9 Worst Shark Tank Pitches

Shark Tank is considered a platform for investors to launch their innovative ideas or fund the products they have established over the years. However, Shark Tank is not a bed of roses for everyone. Entrepreneurs usually fail to satisfy the Shark enough to get what they want from them.

The reason for rejection can be different. Often, entrepreneurs do not present a compelling product. On the other hand, even good products fail to make it big because the owners fail to satisfy the Sharks. The failure can be attributed to different factors.

I have compiled some of the worst pitches in Shark Tank history to let you know what these entrepreneurs did wrong. Products like Ionic Ear and Throx had horrible concepts, while Technology Enabled Clothing’s owner was too cocky to counter an offer.

Worst Shark Tank Pitches

Throx

throx worst shark tank pitches

Edwin Heaven appeared on Shark Tank Season 1 with a mild smile on his face. He addressed a common problem where people tend to lose one-half of their sock pair. He demanded $50,000 for 25% of his company Throx. 

What he showed the Sharks was extremely hilarious. He presented them with a pair of three socks that had an extra piece as a backup for the missing one. While the product seemed gimmicky, Sharks tried their best to act professionally.

Robert Herjavec called Throx a product that he could buy as a gift, but it was not something big. Edwin tried to convince investors by arguing that he had sold 8,500 units, which translated to $38,000 in sales. He even shared his projection of $80,000 worth of sales in the next year. 

Kevin O’Leary critically explained why Throx would not work. The larger sock producers will see Throx selling three socks together and making money. The market giants will soon follow the course and produce three socks per set. Since a pair of three could not be patented, the idea had a low chance of sustaining the competition.

Cougar Energy Drink

cougar energy drink worst shark tank pitches

What’s more embarrassing? To have a miserable business idea or a product that relates to a sensitive online group? Ryan Custer brought a blend of both on Shark Tank Season 3. He demanded $150,000 for 30% of his company, Cougar Limited. 

The company sold Cougar Energy Drink, which contained several chemicals to give middle-aged women the boost they needed. He explained that Cougar Energy Drink contained 13 superfruit extracts for stronger nails and hair, chemical support for hormonal balance, anti-aging elements, and the famous energy blend. 

Once Ryan Custer was done with the presentation, Robert Herjavec ignored what he explained and asked if the model demonstrating the product was actually a cougar. Kevin O’Leary questioned the age bracket of cougar women. 

Ryan Custer did try to impress the Sharks when he disclosed the $60,000 worth of sales. However, the excitement fizzled out after Ryan told the Sharks that the sales stretched over three years. Every Shark opted out from the deal, and Barbara Corcoran’s comment claiming that the drink was chalk-like was the final nail in the coffin. 

LICKI Brush

licki brush worst shark tank pitches

Jason and Tara, a couple that met online and shared the same passion for cats, appeared on Shark Tank Season 8. They demanded $300,000 for 15% of PDX Pet Design, a company oriented to the wellness and grooming of cats. They began the pitch by presenting Shru, an intelligent toy that could mimic animal motion. 

Everything seemed normal until Jason and Tara pulled out LICKI Brush. It was a normal brush, shaped like a tongue, meant to strengthen the social bond between the cat and its owner. The Sharks laughed at the product, while Robert Herjavec tried it but regretted it. 

Kevin O’Leary wanted to take the product seriously, but he refrained from investing in a licking brush brand. Tara and Jason tried convincing the Sharks with $250,000 worth of Shru sales and $52,000 worth of LICKI Brush sales. They even disclosed that they projected $180,000 in sales for LICKI Brush. 

Kevin continued making fun of LICKI Brush while other Sharks laughed their guts out. Daymond John said that he did not believe in the concept of social bonding. Lori Greiner did not find the sales sufficient for a product that went viral on social media. Mark criticized them for unrealistically high valuation.

Kymera

kymera worst shark tank pitches

Jason Woods brought his product Kymera on the Shark Tank Season 5, demanding a $1 million valuation. He started well with a summarized comparison between paddle boards and jet skis. He presented Kymera, a jet-propelled bodyboard that had great portability and was as exciting as a jet ski.

Jason explained the design, controllability, and directions, but he faltered while explaining the 30-minute battery and just a 15-mile-per-hour speed. Other than this, Jason had spent 10 years developing Kymera. The product was actually a prototype with zero sales. 

Mark Cuban asked why Kymera could not strike a deal with Kickstarter. Jason explained that he raised $116,000 in 30 days, but Kickstarter changed its policy to sell a product per person. Jason disclosed that he had put $130,000 in Kymera to build the prototype. However, he saw an opportunity to sell it to people owning a yacht. 

Mark Cuban criticized Jason for not selling a single unit or even securing a patent in the last 10 years. The pitch went so bad that even Kevin O’Leary felt bad for Jason. However, he discarded the $1 million valuation despite having no sales. The Kymera pitch was difficult to watch.

Wake N Bacon

wake n bacon worst shark tank pitches

Matty Sallin appeared on Season 2 of Shark Tank, demanding $40,000 for 20% of his company, Wake N Bacon. He explained his background, where he earned a Master’s degree from New York University and attended an electronic course. He wanted to make an alarm clock that prepared the ever-favorite breakfast, i.e., bacon. 

The idea did not initially seem ridiculous, but everything took a nosedive when he began describing the product. The product was actually an alarm clock that a user must stuff with precooked slices of bacon. The alarm clock simply recooked the bacon ten minutes before the alarm clock rang. 

The prospects of getting a deal worsened when Matty disclosed that he did not sell any alarm clock, and he did not finalize the prototype. He was planning to spend the $40,000 on redesigning the product and mass production. Matty began showing the drawings of the expected prototype, which made every panelist laugh. 

