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ABC’s “Shark Tank” gives Marietta entrepreneur Lori Lite $250K

Marietta entrepreneur Lori Lite jumped into the shark pool and came out unscathed — and with $250,000.

In an episode of the ABC show “Shark Tank” Sunday, Lite showed off her line of books and CDs to help kids under stress and convinced real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran to buy 50 percent of her company for $250,000.

“I always had this dream of mine that one of my books would be held up on national television. I just never thought it’d be me!” Lite told me Monday. She hopes the infusion of funds and mentorship with Corcoran will allow her to market her expanding Stress Free Kids line.

The show is set up pretty simply: five successful “sharks” who have cash to invest listen to entrepreneurs seeking funding and willing to concede some (or all) control for cash. They show a product line or service and the judges give them offers — or not. For anybody with a business bent, it’s actually a lot of fun.

ABC, in the episode taped last month, provided the back story. Lite, a mother of three, was stressed out with her kids and took stress management classes. She transferred those techniques over to her son, who had a tough time going to sleep, via a short story. It worked. From there, she created a line of books.

She then demonstrated her “progressive muscular relaxation” technique to the sharks. A couple seemed impressed.

Lite noted she and her husband sold 30,000 units out of her kitchen ($180,000 in revenues) and made a profit of $50,000 last year. She said she had a book publisher but decided she’d make more money on her own. She said she has sold more on her own.

At this point, she said afterwards, “I expected a feeding frenzy. I thought they’d offer me $1 million given how much I was helping children. That was the kind of confidence I had.”

But the sharks started nitpicking her business, noting that if she had as broad a distribution as she stated (all the major chains and Amazon), why hadn’t she sold more?

“What are you going to do with my money?” said one skeptical shark Robert Herjavec. “Your valuation is crazy!”

“I can’t believe you don’t appreciate what I’ve done,” Lite said, exasperated. At this point, she said she really thought it was over.

But one shark offered $250K for 100% of the company. “I think you are a star,” said FUBU founder Daymond John. He offered $250,000 for 51 percent of the company. (Lite said he had not indicated any interest at this point so that surprised her.) Corcoran offered the same amount of dough but needed only 50 percent, giving Lite a chance to share in the decision making.

Lite pondered with her husband via phone. He told her to play hardball. She countered with 40 percent for 250K. Neither shark budged. Lite ultimately relented and took Corcoran’s offer.

Later, she said with no idea how the show would work. She was shocked by the 50% and 51% offers. (She had entered asking for $250K for 20% of the company.) “That was a curveball,” she said. “Next season, people will know better.” She worried afterwards that everyone would think she was a patsy when in fact, her deal was not terribly different from others so far.

The publicity from the show alone has propelled sales of her books on Amazon.com, where “Angry Octopus” jumped into the top 200 Monday.

17 comments Add your comment

Madre Padre

August 25th, 2009
3:41 pm

Enter your comments here

asudst1992

August 25th, 2009
4:16 pm

Why is this news? LOL That’s what everyone seems to say about RHOA and other minority programming, so I just couldn’t resist making this statement.

JDE

August 25th, 2009
4:25 pm

She got a pretty fair deal and will be able to grow with the capital infusion. At least she didnt give away the farm and with her new investor she can open doors thru his network that she never would have been able to before. That in itself is worth alot of money. She did good in a less than pleasant environment.

JTesla

August 25th, 2009
5:35 pm

The “sharks” should have watched the last episode of Penn & Teller. I have to admit that when I started reading I was hoping that this was some post Shark Week program and she was put in a tank of Great Whites.

Steve

August 25th, 2009
6:58 pm

Glad the sale of her product is doing well. I hope her equal partnership ‘with someone she never met’ does as well. Sorry, I’m just skeptical of anyoneon a reality show ‘giving away/investing’ money.

Yeah right

August 25th, 2009
9:03 pm

asudst1992 – you are an idiot. She sold a half of a business for $250k which actually helps children. You are here blogging at 4:26PM when perhaps you should be working or owning your own business. Oh let me guess, now is when you reply and say “I’ve sold lots of business, blah, blah, blah.” You’re just a typical moron that likes to bring people down when they success. P.S. Please post a link of the last any major television or print publication actually had anything good (or bad) to say about you. Yeah, I didn’t think so. But keep watching show to make yourself feel good.

