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Milspos on Shark Tank

Where are they today?

The owners of R. Riveter pitch Shark Tank to help grow their brand. Photo credit: Shark Tank Blog

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Shark Tank is a show on ABC that's become a cult classic over the years. In the past almost decade, the show has brought on hundreds of entrepreneurs and allowed them to pitch their business ideas to top business moguls and give them the chance to invest. Show participants can earn "a deal," they can get some tough love, or they can walk away with all of the above.

Of the contestants on the show, a number have been military members, veterans and military spouses. Take a look at some of these products and businesses and see which ventures earned a deal.

R. Riveter

The founders of this brand, two military spouses, came up with a concept that allows women to work from their homes. This way, through moves and changing of duty stations, milspos can remain employed. The result is high-quality, American-made purses and handbags, including those made from recycled military materials.

The ladies pitched their idea on Shark Tank and received a deal with Mark Cuban: $100,000 for a 20-percent stake in the company plus a line of credit for additional funds.  

Since appearing on the show two years ago, the brand has grown tremendously. It has moved into a large warehouse and hired more than 30 on-site workers and nearly 50 remote employees.

The brand itself continues to grow, creating American-made products that pay homage to the military, rake in profits and provide jobs for military spouses along the way.

Mango Mango Mango Preserves

While her husband was deployed, the founder of Mango Mango Mango Preserves decided to keep herself busy ... by starting a business. With the help of two friends, she concocted a delicious blend of mangos that was presented to Shark Tank as a stand-alone or mix-in ingredient.

While ultimately the company didn't get a deal (multiple sharks said they would simply eat all the product), the brand was complimented, with the sharks stating the product didn't need shark involvement to make it big.

Mango Mango Mango Preserves can be purchased online or in a number of retail stores, including Whole Foods and Stop & Shop locations.

Bottle Breacher

This brand took bottle openers to the next level in two ways 1) by employing veterans, and 2) by creating a unique item that is the ultimate man gift. The bullet-shaped openers earned a military wife and her veteran husband a spot on Shark Tank and ultimately a deal with Kevin O'Leary. They received $150,000 while giving up 10 percent of their company.

The brand has grown tremendously since then, from roughly $300,000 to $2.5 million in annual sales. They've also released new products, including a smaller, female-friendly opener and openers themed around American heroes.

A number of veterans have appeared on the show pitching their efforts. In fact, there are entire episodes dedicated to vets or even active-duty servicemembers.

Tune in for future military showings, or follow these brands online to see how they thrive and how they provide inspiration to milspos and across the country.

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