Seasons 1 – Current
Founder of O’Leary Mortgages, O’Leary books, O’Shares Investments, O’Leary Ventures, O’Leary Funds Management, and O’Leary Fine Wines on the Canadian television series Dragons’ Den.
In addition to his Shark Tank persona, Kevin O’Leary (aka Mr. Wonderful) has a long career in business that has earned him the right to have such a bold voice on the program. Look into the guy behind the legend and how he got to where he is now.
Kevin O’Leary is a Canadian actor born in Montreal. Kevin began investing money in high school after he learned a lot from his mother about how to properly manage money. His mother instilled in him the idea that he should only spend the income he receives from his investments, and nothing else. His life was forever changed by that one lesson.
By scraping gum off the floor at his first job at an ice cream parlor, O’Leary’s life was permanently altered. “No” was all he could say, and he was sacked. He made a promise to himself that he would never work for anyone else again. His life was forever changed by that incident, which led him to pursue an MBA in entrepreneurship from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario.
O’Leary worked as a summer intern at Nabisco in downtown Toronto when he was in college. After completing his internship, he was hired as an assistant brand manager and tasked with growing the company’s market share for cat food.
He went on to become a television producer after leaving Nabisco. Shortly after that, he launched Special Event Television (SET) and had some success with it. One of his co-owners eventually paid him $25,000 to buy out his share of the company.
He then went on to found Softkey, a consumer-oriented repackager of high-end corporate software. When he got a $250,000 investment from an investor, who then backed out before he signed the paperwork, he was forced to go elsewhere for finance. In addition to the $25,000 he made from selling SET, O’Leary’s mother gave him $10,000.
O’Leary sought printer makers in order to secure distribution for the program by offering a package deal with their software. It worked out. After acquiring more than 60 other educational software companies, Softkey became a billion-dollar market consolidator in 1994. O’Leary’s passionate attitude to business has wiped away the competition for Softkey. As a result of this acquisition, Softkey became known as The Learning Company (TLC).
In 1999, O’Leary sold the company to Mattel for a stunning $4.2 billion. Shane O’Leary, his brother, and co-founder of O’Leary Funds Inc. (a mutual and investment fund management firm managing over $1.5 billion) joined him in founding the company in 2008. O’Leary Ventures, O’Leary Mortgages, O’Leary books, and O’Leary Fine Wines are just a few of the businesses that bear his name.
Cold Hard Truth: On Business, Money and Life was O’Leary’s debut book published in 2011. Cold Hard Truth On Men, Women, and Money: 50 Common Money Mistakes and How to Fix Them and Cold Hard Truth on Family, Kids, and Money followed up that book. ‘
On and off camera, O’Leary has been on various television shows. SqueezePlay on the Business News Network, Discovery Project Earth, Dragon’s Den, and of course Shark Tank are all on his portfolio. O’Leary will be remembered as one of the most successful businessmen of the 21st century because of his perseverance, determination, and commercial acumen.
Over 600 products have been developed. In total, he has more than 120 patents in the US and elsewhere. Lori Greiner is the host of “Clever and Unique Creations by Lori Greiner” (product development and marketing.
Let me introduce you to Lori Greiner, one of the most prolific retail product creators in recent history. With a single idea, Lori launched her career and became an international multi-million dollar brand. More than 450 goods have been developed, and she currently has more than 120 US and international patents.
She has a knack for solving problems for the public and inventing goods that improve people’s lives at a reasonable price. Lori, the self-styled “QVC Queen,” has amassed a devoted following and a slew of accolades as a result of her entrepreneurial fervor.
Lori graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in Communications, with a concentration in journalism, television, and film. In the midst of her job at the Chicago Tribune, Lori was inspired to start making an earring holder and took out a $300,000 loan to get it into J.C. Penney stores in time for the holiday season.
Having made over $1 million in sales in her first year in business, Lori’s company For Your Ease Only Inc. hasn’t slowed down since, and she now has a fortune of over $100 million. Managing product development and marketing for Lori’s numerous ideas is the CEO’s responsibility with the help of her husband Dan.
Lori’s goods are in the homes of millions of people, including celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Heidi Klum, and Joan Rivers, because she is passionate about addressing problems. Lori Greiner’s Clever and Unique Creations by Lori Greiner has had a 90% success record throughout the course of her 16-year QVC career. Lori’s product line includes anything from kitchen gadgets to travel bags, and she has a good sense of which of her creations will be a commercial hit.
Known as “the warm-blooded shark” on Shark Tank, Lori appreciates the chance to give back and is generous with her counsel. An easy-to-follow guide to making a million-dollar idea into a reality, Lori’s debut book topped the bestsellers list and quickly became a best seller. InStyle, Town & Country, O The Oprah Magazine, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, and more frequently feature Lori’s product range. Additionally, she has been featured in the Financial Times and Success for her impressive entrepreneurial achievements.
