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About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob Merlino.com and more.

Transformation Factory – Sea Moss Gels

Transformation Factory founder Alexiou Gibson was over 500 pounds at age 19 and his doctor told him he’d be dead by age 30. Even his doctor said it was unlikely he could make significant changes, but he did. The former NASA intern and recipient of the Buick Engineering Scholarship became completely vegan and seaweed was […]

Players Trunk – Memorabilia Marketplace

Charles Matthews, Hunter Pomerantz, Austin Pomerantz and Jason Lansing, along with former Michigan basketball player and current member of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, created the Players Trunk to help collegiate athletes. College sports stars collect a lot of gear over their careers. There’s a market for that gear as memorabilia, but there was really […]

Project Pollo Restaurants

Lucas Bradbury started his Project Pollo restaurants out of a food truck to give him proof of concept. His plant based “chicken” sandwiches were an instant hit. Since that fateful day in 2020, he’s grown from the single truck to 12 brick and mortar stores with four more in the works by the end of […]

Aqua Boxing Gloves

Tony Adeniran invented Aqua Boxing Gloves to give people a boxing workout without going to the expense of buying and installing a heavy bag. Boxing is a good workout for anyone, whether you’re a pro or just want to get in fighting shape. Boxing improves balance, helps posture,  strengthens upper body and core, boosts endurance […]

Chill and Reel – Fishing Koozie

Jake Rutledge invented Chill and Reel because he likes to do two things while he’s at the beach: drink and fish. In 2017, while vacationing in Destin, Florida, Jake was wading in the Gulf of Mexico and he noticed a crap-ton of fish swimming around him. He didn’t want to use his fishing pole because […]

Make Up for Men by Stryx

Devir Kahan created Stryx, his make up for men, because of a zit. His cofounder, Jon Shanahan, sought Devir out for the same reason: a zit. Devir was about to get married when a rather gnarly pimple appeared on his face on his wedding day. He says the zit is memorialized in dozens of wedding […]

Springer Pets – Doggie Water Bottles

Springer Pets actually is a spin off business of another company. Brother and sister team Griffin and Shannon Ross, along with their mom, run the business. Since 1983, their dad has been running a business called Highwave. That business makes eco friendly water bottles and all sorts of other products. They used to sell a […]

Drifties – Driftline Boardshorts

Wes Horbatuck and Greg Orfe created Drifties Boardshorts to solve a very real problem they were having. The guys are both surfers. In the summer, they wear regular boardshorts and in the winter, they wear wet suits. They wanted something for fall and spring when the water is too warm for a wet suit and […]

The Plunge Tub – For Cold Therapy

Michael Garret and Ryan Duey want the Sharks to take the plunge and invest in Plunge, their cold therapy tubs, in Shark Tank episode 1322. Cold therapy has been around for a long time. Athletes have used ice baths to help with pain and physical recovery for years. It has other benefits, too. Cold plunging […]

The Handy Pan – Pan + Strainer

Josh Conway and Adam Chaudry, inventors of The Handy Pan, have been buddies since grade school. They share a love of inventing things and one of their inventions earned them a trip to the Shark Tank. Their business is called  Chaudway Innovations LLC and they have “several other kitchen products aligned with the Handy concept” […]

Hampton Adams Athletic Tape

Seneca Hampton created Hampton Adams Athletic Tape to solve a problem he had as an athlete. Whenever he taped his ankles or other parts of his body for a football game, he’d end up with sticky residue on his skin and cleats. Since his mom is a nurse and his dad is a football coach, […]

Cup Bop – Korean Barbecue

Cup Bop started as a single food truck in Salt Lake City back in 2013. Owner Jung Song didn’t have a lot of interest when he first opened. To attract customers, he had to break dance and shout a lot. It worked. The truck became very popular with the locals, so much so that it […]

