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.

Tristen Ikaika Rings

Tristen Ikaika Rings are the brainchild of Tristen Amal Ikaikamaikai’ikaneokalani Persons. He started making them when he was 12. When started the business in 2017, he amassed an almost cult-like social media following. He started on Instagram taking photos of his travels around the world. Now, when he travels, he searches for the raw materials […]

TA3 Swim – Swimsuits for Women

Leila Shams created TA3 Swim out of anxiety. Before going on a beach vacation, she’d feel pressure to diet so she’d look good in a swimsuit. It took the joy out of vacationing for her. She was so concerned about it, she had liposuction. While recovering from the surgery, she had to wear a surgical […]

Tania Speaks Skin Care

Tania Speaks started her organic skincare brand because she was getting bullied at school. She had very bushy eyebrows and her schoolmates were relentless in teasing her about them. She’d come home crying and begging for her mom’s help. Her mom simply told her to be proud of herself. One day, Tania was so upset, […]

Hicc Away – Cure for the Hiccups

Dr. Ali Seifi invented Hicc Away to solve a very common problem: curing the hiccups. There are lots of home remedies like holding your breath or drinking a glass of water with your nose plugged, but they don’t always work. He first became concerned about curing hiccups as an anesthesiologist 20 years ago. He noticed […]

Roq Innovation – Headlightz Caps

Raquel Graham started Roq Innovations because her kids wouldn’t wear their scarves in the winter. She sewed together what looks like a plush buff and a business was born. That product is called Nekz and she eventually brought it to the Home Shopping Network where they sold out in about an hour. That led her […]

RomperJack – Rompers for Men

Justin Clark, one of the co-founders of RomperJack is a pretty savvy business man. His LinkedIn profile lists five businesses he’s involved with. His biggest business is Whiz Tutor, an app that matches students with local tutors. It’s a very successful business, but things slow down in the summer when school’s out. Back in the […]

Va-Broom – Broom & Vacuum Combo

Trevor Lambert and John Vadnais hope to clean up in the Shark Tank with Va-Broom, their broom with a mini vacuum attachment, in Shark Tank episode 1309. The guys have a lot of experience bringing products to market. Trevor and John are principles at Enhanced Innovations, a company that is “a manufacturer and distributor of […]

Must Love Ice Cream

Mollie Cha and Hannah Hong created Must Love Ice cream because they both developed lactose intolerance in their twenties. To be fair, it’s not really ice cream, they call it “nice cream.” It’s made from pureed bananas. They started making it in 2016 and the first few batches were not that good. The bananas froze […]

Smart Tire Company – Space Age Tires

Brian Yennie and Earl Cole introduce the Sharks to their Smart Tire Company, a pre-revenue business that makes tires that need no air, won’t puncture and will last far longer than regular rubber tires. The “Smart” in Smart Tire stands for “Shape Memory Alloy Radial Technology.” The secret is NASA technology. They were inspired by […]

Black Sands Entertainment – Cultural Comics

Manuel Godoy created Black Sands Entertainment to bot entertain and serve a cultural purpose. In his own words: “our business specializes in developing comics, novels, and books focusing on history before slavery for African-American audiences.” He feels the entertainment industry has hijacked the African American experience and its narrative is not indicative of what African […]

Finger Chopsticks by Snactiv

Kevin Choi and Evan Cho created Snactiv, their finger chopsticks, to keep their hands clean while snacking and working or gaming. Computers, gaming consoles and things like potato chips don’t go well together. When your hands get greasy, you can’t touch the keyboard or console without wiping them off well. This caused the guys to […]

Meet Candi – Meet Celebrities

Entrepreneurial couple Keithan and Quiante Hendrick pitch Meet Candi, their platform that lets fans live chat with celebrities, in Shark Tank episode 1312. They got the idea for the platform from an app called Cameo where celebrities create personalized videos for fans. They thought if videos would sell, live chats would too. With no entertainment […]

The Tenikle Tripod

Hans Dose got the inspiration for the Tenikle Tripod from two things: a busted phone and an octopus. His phone broke on some rocks while trying to balance it for a photo. On the way home, he looked at his cumbersome, suction cup mounted phone holder in his car and he thought of an octopus. […]

