Miami grads get half-million dollar investment on ‘Shark Tank’

Recent Miami University graduates Oliver Zak (left) and Selom Agbitor impressed in their high-pressure debut last Friday on ABC's nationally televised show "Shark Tank." The pair, which created the Mad Rabbit skin care company, got investor Mark Cuban to pony up $500,000 for their start up firm. The two are shown on stage during the broadcast. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)
Recent Miami University graduates Oliver Zak (left) and Selom Agbitor impressed in their high-pressure debut last Friday on ABC's nationally televised show "Shark Tank." The pair, which created the Mad Rabbit skin care company, got investor Mark Cuban to pony up $500,000 for their start up firm. The two are shown on stage during the broadcast. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

Two Miami University graduates and entrepreneurs made their pitches last week before a national television audience on the show Shark Tank and reeled in a half-million dollar investment from high-profile businessman Mark Cuban.

The 2019 finance majors from Miami – both natives of Ohio – told the Journal-News they were thrilled with the high-pressure sales opportunity filmed in Las Vegas and broadcast last Friday evening on ABC.

Their Mad Rabbit Tattoo company, which sells natural ingredient post tattoo skin products designed to promote healing while also enhancing a tattoo’s appearance, impressed Cuban enough for him to sign on as a financial backer.

All pretty heady stuff for the two Miami Farmer School graduates, who mixed their first batch of skin products in an off-campus Oxford apartment.

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Oliver Zak and Selom Agbitor said their once fledgling company saw their online company’s sales soar to stratospheric heights in the 15 minutes they were on national TV.

“I got a phone call last April for an application I filled out in November. I was kind of confused, and I thought it was a prank call at first,” Agbitor recalled. “The caller said ‘Hey guys, we saw your application. I wanted to have you guys send an audition tape.’ So we did that, and the first one we sent wasn’t really that good. Fortunately, the guy liked us, so he made us redo it.”

“It was like an eight-month long process. There were some months where we thought that we wouldn’t hear back from them and some months we felt like, ‘Alright, we don’t want to do this anymore.’ But we just kept going and kept going,” he said.

The Columbus-Ohio native described the Las Vegas studio presentation and intense questioning from a group of internationally known business investors “terrifying.”

Cuban was one of two on-show investors to offer funding and the Miami alumni picked the owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise and his $500,000 as their new partner.

You’ll want to read more about the two Miami graduates and their behind-the-scenes experiences with the Shark Tank show and its Las Vegas setting in the Journal-News’ Sunday edition.