Inspiring entrepreneurs are par for the course on Shark Tank, but tonight’s episode took the inspiration to a new level. The entire episode was dedicated to veterans who had started their own businesses. Two especially promising vets stole the spotlight: Matthew Griffin and Donald Lee.
Both Griffin and Lee have noticed the pain and suffering experienced all around the world, and both believe that handouts are not always the solution. During their respective tours in Afghanistan, they came up with a genius idea: give the creative, hardworking people they saw suffering on a daily basis opportunities that will allow them to rise out of poverty. To accomplish this end, they have launched Combat Flip Flops, a company that produces a product everybody loves (or loves to hate): flip flops! The individuals employed by Combat Flip Flops also manufacture scarves, belts, bracelets (constructed from disarmed landmines) and a variety of other products.
It was evident from the very beginning of their pitch that Griffin and Lee were serious about their business. Their no-nonsense presentation and direct, blunt honesty were definitely appreciated by the Sharks. Mark Cuban in particular was visibly impressed by the duo’s company motto of “Business, Not Bullets.” Cuban couldn’t help but smirk when Griffin suggested that the Sharks have no doubt been called crazy for attempting their various business ventures. As the entrepreneurs implied, Cuban and his cohorts probably have been thought of as crazy, but that’s never stopped them from pursuing their dreams. This sentiment appeared to earn Griffin and Lee a good deal of respect from the Sharks, three of whom were eager to invest in Combat Flip Flops.
As much as Cuban loved Combat Flip Flops, viewers loved the concept even more. Nearly all of the responses on Twitter were favorable. The following are just a few of the raving tweets that appeared during tonight’s episode:
Hopefully, with the Sharks’ support, Griffin and Lee will be able to spread opportunity across the globe. Maybe we’ll someday see them on Beyond the Tank! Until that time arrives, Griffin, Lee and their new Shark Tank investors will be busy making the world a better place, one flip flop at a time.