AllergicToStupidity

August 26th, 2009
12:58 am

asudst1992,
IF you are from Georgia you are a disgrace and embarassment. Jealous much? Do you sit around all day commenting on stories to see what kind of reaction you get because you have no job and no life? You are an idiot.

raceman94

August 26th, 2009
1:09 am

I agree. Asudst1992, you are an idiot. Find something better to do than to insult people.

Sebastian

August 26th, 2009
7:36 am

You guys should watch the UK version of this show. Its been going on here for many years and its WAY better than the US one. Firstly because its professional yet entertaining (like the first season of The Apprentice). Secondly, the ideas are MUCH better than what I’ve seen in Shark Tank.

Tyler Durden

August 26th, 2009
8:46 am

Yeah, everything’s always better in the UK. Like teeth, food, and women, just to name a few.

Johnson

August 26th, 2009
9:11 am

I love the BBC Dragons Den. This Shark Tank just seems way too produced. I don’t know, I guess they think us Americans can’t enjoy something unless it has some kind of gimmick to it. This lady should’ve pushed for a 49% sale. Doesn’t matter, most of these deals fall through after the show is over while they are trying to get the paperwork together and realize the contestant couldn’t back up their claims on paper.

ogre

August 26th, 2009
12:35 pm

you forgot taxes and healtcare tyler

[...] the rest here: Cobb Woman Gets $250,000 On ABC Show This entry was posted in Atlanta News. Bookmark the permalink. Comments are closed, but you [...]

Sebastian

August 27th, 2009
9:13 am

The American one will get better in terms of propositions one it gets more publicity and more entrepreneurs see it as an opportunity. At the moment, the ideas are 3rd rate.

… Unless Burnett wants to turn it into a bitch fest like he did with Apprentice.

RON MCKINNEY (INVENTOR)

August 30th, 2009
1:50 pm

i CAN’T BELIEVE YOU AND THE CASTING STAFF HAVEN’T CONTACTED ME MY INVENTION /ID
EA HAS MORE POTENTIAL THAN MOST OF WHAT I SAW ON SUCH A GREAT SHOW AND
IF YOU ARE TO SOAR LIKE MOST OF THE SHOWS NIELSON HAS ENDORSED THAT I PICKED!
(YOU! NEED!!! ME!!!!MY IDEA , MY DESIGN, MY VISION, MY ENERGY, AND /MULTIMILLION$$$$
TV SHOW WITH WORLDWIDE APPEAL TO EVERYONE, YOUNG,OLD,MALE, AND FEMALE.
HELP ME, THE SHOW, AND ABC, MY FAVORITE STATION.

Jack's Smirking Revenge

August 31st, 2009
7:29 pm

@Tyler Durden
Oh my God, Tyler. I haven’t heard the teeth or food thing said about Great Britain in … I don’t know. About an hour? Last time I was reading some blog comments section descend in the terrifying inferno of the “socialized medicine debate” US v UK etc etc.

You are a comedic genius. You’re Sid Caesar. You’re Lenny Bruce doing the Cha-Cha-Cha with Richard Pryor! You’re Bob Newhart giving Lewis Black a piggy back to the big dance! You should have your own primetime show.

I’m laughing so hard at your glorious display of sarcasm. Teeth. Food. Women. Will the world recover from your outburst of original wit? The subtle delivery of words? Is the ghost of HL Mencken smiling up/down upon yonder words?

No one has heard the quip about British food and teeth in the history of the entire universe have they? HAVE THEY?

I mean, bringing out hackneyed lazy insults about the limeys that you probably got from watching Simpsons episodes – Big Book of British Smiles? – rather than, you know, actual reality. Brilliant.

In other news.

Shark Tank is okay, but Dragons’ Den UK is better. (So Tyler IS right. Ha ha. Me still laughey)

US reality TV has a tendency to make everything shiney, drop in huge obtrusive music cues and generally try to yank the heart strings more. It loves its narrative and narration and looks of shock, i.e. look at that terrified expression on doo-dah’s face!

Shark Tank is another format that plays by these rules. It’s been thoroughly Mark Burnett-ized, but having said that, it ain’t bad.

But just as with Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, the UK’s version is better because you don’t need all the bells and whistles on. The inherent drama of the format and the casting of the people matters more than anything else. Everything else is just rhubarb and if there’s too much of it, it’s annoying. And rhubarby.

Vydya

September 16th, 2009
4:29 pm

I have few business ideas. I would like to participate in ‘Shark Tank’. Can anybody help me with the contact number for this program please.