Cat Amazing Cat Toys

Andrey Grigoryev would have you believe his cat Mooky directed his creation of Cat Amazing cat toys. Mooky “says” Andrey is “the (barely) presentable façade of the company.” In his role as CEO (Cat Entertainment Officer), Andrey is charged with presenting Cat Amazing, his company that makes the cat toys, on Shark Tank tonight. Mooky […]

Browndages Bandages

Intisar Bashir and Rashid Mahdi invented Browndages Bandages so their kids could have bandages that match their skin color. Most bandages are “flesh tone.” I call it pink, but whatever. The couple figured there weren’t any bandages for black and brown people, so they decided to go ahead and make them themselves. They made their […]

Potty Time Adventures by Lil Advents

Mindy and Brandon Wright invented Potty Time Adventures because their daughter was “reluctant” to potty train. They wanted a way to make it fun for her. When Brandon started brainstorming, he recalled enjoying Advent calendars as a child. For you non-Catholics, Advent is from the Latin word  adventus meaning “coming” or “arrival.” It marks the […]

Hair Fin – Hair Cutting Tool

Hair Fin inventor Tony Litwinowicz has been cutting his own hair since he was a kid. He used to use clips, but they were only an inch long. He wanted a hair cutting tool that would allow him to leave his hair longer, so he invented his own. As Tony says: “The HairFin guides are […]

Lucy – Modern Day Camera Lucida

The first time Lucy inventor Les Cookson appeared on Shark Tank, he was laughed off the stage. He was pitching the Carsik Bib, a baby travel bib with a barf bag attached. It was a notable pitch as he had a baby doll puking up pea soup to demonstrate it. It’s still one of the […]

Swift Paws – Doggie Capture the Flag

Meghan Wolfgram invented Swift Paws to help her dogs stay engaged and get exercise. Meghan is a dog lover whose only full time job since college is running SwiftPaws. The product is a series of pulleys and line powered by a motor. Simply attach a flag to the line and turn it on. The flag […]

BusyBox – Smart Do Not Disturb Sign

Steve Skillin created the BusyBox in March, 2020. Like many of us, he was working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdowns. The problem was, he kept getting interrupted and he interrupted others in his household. He wanted a way to let others in his home that he was busy and vice versa. So […]

The Dirty Cookie – Cookie Shot Glasses

Shahira Marei invented The Dirty Cookie, in part, to make a difference in  the world. She was very concerned when she took a trip to Egypt with her dad and encountered kids her own age (10) living in impoverished conditions out in the streets. When she asked her dad for money to give to them […]

Umaro Foods – Vegan Bacon

Beth Zotter and Amanda Stiles created Umaro Foods, their vegan bacon business, to have a marketable product for their seaweed farming endeavors. The two women are working on developing seaweed farms to use as a food source, specifically a protein source. They believe seaweed can provide the world with more than enough protein for every […]

Compression Socks by Apolla

Kaycee Jones and Brianne Zborowski originally created Apolla, their line of compression socks, to provide more support for dancers. Ballet and other professional dancers put a lot of pressure on their feet and the women wanted to make a product that would help with that problem. They spent years learning how to do manufacturing and […]

Magnetic Pillow Forts by Fort

Anyone who was ever a kid has probably made pillow forts. You know the kind: you take some couch cushions and stack them up, maybe even put a sheet on top for the “roof.” The problem with those is they aren’t very stable. Conor Lewis saw that as a solvable problem when he was observing […]

Adaptive Clothing by No Limbits

No Limbits adaptive clothing founder Erica Cole created her first product out of necessity. Imagine you’re driving along and the next thing you remember is waking up in the hospital and your leg has been amputated. It would be rough on just about anyone, but Cole saw an opportunity. While getting used to dealing with […]

Round21 – Sporty Art

Round21 creator Jasmine Maietta has played basketball at every level, including a year in a woman’s professional basketball league in Spain. She’s also coached the sport at the high school and college level. Couple that with a big time professional career as a branding expert at Under Armor, Reebok and others and she has the […]

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