UPDATED: Oregon Startup: Wild Squirrel Nut Butter Wins Investment On Shark Tank

(photo Sally Ho/The Oregonian)

We are diligently working on a piece now highlighting a string of investments that the Sharks have pulled out of since the show has aired.

In the case of Wild Squirrel Nut Butter, Shark Barbara Corcoran pulled out of the $50,000 investment for 40% that she had negotiated with the girls on the show.

Keely and Erica penned this tumblr entry after the embargo lifted on Friday highlighting the fact that Corcoran had pulled out of the investment, although they gained a lot of exposure and insight from Ms. Corcoran.

We are going to elaborate in a much larger piece about Shark Tank, which is still my favorite show of all time, however we want to add here that it’s not the fault of the Shark themselves. We hold accountable the producers who know well in advance that a shark has pulled out of the deal before airing. The producers of Shark Tank, Mark Burnett and ABC are doing the viewers, the startups and the sharks an injustice by not providing an update prior to airing that the investment didn’t actually work out. 

There is plenty of time between the taping of the episode and the airing of the episode to provide the back story.  The sharks are using their own money and they have to do their due diligence. Shark Tank provides a disclaimer in the beginning of every episode announcing it’s the sharks own money and that there is no pitch to the audience. They should also provide the same service at the end of each episode with an update as to what happens.

Below is the original story that we published this morning before being pointed to Keeley and Erica’s blog.

Two college girls from Oregon were featured on this week’s Shark Tank. They were cute, preppy, peppy and a little bit nervous, as anyone would be in front of the Shark’s on Shark Tank.

They came into the episode with their story about drive but didn’t have the numbers to attract an investment from Mr. Wonderful Kevin O’Leary, Mark Cuban, Daymond John or Robert Herjavec however they did catch the eye of real estate mogul turned Shark Tank investor, Barbara Corcoran.

Corcoran had made a gamble on a duo of political workers turned Barbecue company founders last season with their Pork Barrel Barbecue sauce. With the help of Corcoran the duo behind Pork Barrel was able to drastically improve their sales and distribution and they even opened up a restaurant.

The episode featuring Keeley Tillotson and Erika Welsh was taped last September, but as with all reality shows they are under a strict embargo from speaking a word about Shark Tank until after their episode aired. Prior to Friday nights showing, Shark Tank warned the girls to back up their website and expect lots of orders.

More after the break

The girls went into the tank looking for a $50,000 investment for 10% of their company Wild Squirrel Nut Butter. Corcoran wasn’t having that and countered with an offer of $50,000 for 40% of the company. In a nail biting moment the girls countered with $50,000 for 35% of the company. Not willing to let the deal slip away over 5% equity the girls quickly accepted Corcoran’s offer before it was taken off the table.

In the months since the taping of Shark Tank the women entrepreneurs moved their business to Tualatin Oregon and Tillotson’s father Bruce joined the company as CEO. They also competed in Portland’s Angel Oregon Investor’s Conference where they won an audience favorite recognition but no investment.

While Wild Squirrel Nut Butter seems to be a great product there is speculation across die hard Shark Tank fans, especially ones with industry knowledge, that Shark Tank Executive Producer Mark Burnett has been giving Ms. Corcoran a hard time about her typically conservative investing on Shark Tank which uses the investor/sharks own money for the investments.

Corcoran has been replaced a number of times by QVC maven Lori Greiner. Kevin Harrington, the CEO Of “As Seen On TV” was one of the original sharks. He was replaced very late in the second season by billionaire investor and NBA’s Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. It’s been widely speculated that Harrington was replaced from the show for also taking a conservative approach to investing.

It was the Wild Squirrel Nut Butter investment along with an investment in a company called Mix Bikini that prompted Herjavec to tweet:


Check out Wild Squirrel Nut Butter Here

Source: Oregon Live

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