The second season of Mark Cuban is now airing. CompuServe paid $6 million for MicroSolutions, which I founded and sold. Established Broadcast.com, which he later sold to Yahoo! for $5.7billion. Co-founder of AXS TV, as well as Landmark Theatres and Magnolia Pictures Dallas Mavericks owner Mr. Fallen Patriot Fund’s founder
Mark Cuban has been an entrepreneur since he was in elementary school. He was up in a middle-class family in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where he saw his father labor for most of his adult life as an auto upholstery professional. To make most of what he had, he made the most of what he had, and today he is one of the world’s most successful businessmen and women.
When Cuban was in middle and high school, he developed his business spirit by selling garbage bags to other students so that he could buy a pair of shoes he coveted. It wasn’t long until he became a well-known salesman in high school, selling coins and stamps.
Indiana University was the college he attended after graduating high school. He bought and ran the city’s most popular pub while he was in college. In fact, after the bar was shut down, he left for Dallas in order to explore greater opportunities.
The bartender who went on to found a firm called MicroSolutions sold it for $6 million in 1990. In addition to the $2 million that he made from the sale of his company, he saved $1 million to pursue other businesses in the future.
The $3 million in Cuban’s bank account allowed him to buy a $125,000 lifetime American Airlines first-class pass, which he used to fly first class anyplace he pleased. Amid all of his fame, Cuban was still planning for the future. He began working for a hedge firm and sold it for $20 million with a partner.
When Cuban and his buddy Todd Wagner came up with the concept to transmit audio over the internet in 1995, it was a powerful commercial notion. Broadcast.com was the name it was known by at the time. In the following four years, they grew the business and attracted a sizable clientele. Their last deal was a record-breaking $5.6 billion sale to Yahoo! By the time he was 37, Cuban had become a billionaire.
When Cuban became a billionaire, he made a major shift in his investment strategy. For the Dallas Mavericks in 2000, he obtained majority ownership in the team. Despite the fact that the purchase cost him $285 million, it turned out to be one of his most successful investments to date. They have been ranked sixth in NBA franchise value by Forbes with a value of about $685 million.
He is now married with three children, and he continues to make significant progress in both the business and entertainment industries. Popularity soared after his debut on the hit reality show “Shark Tank,” which allowed his engaging attitude to be seen by a wider audience. His accomplishments as an entrepreneur and investor are undeniable, yet he is only 60 years old.
A wealth of knowledge and experience is shared by Mark Cuban in his debut book, How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It, which was published in 2009.
DAYMOND JOHN Season 1 – CEO of FUBU and founder of The Shark Group Brandweek Marketer of the Year (1999)
Awarded by the NAACP as Entrepreneur of the Year (1999)
The Forty Under Forty Award from Crain’s Business (2002)
Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Ernst & Young New York (2003)
Appointed by President Obama to act as an ambassador in support of businesses that are being neglected (2015)
After working at Red Lobster and learning valuable business skills, Daymond John has gone on to achieve unmatched success in the fields of fashion and branding. A passion for studying is what he attributed to his accomplishment. As a real opportunist, Daymond was always on the lookout for new opportunities to improve himself and his company.
Ignorance is more expensive than education, and he backs it up with his money, he says. Daymond has established himself as a thought leader in the fields of branding, business, and motivational speaking.
From the remortgaged property of his mother in Hollis, Queens, Daymond John launched one of the most recognizable fashion brands of recent years. “For Us By Us” (FUBU) opened up a hitherto untapped market for Daymond John, who used it to launch a revolutionary new approach to branding. Rappers like RUN DMC and Salt-N-Peppa lived nearby, so FUBU quickly became a symbol of the burgeoning music scene in the neighborhood.
A surge in brand recognition occurred when LL Cool J and several other rappers appeared in their music videos wearing Daymond’s T-shirts. For several years, he built the business while still tending tables and sewing much of the items himself. As sales increased, he enlisted the help of a few acquaintances and finally some seamstresses, who came to work at his mother’s house.
Daymond‘s perseverance and ability to improvise have seen him through a slew of challenges so far in his career. He’s learned a lot from his path from stitching hats in his kitchen to being named one of Details magazine’s “50 Most Influential Men.” Daymond has honed his strategic skills in a variety of areas, including production, collaborations, and establishing and sustaining a company’s reputation.
After a while, he realized that the only way to learn what he didn’t already know was to team up with someone who did. When he negotiated a partnership with Samsung America for global distribution, FUBU achieved yearly sales of $350 million, on par with Donna Karan New York and Tommy Hilfiger.
Daymond is now putting his branding skills to work by forming smart alliances with pop culture figures to launch new businesses. It’s no surprise that Daymond John is a frequent speaker and author on topics such as how to build a successful brand from the ground up, such as Display of Power:
How FUBU Changed a World of Fashion; the power of broke; how empty pockets and a tight budget can become your greatest competitive advantage; and the Brand Within How We Brand Ourselves, From Birth To The Boardroom.
