Did Mark Cuban invest in Zoobean because of pedigree?

There was a segment on Zoobean (15:00) on Shark Tank


It seemed pretty clear (unless the editing was done to deceive) that there was no “special sauce” in Zoobean – the founders were not techies yet it seemed to be a “big data” oriented startup. However Mark kept arguing that they HAD special sauce and invested anyways even though they admitted they had NO traction (85 users).

I’m feeling this goes back to why the Boomtrain guys got their seed investment so easily from Angel pad with just a pitch and no prototype. They were MBA folks. Zoobean’s founder had an MBA from Wharton (not mentioned in Shark Tank) and she spent some years at Google post MBA (which was mentioned). Plus the startup already had funding from Mitch Kapor’s fund (not mentioned).

It just seems to me that despite the increasing tech consensus that an MBA is useless, an MBA from a good school can still grease the startup path for you somewhat!

  • it wasnt the mba. It was the fact that they understood and had taken the first steps toward implementing an advanced curation application.

    Also, what you see on air is just the few minutes of the 60 plus minutes we actually spend with the entrepreneurs. So i got to know and learn more than what was on the show


    • I guess they intentionally make it look that way to amp up the drama… “Looks like Zoobean hasn’t got much traction and the other sharks are really suspicious… will Mark be the contrarian and save the day??”

  • Does Shark Tank still take equity from founders (aside from what sharks may/not take) just for appearing on the show?

    • My understanding is that mcuban squashed that stupid requirement, and also got all previous equity back to the entrepreneurs.

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