Tag: “Shark Tank”

Target Adds Melissa Butler’s Black-owned and Vegan Beauty Brand, The Lip Bar, to its Shelves

Target to carry Melissa Butler's The Lip Bar in stores. (Melissa Butler) thegrio.com
Target to carry Melissa Butler’s The Lip Bar in stores. (Melissa Butler)

by Nekea Valentine via thegrio.com

According to Allure, Target has partnered with the Black-owned beauty brand, The Lip Bar, and will launch their line of vegan and cruelty-free products this spring. Melissa Butler, a former Wall Street financial analyst, is the founder of the brand after spending years frustrated and dissatisfied with the lack of representation for black women in the beauty industry.

Butler states, “Everyone deserves to have representation. Without it, we are left seeking validation.”

Butler also states in the initial stages of her building her brand, The Lip Bar, she pitched it to Shark Tank. The sharks decided to pass on what is now a business she says is worth nearly half a million dollars.

(image via allure.com)

The 30-year old Detroit native’s brand has skyrocketed since starting The Lip Bar in 2012 out of her own kitchen in Brooklyn, NY. Fast forward to 2018 and the entire line is already available in 44 Target stores and will be available in 100 more stores this May.

Target launched the line with two exclusive shades: Unimpressed, a liquid matte lip color, and Baddie, a lip gloss. Lipstick lovers can also choose from The Lip Bar’s Cream Lipstick ($12), which is full of moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, avocado oil and vitamin E or the Liquid Matte Collection ($13) with almond oil to keep your pucker moist.

Finally, there’s the line of lip glosses ($14) which are organic, nourishing and provide a slight glaze for a touch of glamour.

Butler pledges: “Everything we do at The Lip Bar is about empowering women to be their best selves. We give representation to the underserved so that every girl has the privilege of being socially accepted as beautiful. And in in my free time, I mentor young women in the inner city of Detroit (my hometown) to show them that they are better than their surroundings and to prove that they don’t have to be a product of their environment.”

Source: https://thegrio.com/2018/02/15/target-sell-black-owned-beauty-brand-lip-bar/

Makaila Ulmer, 11, Gets $11 Million from Whole Foods for her Bee Sweet Lemonade

Mikaila Ulmer, 11, of Bee Sweet Lemonade (photo via bet.com)

article by Evelyn Diaz via bet.com

Most kids are happy to earn a few dollars selling lemonade on the sidewalk. But not 11-year-old Mikaila Ulmer.  The pre-teen entreprenuer is making a name for herself in the world of business by landing an $11 million deal with upscale grocery chain Whole Foods for her natural lemonade, which she calls BeeSweet.

Ulmer and her lemonade first came to national attention when she appeared on Shark Tank, taking home $60,000 in venture capital for her BeeSweet business. Her company’s main priority, other than making delicious lemonade, is to help save the global bee population by utilizing honey as sweetener instead of sugar.

Her Shark Tank deal is pocket change compared to what Whole Foods is offering: $11 million and shelf space in 55 Whole Foods stores across the nation. On top of that, she also has a deal with United Natural Foods to help expand her business.

But that’s still not enough for Mikaila. In addition to running her business — she does have a little help from her mother — and staying on top of her school work, Ulmer wants to visit South Africa to teach girls about entrepreneurship and starting their own businesses.

To read more, go to: http://www.bet.com/news/lifestyle/2016/03/29/11-year-old-lands-whole-foods-deal.html 

“Shark Tank” on ABC Teams up with Value Partnerships to Seek Entrepreneurs of Color

“Shark Tank” on ABC (photo via black enterprise.com)

article by Carolyn M. Brown via blackenterprise.com

Now in its 7th season, ABC’s Shark Tank has empowered entrepreneurs to strike deals worth over $70 million.

Since the beginning, black entrepreneurs have shined. Mr. Tod’s Pie Factory struck a deal with Barbara Corcoran and Daymond John on episode 1 with a near $1M valuation.

In Season 7, entrepreneurs like Sarah Ribner of Piper Wai, and Ben Young and Gregory Coleman of Nexercise, continue to inspire on Friday nights.  Nexercise’s $18.7M valuation is the largest to date on Shark Tank.

Joshua DuBois and Brandon Andrews of Values Partnerships are working to ensure the voices pitching on ABC’s Shark Tank reflect the diversity of audiences watching. With the support of producer Mark Burnett, Values Partnerships – a Washington, D.C., based firm engaging faith-based and diverse communities worldwide – leads a nationwide casting tour focused on bringing more diverse ideas and voices to the show, and supporting entrepreneurship nationwide.

