Are you a fan of Shark Tank? The ABC show, which has been on screens for more than ten years, gives plucky startup founders the chance to change their lives and become outrageously successful businessmen and women.
MORE: Shark Tank stars share shocking behind-the-scenes secret
But have you ever wondered how the Sharks themselves made their fortunes? We did some investigating and here’s what we found out…
The sharks have all made their fortunes in different ways
Today Mark Cuban is the owner of NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and has stakes in numerous companies, making him one of America’s wealthiest entrepreneurs. But before he made it, Mark could barely hold down a day job.
Mark is now one of America’s wealthiest entrepreneurs
“I had quit or been fired from three straight jobs,” he revealed on one episode of the show. After many false starts, in the 1990s, he founded a PC consulting company called MicroSolutions, which he eventually sold for $6million – and his wealth has only grown since then.
MORE: Shark Tank: meet the partners of Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran and more
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Before he was Mr Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary was toiling away in the computer industry, confident that computers and software would be a huge business – and of course, he was right.
Kevin made his fortune in computers
MORE: Shark Tank: meet the partners of Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner and more
At the height of the dot-com bubble, he sold educational computer games business, The Learning Company, to Mattel for a whopping $4.2billion. Since then, he’s gone on to become an author, a venture capitalist, mutual fund manager, and, as we know, a television personality,
It’s hard to believe, but savvy real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran went through school with straight Ds before finding her passion for selling houses. In her early twenties, she started a real estate business with her boyfriend, who loaned her $1,000.
Real estate is how Barbara made her money
After seven years together, they split and Barbara founded her own company, the Corcoran Group. The business boomed and in 2001, she sold it for $66million as she took a step back to become a mum.
MORE: Shark Tank hosts’ mammoth mansions unveiled: Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran and more
Daymond John started his hugely successful clothing line FUBU back when he was in high school. With his mother’s support, a single sewing machine and an eye for streetwear, he grew the company from kitchen table startup to $350million business.
Daymond owes his big break to rapper LL Cool J
However, the road to success wasn’t always easy; he was turned down by 27 banks for a loan and had to remortgage his mother’s house twice during FUBU’s early days. His big break came when he convinced LL Cool J, an old neighborhood friend, to wear a FUBU T-shirt for a promotional campaign.
Lori Greiner started her career selling jewelry storage organizers. One patent, which she later sold the product at JCPenney, Home Shopping Network, and other channels, became a huge hit and made the businesswoman her first million. Within three years, she was making more than $10million.
Lori holds over 120 product patents
She now holds over 120 patents for consumer products in other categories such as cosmetic organization, travel, electronics, and household items.
Robert arrived in Canada by boat with his parents, a single suitcase and just $20 when he was a young boy. A perfect example of the American dream, he worked hard, as both a waiter and a newspaper delivery boy in his teens before eventually launching a computer company from his basement.
Robert launched his business from his basement
Today, Robert is considered a global leader in information security, as founder and CEO of multi-million dollar cybersecurity firm Herjavec Group.
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