blasted from $44,000 to $6 million, reported Success magazine. The Pittsburgh, Penn. personal care brand sells at more than 700 outlets and internationally. Nakisher is one of O’Leary’s must successful Shark Tank deals ever. Mr. Wonderful invested $250,000 for 35% of the gourmet tea company in February 2012. Shortly after Jamba Juice (NASDAQ: JMBA) bought Talbott for an undisclosed amount.
Moskow and her partner Abby Schwalb pitched their 1970s inspired lip balm — Balm Chicky Balm Balm — in Season 6. Unlike other stick lip balms, Balm Chicky had a patented “friend end,” letting users share their lip balm without the risk of spreading germs.
Moskow and Schwalb left the tank empty handed but enjoyed overnight success nonetheless. After Shark Tank, the product was sold in Target (TGT), Whole Foods Markets (WFM), Wegman’s Grocery Stores and other retailers. Sales hit $250,000 in 2015 — nearly 15 times as much as the prior five years combined. They closed the business this year, opting instead to license their patent and let other companies sell the product as their brand.