“ABC’s Shark Tank and its producer Mark Burnett are committed to supporting entrepreneurs from every community in the nation. The power of seeing someone who looks like you successfully pitch a business on the show cannot be understated,” says DuBois.

In 2015, Values Partnerships held 11 casting events in 6 cities. Several entrepreneurs, including Sprëtz  and Piper Wai pitched at Values Partnerships events and were selected for Season 7 of Shark Tank. The 2016 tour kicks off this week in Miami (March 4).

Events are planned in other cities, including Austin, Texas; NYC; Washington, D.C; Detroit, Michigan; New Orleans, Louisiana; Cincinnati, Ohio; and San Francisco/Oakland.

Continue reading ““Shark Tank” on ABC Teams up with Value Partnerships to Seek Entrepreneurs of Color”

Aesthetician Lydia Evans’ Skincare Brand SWAG Essentials Flourishes After “Shark Tank” Investors Say No

College Student Christopher Gray Wins “Shark Tank” Deal for Scholarship App “Scholly”

(Image: scholly.com)
(Image: scholly.com)

This season on the ABC show “Shark Tank”, Drexel student Christopher Gray, Co-Founder of Scholly, an app to help college students find scholarships, walked away with $40,000 and two “Shark Tank personalities–FUBU founder Daymond John and Lori Greiner of QVC, as investors with a 15% stake in his company.

Gray’s aha moment occurred after he was awarded 34 scholarships for a total of $1.3 million. He then used his knowledge about the scholarship process to create Scholly. The Scholly app, available for 99-cents, sold 92,000 downloads before the showed aired. Anyone who is a fan of the show knows it doesn’t take long for the Sharks to dive into a unique concept and present an offer. But on this episode after hearing very little about the back end of his website and business model,  Lori and Daymond offered him a deal he couldn’t refuse.  With Scholly rated at No. 1 in the app store, Black Enterprise caught up with Gray to learn more about his entrepreneurial journey.

Since launching your Scholly, what has your journey been like leading to this point? 

The journey has been surreal. I am only a senior in college and have had tremendous success. Being featured in national outlets and other accolades has been amazing. My top three highlights:

  • Shark Tank Appearance
  • Scholly Being Chosen as one of Inc. Magazine’s Top College Start Up
  • I was selected as one of BET’s 30 Under 30

Have you always wanted to venture into entrepreneurship? If so, who has inspired you the most?

Yes, I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur since I was little. I have a lot of mentors who I look to for various things. Have a problem with choosing one!

Continue reading “College Student Christopher Gray Wins “Shark Tank” Deal for Scholarship App “Scholly””

10 Year-Old Mikaila Ulmer Gets $60,000 Investment on ABC’s “Shark Tank” for BeeSweet Lemonade

(Image: Facebook)
Mikaila Ulmer (Image: Facebook)

If you’re a fan of the show Shark Tank, then you know convincing the “sharks” to invest in your business is not an easy challenge.

One little girl, however, managed to impress the sharks with her southern sweetened lemonade. 10-year-old Austin, Texas native Mikaila Ulmer is the founder of BeeSweet Lemonade. When she was only four years old, Ulmer was brainstorming what she would contribute to the Action Children’s Business Fair and Austin Lemonade Day.

After two bee stings, her parents encouraged her to research why honeybees were critical to our ecosystem. The young mind grew fascinated. Not long after, Great Granny Helen mailed Mikaila a 1940s cookbook containing Granny’s flaxseed lemonade recipe. The light bulb went off and little Miss Ulmer was inspired to make something that would help honeybees and use Great Granny Helen’s delicous recipe. BeeSweet Lemonade was born.

Mikaila’s recipe is unique from other lemonade recipes because instead of using lots of sugars, she sweetens each batch with honey from local bees. Today, she travels selling BeeSweet Lemonade at youth entrepreneurial events, and a portion of the profits is donated to organizations fighting to preserve honeybees.

Shark Tank investor and FUBU CEO Daymond John was sold on the BeeSweet story, and the mogul invested $60,000 for a 25% stake in the beverage company. John is working closely with Ulmer as her mentor and helping to push her brand through his professional network. “Partnering with Mikaila made perfect sense,” he said in a statement. “She’s a great kid with a head for business and branding. She’s got a great idea and I’m happy to help take BeeSweet to the next level.”

The investment will allow the company to make larger batches of the lemonade and meet customer demands. “I’m so excited to have someone with as much experience as Daymond on my team,” the young business girl said. “This is a great opportunity to have more people try my lemonade and save even more bees.”

