If you are an entrepreneur or an aspiring one, I’ll assume that you probably know about the show ‘Shark Tank’, where entrepreneurs get a chance to pitch their business idea to investors and get funded on the spot.
The TV show debuted in 2009, and since then we’ve seen hundreds of entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to a panel of celebrity investors, some who’ve even been through startup accelerators.
Interestingly, of the 45,000 people who applied to be on the show in 2014, less than 1% got the opportunity to pitch their businesses and app ideas to the sharks.
We have seen almost all kinds of pitches on this show, exciting pitches, funny pitches, goofy pitches, dramatic pitches and more.
But, here are 4 emotional pitches which made the sharks cry.
#1 He gave up a comfortable lifestyle to pursue his passion
A young entrepreneur from Japan moved ‘Sharks’ to tears with his story of why he gave up a comfortable lifestyle to pursue his passion.
During his pitch, Phillip Lapuz, founder of the high-end golf putter company Kronos, showed powerful entrepreneurial skills and a strong business plan.
But when asked about what motivated him to start his own business, Philip broke down.
Then he narrated the story of why he needed his high-tech putter company to succeed to appear worthy in the eyes of his fiancee’s parents. The sad story ended well when Robert Herjavec invested $150,000 for 30%.
#2 When the shark Robert Herjavec got emotional talking about his father during a pitch
When Donny McCall entered the shark tank with his product ‘Invis-A-Rack’- a foldable truck rack, it seemed like a solid business idea.
The idea immediately got the attention of the sharks, but as they talked more about it, they found the production costs are nearly prohibitive. So, the panel suggested moving production overseas.
But it was Donny’s passion for helping his hometown and and so he refused to consider moving any part of his company outside the United States that quickly turned off the panel.
Donny then pointed to Robert Herjavec, whose father was born in Croatia and immigrated to Canada, where he worked in a factory, didn’t work. Robert got emotional talking about his father’s difficult experiences fitting in, but it was that first job that he was the most proud of.
Donny didn’t get any of the shark’s money but he certainly made a mark with his vision.
#3 When a pitch had a profound effect on the sharks, leading to a joint deal
Two ladies from Brisbane, Rebecca Glover and Leah James, made a pitch on Shark Tank Australia which brought some of the toughest people in business close to tears.
The duo pitched a childcare business for children with special needs, called Hummingbird.
The two mothers shared their own personal experiences of looking after a child who has a disability and detailed their struggles to find daycare that met their needs.
Listening to their story, one of the shark John McGrath choked. John said in an interview, “If you told me a year ago that I would be investing in the childcare industry, I’d have laughed you out the door. However, when Leah James and Rebecca Glover entered the Shark Tank, they came not just with a moving personal story about what they’ve done to ensure a better future for their children, and other children effected by disabilities. They came with a sharp, well-thought and viable business proposition.”
The happy part, John McGrath and Steve Baxter decided to make a joint investment of $80,000 and split a 25% stake.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the link to the original video. So, here’s a trailer video of that episode:
..and here’s an interview of the duo after the episode was aired:
#4 An entrepreneur’s genuine desire to selflessly help other farmers
Johnny Georges of Arcadia, Florida, presented the Tree T-PEE, a water conservation device for farmers that he developed with his late father in 1984.
The sharks were both shocked and moved by Georges’ genuine desire to selflessly help other farmers with their livelihood, a mission he credits to his father.
‘Shark Tank’ investor Kevin O’Leary said this emotional pitch is the reason the show won an Emmy.