Lois Crouse

The Original Profender

Tony Devine, a teacher and coach, invented the Original Profender for his son to practice basketball. The Profender has the shape of a human silhouette positioned on a stable rolling base. Its height and position are adjustable by an operator holding an attached pole. The device acts as a...

Rent-A-Grandma

Todd Pliss has a unique staffing agency, Rent a Grandma. When Todd worked as a tutor to young entertainers (e.g., the Jonas Brothers), he heard parents complaining about the difficulty of finding a babysitter. College students and teens simply were not that reliable. Todd wondered, “Why not pair older...

Litter Jewelry

Mackenzie Burdick and Rachael Mann are sisters with backgrounds in interior and fashion design. One day, Mackenzie broke up a necklace and retooled it into a headpiece. Everyone loved it. They produced 50 more for a local trunk show, sold out, and Litter was born. “Litter” because they create...

Esso Watches

Ryan Naylor must have felt like an early Christian in the Colosseum rather than a budding entrepreneur on a TV show. His product was Esso Watches that were made in Europe. Ryan’s business was selling them in the US; he had already sold thousands. The main selling point about...

The Swilt

Ivori Tennelle created the Swilt, an all-in-one sweatshirt and blanket. One mode is “On-the-Go” when the blanket part is rolled up, clipped and hidden inside the sweatshirt, so that you can walk around. The second mode is “Head-to-Toe” when you unlatch the clips and unroll the bottom half so...

Salespreneur Sales Training

Dave Greco’s claim to fame was that he could sell anything to anyone (except his business to the sharks) and that he had won “every sales award there is to win.” He developed a system to teach people how to sell and had deals with several large corporations, most...

I Want to Draw a Cat for You

Steve Gadlin went into the Tank thinking he was there for comic relief. And he delivered—with his catchy rhyme, “I Want to Draw a Cat for You,” silly dance, and totally engaging personality. Steve’s business was drawing “custom” cats. A customer asked for, say, a cat dancing on a...

Business Ghost Writing Service

Business Ghost was a ghost-writing service that specializes in books about financial moguls and other successful business people. Michael Levin, the owner and writer, said that the business is about creating books that his clients can use to market themselves and their businesses more than it is about selling...

EZ VIP

EZ VIP was a website that offered tickets to the hottest high-end venues in Miami and bottle service at the table of your choice with an EZ VIP representative to escort you to your table to avoid any possible glitches. Once you had that reservation locked in, no one...

Samson Martin Maternity Clothes

Kim Preis wanted to create a line of maternity clothes that are elegant and flattering. She also wanted them to have an element of fun, something that made them stand out from the crowd. Her Samson Martin line included items imprinted with the baby’s due date, month or season....

Aldo Orta Jewelry

Aldo Orta was an artist as far back as he could remember. After receiving a Fine Arts degree in his native Mexico City, he moved to Los Angeles and earned a second degree from the University of California. Aldo’s primary interest was environmental design, and living in LA gave...

Original Runner Company

Julie Goldman created her first fabric aisle runner for her own wedding. She didn’t like the paper or plastic ones that slip around and rip easily. She then put up a website offering quality custom fabric runners. By the time she was in the Tank, she had made 20,000...

Carsik Bib

Les Cookson’s two sons were prone to carsickness. After so many times cleaning up and fumigating the car, Les had to find another way. His Carsik Bib, essentially a “barf bag,” hung from a child’s neck to catch the vomit and had a padded bottom to absorb liquid and...

Hydromax Wearable Water Bottle

Chris Spencer thought up the basic idea for HydroMax when he was a kid playing football and out on the field thirsty. The HydroMax system provides easy access to water with its protective pouch, expandable water bladder, tubing and biting valves. The system mounts on any shoulder pads and...

Thin Gloss

April Morris hated being called “chubby.” She tried diet pills, but could not live with the side effects. Her “Aha!” moment came while she was applying lip gloss. Maybe an herb or a scent in lip gloss could help women lose weight. April did her research and discovered that...

Clip N Go by New Era Brands

Bob Kroupa created small containers filled with sugar-free mints or gum that clip onto backpacks, purses, overnight cases or anything that keeps them handy so that you can freshen your breath wherever you are. He had recently produced a Clip N Go case for contact lenses that was not...

Fitness Stride Resistance Bands

When Stacy Erwin was in college, he had trouble fitting his exercise regimen into his busy schedule. He needed a simple, inexpensive way to exercise every day. His solution was Fitness Stride: two straps that attach around each leg with resistance bands. The bands between the straps stretch as...

SENDaBALL

Successful businesses can begin in the most unexpected places. Like in line at a post office. Michele Kapustka had a ball she was going to mail to a friend. She had found out that the post office would mail just about anything. A man in line asked her about...

Pillars of Slippers

Nicole Jones loved shoes. It was only natural that she go into the shoe business. Her company, Pillars of Slippers, included a brick-and-mortar retail store, a website and, her favorite, home shoe parties (picture a more-fun, fancier, hipper Tupperware party). For a home party, Nicole would roll up in...

Lipstix Remix

Ladies, don’t you hate when you can’t get all the lipstick out of the tube? Lipstick is made that way; at least 1/3 of it is needed to anchor the lipstick in the tube. Jill Quillin didn’t like wasting all that money, so she founded her company Divine Innovations...

Captain Ice Cream

Tim Gavern grew up in the ice cream business. His grandmother and mother both owned ice cream parlors, but Tim took a different route. He went into publishing as an editor of a car magazine. As the publishing business declined, Tim decided to pivot—turning to the traditional family business,...

Caffeindicator

Michael Shiavone ordered a decaf coffee late one night, then couldn’t sleep. He knew the server had made a mistake and given him caffeinated. Surely others experienced the same thing, and he wondered if he could find a solution. Michael developed and patented the Caffeindicator, a litmus-like test for...

Wee Can Shop

Sister and brother, Kimberley and Matthew Foley, were the owners and creators of Wee Can Shop, a mini shopping mall where children could shop for gifts for their loved ones. The children push small shopping carts from store front to store front (e.g., shops with kitchen items, candles, accessories)...

The Factionist

Nate Berkopec was a New York University business student. His clothing line, The Factionist, was made up of environmentally friendly T-shirts made in Uganda and silk-screened with socially relevant messages, such as “1.75 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day. Buy fair-trade.” and “If you don’t, who...