AmiSights 2/7: Paddleboard Company Floats with Shark Tank Exposure
Today’s AmiSights guest is Stephen Aarstol, founder and CEO of Tower Paddle Boards. Stephen’s start-up took off in 2011 when he went on “Shark Tank” and caught the eye of billionaire investor Mark Cuban. But how is he doing 12 years later, and is he still in contact with Cuban?
While Cuban invested $150,000 for 30% equity in the stand-up paddle board company, that money quickly paid off a few loans and returned to Cuban in a dividend. In addition, the press and notoriety from the then-new ABC show, which is now a big hit, boosted the business.
Notoriety aside, running a business still has its ups and downs. Stephen diversified in 2016, adding electric bikes and event space at Tower Beach Club in San Diego. This proved beneficial during the pandemic as biking and paddle boarding were safe activities during social distancing - but events were not. The two sides of the business have now flipped as events are booming and e-commerce is slowing down.
I asked Stephen if he is still in contact with Cuban and if he would still relive his Shark Tank experience. Listen to the podcast here to find out!