MaxPro – Portable Gym

Nezar Akeel created his MaxPro portable gym after designing things for other companies for years. He wanted a portable gym with a “minimalist design theme” that would offer all the workouts you can get in a gym and still fit in a back pack. In 2019, after four years in development, he got the business […]

Liberate Studio – Mental Fitness Studio

Olivia Bowser created Liberate Studio, her mental fitness studio, to make working on her own anxiety  easier. Bowser was going to all kinds of exercise classes to relieve stress but it  wasn’t working for her, so she tried one of the many meditation apps out there. While the apps helped, she thought there was something […]

Banana Loca – Banana Gadget

Renee Heath and Bechara Jaoudeh invented Banana Loca, their banana gadget that straightens and fills bananas, because they were reminiscing about eating bananas and Nutella. Bechara loved that combo as a kid and Renee said her nieces and nephews liked bananas and peanut butter. The friends liked checking out cool gadgets at trade shows and […]

Santa’s Enchanted Mailbox Sends Mail to Santa

Chris and Elisa Cirri created Santa’s Enchanted Mailbox from a family tradition. Their son, who was four at the time, would put pictures to send to Santa in a “magical” mailbox they made out of cardboard. Elisa would distract him while Chris snuck the pictures out of the box. Then, they’d open the box and […]

The Ornament Anchor Keeps Ornaments Safe

The Navqi family graces the Shark Tank for a second time when they pitch Mik’al and Ayaan’s new invention, the Ornament Anchor. The family appeared in season 10 seeking a partner for KudoBanz, a “positive parenting” tool that had low lifetime sales when they pitched it. While the product, valuation and sales figures didn’t impress […]

Wendy’s Gnome Shop – Holiday Themed Gnomes

Wendy Hoffmeister started Wendy’s Gnome Shop as a lark. She thought her designs were cute, so she decorated her house with them. Soon, friends and family were asking her to make them, so in 2019 she set up an Etsy shop to sell them. Soon a real website and social media accounts followed. By April, […]

Tommy Holl is The Real Elf

Tommy Holl, aka The Real Elf, took an off hand comment from a friend and turned it into a Christmas themed business. His friend told him he looked like the “Elf on a Shelf,” so Tommy went out and got an elf suit to take a picture for a Christmas card. Now, people all over […]

Love & Pebble – Ice Pop Face Masks

Love & Pebble co founder Lynda Truong suffered from bad acne as a teen. Since her family didn’t have any money for extras like skin care, she began mixing up skin care remedies in the kitchen with readily available, all natural ingredients. It’s something she’s done since then and in 2018, she decided to make […]

Zach & Zoe Sweet Bee Farm – Raw Honey

The Johnson family didn’t originally set out to make Zach & Zoe Sweet Bee Farm into a business, they just wanted to escape city living for the countryside. Unfortunately, Zach developed severe allergies in the bucolic Kingwood Township countryside. His parents, Kam and Summer tried everything: allergy medicines, steroids, even a few trips to the […]

Sheets Laundry – Sustainable Cleaning Products

Chris Videau started Sheets Laundry Club after being discharged from the military to help combat the plastic wastes problem we have here on Planet Earth. He saw a lot of plastic waste on his tours of duty and even experienced the choking smoke of plastic burn pits. He wanted to do something about it, so […]

Pink Picasso Kits – Paint by Numbers for Grown Ups

Ashley and Brittany Silfies created Pink Picasso Kits, their paint by numbers kits for adults, as a spin-off of their other successful business, Modern Monet Kits. Once completed, it looks as if Picasso (or Monet) painted the picture. The kits are an expansion on adult coloring books which were all the rage a few years […]

Hidrent App – Hire a Firefighter

Dave Heimbuch created his Hidrent App to help off duty firefighters earn extra money. It’s basically a niche gig app. There are others out there, but this one has a unique twist: only actively working firefighters can provide services to homeowners. This can put homeowners at ease because firefighters go through a far more rigorous […]

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