Order Mikaila’s BeeSweet Lemonade and try all of the flavors here. BeeSweet Lemonade is also available at multiple Whole Foods and other grocers.

article by Essence Gant via blackenterprise.com

BUSINESS: 20 Black Angels Worth Knowing For Minority Startups

FUBU Founder and "Shark Tank" Investor Daymond John
FUBU Founder and “Shark Tank” Investor Daymond John

Daymond John helped revolutionize urban fashion in the 1990s as founder, president, and CEO of FUBU (“For Us, By Us”). He guided the iconic brand into a multimillion-dollar business, placing it at the same table with such designer sportswear labels as Donna Karan New York and Tommy Hilfiger.

These days, John is known for being a “shark” on the hit reality series “Shark Tank”. Every Friday night, some seven million viewers tune in to the ABC show that features a panel of investors, or “sharks,” that consider offers from aspiring entrepreneurs seeking capital. John, a member of the cast since the show’s premiere in 2009, along with four other prominent chief executives listens to business pitches (a contestant’s one-hour pitch is edited down to a 10-minute segment) from everyday people hoping to take their company or product to new heights. Using their own money, the sharks have invested more than $20 million, having completed more than 30 deals with an average valuation of $250,000. John is the show’s second leading investor.

Studies show that African American-owned firms are less likely to receive angel investment. In the first half of 2013, only 8.5% of startups pitching to angels were minority-owned; 16% were women-led, according to a report by the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire. Only 15% of those minority-owned businesses successfully got funded, while 24% of the female entrepreneurs received angel investments. Moreover, ethnic minorities account for less than 5% of the angel population.

Continue reading “BUSINESS: 20 Black Angels Worth Knowing For Minority Startups”

ABC’s “Shark Tank” Wants Black Businesses; Hires Rodney Sampson to Increase Diversity

The Shart Tank CastThousands of minority- and women-owned entrepreneurs will have the chance to audition to appear on ABC’s reality show Shark Tank, providing them an opportunity to gain much needed capital for growing their businesses. Casting directors will hold an open call on Friday, August 23, in Washington, DC during the Kingonomics Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Investment Conference. The event’s organizer, Rodney Sampson, recently signed on with Shark Tank Executive Producer Mark Burnett as executive in charge of diversity and outreach at One Three Media, a joint media and production venture between Burnett and the Hearst Corporation.

Kingonomics is the title of Sampson’s book, which is an interpretation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s economic vision for jobs and financial freedom for all Americans; through his lens as a serial entrepreneur and accredited investor primarily in technology and new media. The Kingonomics Conference, done in collaboration with the SCLC Poverty Institute, will bring together experts in capital raising strategies including crowdfunding, angel investment, and venture capital. The daylong forum and Shark Tank casting call also coincides with activities on Capitol Hill surrounding the 50th Anniversary celebration of the historic March On Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Now in its fifth season, Shark Tank is a competition reality-based television series that features a panel of self-made multimillionaire and billionaire entrepreneurs/judges who consider offers from aspiring entrepreneurs seeking investment capital for their businesses or products. The Emmy Award-nominated series features investor billionaire Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks; business mogul and brand expert Daymond John, founder of FUBU clothing line; inventor and “Queen of QVC” Lori Griener; real estate mogul Barbara Corcocran; technology innovator Robert Herjavec; and, venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary.

Sampson was tapped personally by Burnett (Survivor, Celebrity Apprentice, The Voice) to spearhead his television production company’s diversity efforts. The two had worked together on the hit television miniseries The Bible; the 10-hour drama that ran on the History Channel in March 2013. Burnett and his wife Roma Downey scripted and produced the show. Sampson served on the show’s advisory board in a diversity and inclusion role to insure conversations around people of color were authentic.

Burnett sought Sampson’s assistance when he learned the ratings for the Shark Tank revealed a larger African American and female audience on Friday night at 8 pm ET.

“The challenge he said is that most of the companies that pitch are white males,” recalls Sampson. “He decided that he wanted diversity and inclusion to be intentional not just on Shark Tank or one show but all of his properties. That is what led to me becoming the first head of diversity and inclusion inside of the organization.”

Sampson is charged with identifying and attracting a more diverse pool of inventors and entrepreneurs.  “Our goal is for at least 20% of the companies that pitch on the show to be minorities.”

The Shark Tank open casting call is a great forum he says especially given that access to capital remains the most important factor limiting the launch, expansion or growth of minority-owned businesses. Moreover, less than 3% of venture capital is invested in women owned and operated enterprises; less than 1% goes to African-American run businesses.

article by Carolyn M. Brown via blackenterprise.com