Kevin O’Leary argued that the product was not safe and no one would sleep next to an oven. Mark Cuban added that no one would cook bacon twice, so Wake N Bacon was a dad’s gift because it was stupid. While everyone opted out, Kevin continued mocking Matty until he left the show. 

Technology Enabled Clothing

technology enabled clothing worst shark tank pitches

Scott Jordan’s pitch on Shark Tank Season 3 is one of the most controversial pitches ever. Unlike other pitches on our list, Technology Enabled Clothing failed to make a deal because the entrepreneur was reluctant to agree with the Sharks. 

Scott Jordan demanded $500,000 for 15% of equity in TEC. He presented wearable jackets for gadget guys who like to carry electronics everywhere. The pockets could fit any device without bulges because they formed layers to accommodate a wide variety of gadgets. Users can use a mobile phone without pulling it out of their pocket. 

Scott secured a patent for the wiring structure. However, Mark Cuban argued that the wiring patent was weak because the market was switching to wireless technology. As Mark opted out, Scott told Mark that he was no loss because he already had made up his mind. 

Scott had another company named ScorrEvest that he mentioned on the pitch, but he did not seek investment in it. The company had $5.1 million in revenue and was projected to earn $12 million in the next year. Robert Herjavec and Kevin O’Leary tried their best to get stakes in both companies. Scott Jordan called Robert insane and called him and Kevin out for what they were offering. TEC did not strike a deal because the entrepreneur was not mature enough to counter professionally.

Pavlok

pavlok worst shark tank pitches

When uneasy and uncomfortable pitches are discussed, Pavlok must be right up in the top tier. Manish Sethi introduced his habit-controlling wristband on Shark Tank Season 7 at an over-the-top valuation of $16 million. 

Whenever a user did something unwanted, he could press Pavlok to produce a jolt that helped him control the behavior. Manish referred to the scientific methods used for decades and mentioned aversion therapy to get Sharks interested. Manish shared his experience where he had to hire a person to slap him in the face when he could not finish his work.

Manish buzzed everyone on the panel and explained that these uncomfortable stimuli help people get rid of habits. However, Mark Cuban called the product non-sense and Manish a con artist. 

Despite Mark’s early exit, Kevin wanted to know why the company was worth $16 million. Manish claimed that he received orders worth $800,000 in the first week of the launch. He was planning to integrate Pavlok into alarm clocks to help people wake up. 

Manish Sethi was using other people’s research to sell his product. He did not perform a study to check if his product effectively performed aversion therapy. Every Shark opted out, but Kevin offered Manish a load to help him fulfill orders. Manish refused, saying that he did not want to work with Kevin. Kevin cussed Manish while he took an exit with empty hands. 

Ionic Ear

ionic ear worst shark tank pitches

Darrin Johnson presented one of the worst possible ideas in Shark Tank history. He entered the show and demanded $1 million for 15% of his company, Ionic Ear. While the name sounded like a hearing aid for people to help them with disability, Sharks were not ready for what came next.

Darrin explained that the Ionic Ear was actually an implantable Bluetooth device that goes beneath the ear through surgery. He demonstrated the surgery location and the device on the slides while every panelist laughed at the absurd idea of implanting an electronic device near the brain. 

Daymond John opted out instantly, calling the idea disturbing. However, Darrin did not stop there. He explained the needle AC charger that he had designed to help people recharge it. Moreover, people had to go through surgery again to have an upgrade. 

Despite Sharks’ reluctance to invest in Ionic Ear, Darrin compared it to breast implants. Darrin’s attempts to sell his idea made the situation even more awkward. He left the Tank empty-handed and received advice from the Sharks to stop working on the idea. 

Minus Cal

minus cal worst shark tank pitches

Minus Cal is the winner of our list of worst pitches to ever air on Shark Tank. It not only had a bad product, but the co-founders did not accept what they had claimed initially. Barret Jacques and Crom Carmichael appeared on Shark Tank Season 11 with their fat-controlling product, Minus Cal. They claimed that it could help people lose weight faster than dieting. Check Minus Cal Shark Tank Update.

They presented Sharks with their snack bars and tablets. The duo claimed that their product contained choleve that worked like a fat-resistant layer to prevent calories from burning. Crom explained that choleve was a proprietary and natural green tea extract that helped control cholesterol in addition to weight loss. 

Robert Herjavec did not like the taste of snack bars. However, Crom explained that the potency of choleve extracted from green tea was increased 20 times before adding it to the pills. Upon Mark’s request, Crom elaborated that choleve was initially developed to help people reduce cholesterol but they accidentally found that it enabled almost 100 calories to go down the digestive system without burning. 

Mark Cuban’s repeated questions regarding the weight loss claim made Crom angry. Chrome even asked him to get out of the deal. While other Sharks found reasons to opt-out, Robert criticized Mark for being arrogant and intimidating. Once all Sharks were out, the Minus Cal’s misery did not end there. Crom kept saying that Minus Cal was not a weight loss supplement until Robert got up and pointed to the ‘Lose Weight’ written on the banner.

Conclusion

Delivering the worst pitch on Shark Tank does not usually mean that the product is miserable. While some products on our list have horrible concepts, most pitches fail due to poor presentation by the entrepreneurs. Unrealistic valuation, loose grip on numbers, and faulty business models are some other factors that contributed to the failures of businesses on Shark Tank.

The mistakes made by entrepreneurs can be taken as a lesson to learn how not to pitch a business idea or present a sales pitch. Some products like Pavlok and Kymera have done well after their appearance on the show despite getting rejected. Delivering the worst pitch does not guarantee a product failure.

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