It’s easy to scoff at teenage dreams, but naysayers might think twice after learning of Benjamin Stern’s environmental shampoo. Stern had no trouble capturing a deal during tonight’s episode of Shark Tank, and what’s more, he had several Sharks competing for his favor.
Although all ages are represented on Shark Tank, the vast majority of the show’s entrepreneurs are 20- or 30-somethings. Sometimes, however, younger or older contestants attract attention with their impressive products and confident pitches. Tonight, multiple age groups were represented, although the focus was definitely on teenage entrepreneur, Benjamin Stern, who got the idea for his environmental product at the tender age of 14.
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Stern came accompanied by his grandmother, who was an early investor for the inspiring product NOHBO. Although her contribution to the pitch was mainly having her hair washed in front of the Sharks, she offered plenty of moral support for her beloved grandson. His confident pitch highlighted an environmental shampoo product which eliminates the waste created by empty shampoo bottles. NOHBO is currently patent pending; Stern needs the Sharks’ help so that he can license the product.
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The Sharks were clearly impressed by Stern’s go-getter attitude. They also loved the idea of a bottle-less shampoo, which could potentially be used in hotels. They were visibly impressed when Stern admitted that, early in the development process, he called the head-hunter group at Clorox. Few entrepreneurs are gutsy enough to make this kind of move, which is even less expected from a teenage entrepreneur. This was just the beginning for Stern, who got a job at 14 in order to fund his business dreams.
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Like the Sharks, viewers had only good things to say about Stern’s product and presentation. Several wished they had been half as ambitious at the age of 16.
Although two of the Sharks pulled out almost immediately, several others were eager to get involved. Robert Herjavec offered a rather disappointing deal, which was followed by Mark Cuban’s offer of $100,000 for 25 percent. Cuban also volunteered to help Stern with the patent process. At this point, it was clear that Stern wanted to work with Cuban, but then his favorite Shark sealed the deal by revealing that he has a shampoo company aimed at young kids, plus all the accounting tools Stern needs. Barbara Corcoran expressed interest at this point and even offered to introduce Stern to Estée Lauder. However, it was too little, too late — Stern decided to work with Mark Cuban. This is one product viewers will be eager to see on Beyond the Tank!
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