What it's Like to Be on Shark Tank

Chad Riddersen

Posted on April 28 2012

It's been 24 hours since our [Lollacup] pitch aired on Shark Tank last night, and my heart and mind have not stopped racing.  So much to do and share.  How we went from a simple idea for a new straw sippy cup to landing Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec as business partners is baffling.

I guess I'll begin by sharing how Mark and I tuned in last night.  The most responsible thing to do would have been to watch the Shark Tank episode at home, with phone in-hand and computers fired up to attend to any issues that may arise.  BUT we thought about all the people who were in involved in bringing this straw-sippy-cup-project to fruition, and we just had to get everyone together and relish in the moment.  How often does one have an idea, take it to market, get on national TV, and land a business deal with Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec?  You only live once, so we just had to go the viewing-party-route.  I promise we will respond to your voicemails and emails soon.

Between family, the friends we see regularly, and people who've directly worked on lollacup, we had about 75 people we needed to host.  Our home/office was not an option with those numbers, so Mark and I had to get creative in thinking about how to plan a Shark Tank Viewing Party on a budget.  Mark suggested watching it at our old high school, where we met and started dating.  I thought it was a long-shot, but we asked the administration, and the school was gracious enough to let us use the lunch area for dinner and drinks and the auditorium to watch the show.  It was so nostalgic and special to be on campus for this event.  Some of our teachers even joined us!

Thank you Phil Webb and Fleetwood-Fibre for the "card." We have the BEST vendors.

Guests began to trickle in around 7 pm, and they all tried their best to stay off of social media so as not to know the outcome.  We were last into the "tank," so by 8:40 p.m. everyone was pumped for our appearance - our bellies were full and we had all had a few glasses of wine.

Finally, around 7:45 p.m. the commercial break ended and our friends were cheering [loudly] as we were introduced as "next into the Shark Tank."  I don't know about you, but every time I hear my own voice on a recording, I cringe.  Can you imagine how I felt watching my every mannerism on national TV?

During the taping, Mark and I stood in front of those sharks for well over an hour, and what you saw on Friday was edited down to less than 15 minutes.  I must say that the show did a great job with the editing . . . everything you saw was a concise representation of how we remember it all going down.  Aside from childbirth, it was the most intense and stressful hour+ of my life.  I am so proud we survived and so happy Mark and I did it together.

So to tell you "what it's like to be on Shark Tank" - SIMPLY AMAZING!  For the most part, we have had people go out of their way to send kind words and well-wishes our way via Facebook, Twitter, email, blogs, and even phone calls.  This whole experience is such a huge motivator.  We know how expensive parenting is: the cost of diapers alone is astounding.  Thank you all for supporting Lollacup as we grow.

Here are some of my favorite tweets from the sharks:

Robert HerjavecRobert Herjavec ‏ @robertherjavec #sharktank - i LOVE this guy - " I only want to play with winners " - LOVE IT

#sharktank - wow - it took these two amazing pitchers to get me to work with @mcuban

Mark CubanMark Cuban ‏ @mcuban I really liked them. I'm not usually that nice to robert. I felt bad for him ;-).

Daymond JohnDaymond John ‏ @TheSharkDaymond such cute kids!!! #sharktank
will robert and Mark finally work together!! #sharktank

Lori GreinerLori Greiner ‏ @LoriGreiner Love these two!! Their passion in #SharkTank is undeniable.

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  • Tony: July 02, 2015

    Please keep it “made in USA” That was one of the first things I liked about this. Good Luck

  • KIM: July 02, 2015

    There wasnt any students there drinking and they were simply using a building…Its not like it was during school hours! Get a grip

  • Lisa: July 02, 2015

    I really dislike the chicken design. To me it looks cheap and something produced in China & sold in 99cent stores. I hope you’ll come out with a design worthy of the $18 pricetag. Good luck!

  • Ashley Massengill: July 02, 2015

    I watched shark tank on hulu last night and immediatly ordered one, I cant wait

  • Kate: July 02, 2015

    We watched Shark Tank last night and we were so happy for you guys! I own Icky Baby, a children’s gift/accessories business and it can be a tough business so I am always cheering for the new companies. Enjoy the ride!

  • Alcohol on school grounds, not good.: July 02, 2015

    grounds for school to Lose federal funding.

