|As I discussed in part one of my series, I gave an elevator pitch to the Executive Producer of Shark Tank, Max Swedlow, four years prior to appearing on the show. I had kept in touch with Max and was updating him on my progress with Streetubez. When I launched Locker Board, we sent him information about it and he started following what I was doing. Six months after starting Locker Board, he called and told me I was ready for Shark Tank.
Preparing for Shark Tank was hard work. My Mom and Dad helped me a ton and we filmed a pitch to audition (click here to see our pitch - this is the first time showing it to the public). I found out later that more then 40,000 people auditioned for Shark Tank that year! Not only was I selected out of 40,000 people, but my pitch wound up being the opening act for Season 9 of Shark Tank and is one of the highest reran episodes. It was and continues to be a total blessing.
My goal was to get Mark Cuban as an investor. When you arrive for filming it takes a couple days. You go to the set the day before you film to see the layout and give them all of your props. It's super top secret and intense. On the day of filming you stay in a private trailer until you are ready to pitch. You don't get to see what anyone else is doing. You don't meet the Sharks until you walk out on the stage to pitch them.
We had no idea Sir Richard Branson was going to be one of the Sharks until the day of filming. He was a guest Shark and was there to film for the season for ONLY that day. If I had filmed on any other day I would have never met him. It's yet another example of how God has put the right people in my life at the right time.
When I finished my pitch, my Mom and I were shocked when three Sharks battled to invest in my company: Mark Cuban, Sir Richard and Robert Herjavec. My plan all along had been to land Mark Cuban and he just offered me $60,000 for 20% of my company. I couldn't believe it.
When you film Shark Tank, there is no stopping the cameras or taking breaks to discuss things. Everything is filmed right then and there and whatever happens, happens. It's a crazy experience. I was a little nervous about it, but more excited. My Mom, on the other hand, was completely freaked out.
She had no idea who I was going to select as my Shark. You have seconds to make a decision and I just went with my gut. I was so young (11 years old) and didn't totally understand who Sir Richard was. I just knew I had a connection with him. It felt right, so in that moment I switched gears and decided to go with him. He's told me that I remind him of himself when he was my age and working on his first business, a magazine called Student Magazine (check out this video Sir Richard made explaining why he invested in Locker Board).
When we left the set after filming, A-Rod waved at me and gave me a thumbs up! It was surreal.
If I can accomplish a fraction of what Sir Richard has in his life, then it will have been a life well lived. Sir Richard recently lost his Mom to Covid-19 and my thoughts and prayers are with him during this difficult time.
Below are some pictures of my journey with Sir Richard. Stay tuned for part 6 of 6 of this series when I share how I landed my licensing deal with major toy company, Wham-O.