For BARBARA CORCORAN, Seasons 1 and 2
I co-founded and sold The Corcoran Group (real estate) for $66 million
Author and Public Speaker with The Corcoran Report on NBC’s The Today Show
A business icon, speaker, consultant, author/investor, and star of Shark Tank, Barbara Corcoran is a well-known figure in American business. She is a fan favorite in the tank because of her can-do attitude in business and desire to help others succeed. However, her life wasn’t always so clear-cut.’
In Edgewater, New Jersey, on March 10th, 1949, Corcoran was born. With a sibling group as large as hers, she was always going up against older siblings. A printing press foreman, her mother was a housewife. Although Barbara had a difficult time in school, she learned the importance of putting in the effort, even though she only managed to get Ds in most of her classes. After completing high school, she went on to study at St. Thomas Aquinas College, where she received her bachelor’s degree in 1971.
She became a teacher after completing her studies, although she only stayed in the profession for a year. Corcoran has worked in 22 different occupations during the course of her life. She attributes her current position as a business mogul to her time working as a server at a diner. She met Ray Simone, a New Jersey-based home builder, during one of her shifts. Before long, she borrowed $1,000 from him to begin her own apartment leasing business. The two of them were together for only a short time before everything fell apart between them.
Although Simone provided the $1,000 seed money, it was Corcoran who provided the guidance and resources that allowed the company to grow. It was after showing an apartment to a Union Carbide engineer that Corcoran discovered that sales may be a career path for him. The following day, she put up an ad for a sales agent, launching her career in real estate. The Corcoran-Simone corporation generated almost half a million dollars in revenue in just two short years of operation.
Corcoran claims that Simone told him that she couldn’t thrive without him, which spurred her to drive to build a reputation for herself in the industry. When they split up in 1978, she started the first female-run real estate firm, the Corcoran Group. In its first year, the business made over $350,000 in profit.
In 2001, Corcoran decided to put the company up for sale. After eight years of attempting to conceive, she gave birth to her son, Tommy, and devoted her attention to her family. When she realized she was New York City’s top real estate broker, she instructed her attorney to locate a buyer for $66 million—her fortunate number. In a matter of days, she sold the business to NRT Inc.
Corcoran was looking for a new way to reach out to the public after leaving the New York City real estate market. When she wasn’t on Shark Tank, she was working as a consultant for Fox, and then she decided to write a book with a friend. As a result of her successful business ventures and public appearances, she has grown her fortune to several hundred million dollars today.
With Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business and Use What You’ve Got and Other Business Lessons I Learned from My Mom, Barbara shares her wealth of business knowledge.
Dragons’ Den (Canada) cast member Robert Herjavec since season one
BRAK Systems was founded and sold to AT&T Canada for $30.2 million.
President of the Herjavec Group as well as its CEO (IT Security)
Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Ernst & Young (2012)
Nokia paid $225 million for RAMP Networks.
The Herjavec Group, a rapidly expanding security software company, is managed by gregarious entrepreneur Robert Herjavec, who has established and sold multiple multi-million dollar IT companies. Driven and The Will to Win are two of his best-selling books, which have garnered him worldwide notoriety and made him a best-selling author.
Entrepreneurs who want to learn from the best can’t go wrong with Robert, who has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. Robert was an immigrant from the farmlands of Croatia who found out what it was like to be impoverished in an unfamiliar economic landscape in Canada. While working two jobs, delivering newspapers and waiting tables, he rapidly learned how to relate to his customers and get the most out of his tips and sales.
Previously, he worked in retail, film production, and as a collection agent before deciding to pursue a career in business ownership. Entrepreneurial success, according to Robert, hinges on the ability to change one’s approach when faced with new challenges.
A computer start-up agreed to let Robert work for them for free in order to get him started in the IT field. He was hired to sell IBM mainframe emulation boards despite his lack of experience, and six months later he was promoted to General Manager. Because of his job loss, he decided to start his own business to keep up with the mortgage payments.
Even though Robert says he’d never considered establishing his own business, his company, BRAK Systems, quickly rose to the top of Canada’s Internet Security Software market before being acquired by AT&T Canada. Robert was able to sell RAMP Networks to Nokia for $225 million within a few years.
Working in an area that you’re knowledgeable and passionate about has helped Robert achieve success. It was after spending three years with his family that he launched The Herjavec Group, his most successful film to date. As a computer security and data storage company, it serves both the public and private sectors. He likens it to a miniature IBM. With tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue, Herjavec Group has become Canada’s fastest-growing security company.
Additionally, Robert enjoys racing automobiles and has won several races in the Ferrari Challenge North America Series. To the issue of what he would have done differently, Robert responds by saying that he would have imagined larger.
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