Owner of coming Hamilton business saw financial boost from ‘Shark Tank’ appearance

Several years after showing a national television audience that he could convince people to invest in his business, the owner of a coming Hamilton business is expanding.

Brad Baker was featured in the Journal-News earlier this week for his work toward the Pinball Garage, an "old school," retro pinball bar/arcade concept with a varied selection from previous decades until today.

He hopes to open the business at 113 North 3rd St. in the spring.

In 2016, Baker pitched his other business, VPcabs Virtual Pinball, to the panel of potential celebrity investors on “Shark Tank.”

ExploreREAD MORE: ‘Shark Tank’ takes chance on Fairfield virtual pinball company

During the May 13, 2016 episode of the TV show, Daymond John, an entrepreneur best known as founder and CEO of the FUBU apparel brand, agreed to invest in the company run by Baker.

Baker, 40, has worked for himself most of his life, he told our news partner WCPO 9 On Your Side. About three years ago, his brother, who owns Arcade Legacy inside Forest Fair Village in Forest Park, told him he had seen something cool online — virtual games being put into old pinball machine cabinets. They put together their own model and set it up inside his brother’s arcade.

Then the business grew.

Baker told “Shark Tank” investors he was working the trade show circuit but hadn’t reached profitability after being in business for about a year and a half.

That scared off some of the Sharks, but not John. His initial offer was for a 30 percent stake at $200,000; Baker countered for a 20 percent share.

In the end, they split the difference and made the deal. John agreed to invest $200,000 in Baker’s VPcabs LLC for a 25 percent stake in the company.

Pinball Garage will also be the new home of VPcabs Virtual Pinball, which has continued to grow since the show.

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