Shark Tank bolsters Portland startups

Bee Thinking will appear on Friday’s episode while Scratch & Grain Baking enjoys success following national publicity.

Share this article!


Portland startups are harnessing the power of Shark Tank to grow their businesses.

On the April 10 episode, Bee Thinking — of Southeast Portland — will pitch their company that eliminates pesticides by harnessing the power of bees.

The Portland Tribune writes:

“Backyard beekeeping is exploding throughout the world,” Matt Reed says. “We hope our ‘Shark Tank’ segment informs the world about the critical role honeybees play in our ecosystem, helps people make better decisions in their daily lives in regard to pollinators and makes more people join the ranks of responsible beekeepers.”

Bee Thinking, 1551 S.E. Poplar Ave., started online in 2008 and then opened in Ladd’s Addition, selling cedar beehives, beekeeping equipment and gifts. Its sister store, Mead Market, sells a selection of imported and domestic meads. The store hosts natural beekeeping and mead-making classes.

In January, Scratch & Grain Baking Co. made a pitch to the investors on the show and have seen a “tsunami of orders” since, the Portland Business Journal writes.

Their experience was unusual — not only did they receive investment offers from two of the sharks, the deal actually went through.

Barbara Corcoran, a successful New York real estate investor, made a $150,000 investment in the form of a line of credit in Scratch & Grain, taking a 20 percent equity stake in the Tigard-based startup.

In February, Sseko — a footwear company — appeared on the show but did not receive a deal.

Organic vegan cheese maker Heidi Ho made a deal for $125,000 in exchange for 30 percent of the company last fall .

Wild Squirrel Nut Butter appeared in 2012 and Moberi Pedal Car Smoothies pitched their idea in 2011 during the show’s earlier seasons.