By C.J Renolds | Strong Female Leaders

Best Shark Tank Inventions Made By Women
1) CitiKitty and HoodiePillow
In 2005, after moving into a tiny New York City apartment, Rebecca Rescate had no space to keep a litter box for her cat, Samantha. Instead of being frustrated with this challenge, Rescate put her design background to work and developed a system to train her cat to use the toilette.

On the show, several Sharks laughed at the product, questioning whether it was too ridiculous to market. Barbara Corcoran, Shark Tank's most seasoned female shark, saw something special in the CitiKitty system, and offered Rescate $100,000 for 15%, but with contingencies from outside partners' agreement. Eventually, Kevin Harrington negotiated the same amount of investment for 20% of the company.

In a short time, CitiKitty became a runaway success. At one point, it held the top selling spot on Amazon for the Home and Garden department.

Because of CitiKitty's success, Rescate received another invitation to Shark Tank to demonstrate another invention, the HoodiePillow. Again, the Sharks, this time including Barbara Corcoran, expressed skepticism, Robert Herjavec stepped up to give Rebecca the exact deal she requested, $90,000 in exchange for 20% of the business.

Today, Both of Rebecca's products are successfully selling.
Website: and

2) SmartGurlz
Founded by Sharmi Albrechtsen in 2016, SmartGurlz appeared on Shark Tank with their line of educational robotic dolls that taught young girls to code through an integrated app. Frustrated by how robotics toys in stores all seemed to target boys, Albrechtsen marshaled her MBA-trained business acumen to create a product to fill the much-needed market of STEM toys for girls.

Each SmartGurlz doll has its own personality and back story. For example, Maria the math genius and Zara the tech wizard. Albrechtsen ensured that her dolls represent diverse interests and appearances, just like the girls she created the dolls for.

During her pitch to the Sharks, Albrechtsen received a $200,000 investment for 25% of the company from Daymond John. Within a year, the product launched in mega-retailer, Walmart, and sold over $1 million units. What's most amazing about SmartGurlz is that the company continues to focus on giving young women fun, confidence-building tools to succeed.

3) Grace and Lace
Grace and Lace, run by wife and husband team Melissa and Rick Hinnant, appeared on Shark Tank in 2013. With a winning pitch that showcased one of their most successful products, a line of stylish boot socks, the company emerged from difficult circumstances and is now a shining success.

In 2010, Melissa took up crocheting to make a baby blanket for the expecting couple's baby, but the couple faced tragedy when their daughter was stillborn. Desperately needing a new focus, Melissa began knitting beautifully-decorated boot socks and leg warmers. They became an immediate hit online.

Barbara Corcoran immediately recognized something special about Melissa's company, and offered Grace and Lace $175,000 for 10% of the company. Under Corcoran's guidance, the company has since sold over $20 million worth of their products. The Hinnats then partnered with several charities to provide shelter and resources for orphans and sex trafficking victims overseas.

With help from Barbara and Shark Tank, The Hinnants turned tragedy into triumph, and is now helping others as well.

4) Simply Fit
Simply Fit, a balance board used primarily for abdominal fitness, appeared on Shark Tank in 2015. The equipment cost very little to make, is easy to use and requires little room. Its Co-founders, Linda Clark and Gloria Hoffman, secured an investment from Shark queen Lori Greiner with a $125,000 offer in exchange for 20% equity in the company. Greiners' connections and marketing expertise helped Clark and Hoffman move fast. With Greiner's help, the Simply Fit boosted their sales from half a million dollars to over $9 million, starting from infomercial to retailing at stores internationally.

Today, Simply Fit continues to help people improve their fitness.


5) Stasher
Arguably one of the most eco-friendly everyday products ever to appear on the show, Stasher is a self-sealing, food-grade silicone reusable storage bag. It aims to replace disposable plastic bags in home kitchens. The product's inventor, Kat Nouri, spent years perfecting the product before approaching the Sharks for an investment in a 2018 episode.

Having already secured retailers like Target for her product before appearing on the show, Nouri negotiated a $400,000 investment from Mark Cuban, and an additional line of credit, for 15% of her company. Since the show aired, Stasher has generated significant online buzz and secured a small army of fans on platforms such as Instagram, indicating strong momentum.


6) Wicked Good Cupcakes
Family business, Wicked Good Cupcakes, started with mother-daughter duo, Tracey Noonan and Danielle Desroches. What makes these Wicked Good Cupcakes amazing is that they are delicious cakes packaged in jars, ready to be scooped and devoured. These jarred cakes also comes with almost 20 different flavors, all made with no preservatives. Shark Tank's most tough shark, Kevin O'Leary, offered them a royalty-based deal, agreeing to an investment of $75,000 for a $1 royalty on each cupcake sold for the first 75,000 units, then a $0.45 royalty in perpetuity.