  • dianaliang: July 02, 2015

    I can’t wait to get my cups in the mail!!! Thank you for coming up with such a thoughtful product.

  • Kim: July 02, 2015

    You guys are such great people! Wishing you the very best!!!!!! :)

  • lollacup: July 02, 2015

    Thanks :) We really do LOVE our sales reps and Mark and Robert didn’t require us to get out of it, so we are just letting the contract run out, but kind of reluctantly b/c they are so nice to work with.

  • Kim: July 02, 2015

    Love it! Did you get out of your sales agent contract??? :)

  • miamomia: July 02, 2015

    My mom saw your product on Shark Tank and told me to watch on Hulu. I love the product. It’s so cute and a great concept. I love even more that you’re committed to keeping it in the USA. Not just because of the quality of materials but also because you’re supporting the economy. I would pay more for that. When my little one gets old enough for straw sippees in few months we will be getting a Lollacup.

  • Jared: July 02, 2015

    I agree with this 100%! With 2 sets of boy/girl twins (6 years old and 9-months old), we bought 2-3 different types of water bottles with straws, and 2-3 sippy cups, each in different colors – we have about 10 different ones still in the cupboard. This one looks better than any of those – we may be replacing our old ones with this one!

    I knew that would get interest as soon as I saw the weighted straw – I believe this will be one of the more successful products featured on the show (especially in the long term once the price point can come down to the $12 range).

    You acquitted yourselves quite well – I especially loved the “I only want to play with winners” and the “I have exclusivity” comments!

  • Leslie: July 02, 2015

    Great product, and such a wonderful idea! The weighted straw was absolutely genius, I look forward to receiving mine soon!

  • Beth: July 02, 2015

    Agreed. I think Mark Cuban understood this. Its not that every product made in China is unsafe, but there is a perception, based on the past few years news, that there could be unknown risk. And so, of all products, the one that goes into your child’s mouth on a daily basis is the product on which to spend a few extra dollars!

  • lollacup: July 02, 2015

    You bring up a good point that our friends have even asked us about. First, keep in mind that 1.5 hours of negotiations were edited down to 15 minutes. The sharks were all talking over one another and things were very heated. Mark was in the middle of a conversation with Robert H. so we were focused on him. Daymond literally shouted his 30% offer during several other exchanges between us and sharks, and we had ZERO time to process it all. By the time we realized what was going on, he had already said, “I’m out!” While we would’ve loved to work with him, we took what we could. For a moment it felt like everything was going downhill…

  • Sarah: July 02, 2015

    It’s not just the non-toxic factor. Supporting our own economy is a huge deal. Wal Mart and Target already support China and Iraq and Afghanistan and Japan ect. When we check the labels on most of the items that are sold at these major retailers, very few are made in the USA and support our communities. Just FYI _

  • zobeida: July 02, 2015

    Bought it too! Better safe then toxic! Will pay whatever for the safety of my son. Seriously people pay more money then this for eating out at a fast food restaurant!

  • Nikki Garner: July 02, 2015

    I just have to say that I am one of those moms who likes to save every penny I can when I buy things. Buying for 4 children isn’t an easy (or cheap) task. That being said, I was shocked at the price also until I started thinking about HOW MANY sippy cups that I’ve bought in the past. My children go through sippy cups like they go through toys. Either most of them leak, get cracked, broken, we lose pieces to them or they just don’t like them. I have probably spent 3 times that much for EACH child on sippy cups!! A lot of people don’t realize that in order to save money, you have to spend money on quality items. That’s why a lot of the items you purchase in the dollar store fall apart. By the time you have repurchased that same dollar store item over and over again, you could have bought the high quality item and spent less. So I am very happy to have ordered one of your lollacups and if we love them as much I hope we will then I will be back for another to have as a back-up. I am also extremely thankful for a company that is USA made and I love not having to worry if the product is safe for my children. Thank you for having the courage and determination to go to the Shark Tank show. I am so excited to try your product and be a loyal customer! I wish you lots of luck with all of your endeavors :) (crossing my fingers for a pink cup in the future)

  • yosephvera: July 02, 2015

    keep up the good work

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Thank you for the comment. We have a few hospital gift shops carrying it now, but that’s definitely an area we need to expand into more. Congratulations, in advance, on becoming a grandma!

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