The deal proved highly profitable as Wicked Good Cupcakes has sold over $14 million worth of cakes and cupcakes since appearing on the show. Kevin later helped Tracey and Danielle expand the business by connecting them with his wedding-based businesses, inspiring the pair to propose other gift-based selling opportunities, and new products such as cookie jars and cheesecake jars.

Today, Wicked Good Cupcakes sells nation wide, and its success continues to skyrocket. Website:

7) Delighted by Hummus
Another delicious product that appeared on Shark Tank is the much-raved-about Delighted by Hummus. Founder Makenzie Marzluff used her background in nutrition to create a healthy cookie-flavored dip that combines hummus with chocolates. Many sharks offered to invest in the company, but Cuban was so enticed that he offered Marzluff a shocking $600,000 for 25% of her company.

Since debuting on Shark Tank, Marzluff has been growing her culinary creativity into a nationally-distributed brand, with over half a dozen flavors.


[ End of Article ]

By Christopher V. | Strong Female Leaders
What if there were no women inventors?
Then young women today would not have positive role models to look up to, progress forward, and push their limits and out of their comfort zones. We'd have less women in STEM fields like Engineering, Research, and Math and Science. We'd have even less women in leadership roles. Lucky for us, we DO have incredible women inventors to look up to. These women inventors have contributed substantial amounts of technical advancements that laid the groundwork for today's most cutting edge industries. We've selected 10 of these women whose inventions helped shape our world for the better:

  • Marie Van Brittan Brown - Home Security
  • Alice Parker - Heating Furnace
  • Josephine Cochrane - Dishwasher
  • Bessie Blount Griffen - Devices To Assist The Disabled
  • Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson - Caller ID
  • Olga D. Gonzalez-Sanabria - Batteries To Power The ISS
  • Stephanie Kwolek - Kevlar
  • Grace Hopper - Computers
  • Maria Telkes - Solar Powered Homes
  • Sarah E. Goode - Cabinet Bed
  • 1) Marie Van Brittan Brown – Home Security
    A hard working nurse in the mid 20th century, Marie Van Brittan Brown found herself alone in her home with her two children quite frequently due to her varied working hours at a local hospital. Around the same time, crime rates in her area began to rise leaving her feeling unsafe in her own home. Rather than cower in fear, Brown took action. This action led to the creation of the modern day security system. Using a camera, she was able to look through the peep hole of the door from another room in the house and decide if she wanted to answer the door or not. With a bit of help from her husband Albert, the first of its kind invention paved the way for keeping families safe in their own homes. Much like Brown, we should all motivate ourselves to make improvements to our everyday lives and innovate.
    2) Alice Parker - Heating Furnace
    Prior to Parker's invention in 1919, all furnaces burned wood and heated a limited amount of space. Parker felt that such heating device is insufficient in its heat production, especially during the rough New Jersey winters that she grew up in. Therefore, Parker invented a furnace that is powered by natural gas, and included ducts that fed heat to other areas of the house. Her invention enabled a practical yet sophisticated system that became the predecessor to modern-day furnaces.
    3) Josephine Cochrane - Dishwasher
    Sick of doing dishes and chipping her China, Josphine Cochrane invented the dishwasher, delighting both herself and thousands of women who also grew weary of slaving at the fore-mentioned common housework. Clever girl.
    4) Bessie Blount Griffin - Devices To Assist The Disabled
    Griffin always had a knack for helping others, hence she began her medical career with nursing. Eventually, her true passion for physical therapy and aiding the disabled surfaced, leading her to attend the Panzer College of Physical Education and Hygiene in New Jersey, where she obtained a degree in Physical Therapy.

    While practicing her talents at assisting the disabled, Griffin learned that what her patients needed wasn't just physical assistance, but rather a sense of independence and dignity. With this knowledge, she invented a feeding system for those who lost their limbs during World War II. The system allowed amputees to bite down on a tube that released food, allowing them the freedom eat by themselves. Griffin later created several follow up feeding systems that served the same purpose of benefiting the human kind.
    5) Olga D. Gonzalez-Sanabria - Batteries To Power The ISS
    Because space ships burn a substantial amount of fuel, they may not reserve enough to reach the International Space Station. Long lasting batteries, therefore, are required to keep space shuttles well-powered through long trips. These batteries were invented by Dr. Olga D Gonzalez-Sanabria.

    A graduate of the University of Toledo, with a degree in Chemical Engineering, Dr. Gonzalez-Sanabria joined NASA in 1979, and served various leadership roles in the next 30 years of her career in space. She was awarded many medals and honors, including an induction into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame under the category "scientist, inventor and executive".

    6) Stephanie Kwolek - Kevlar
    Law enforcement and the military have a woman to thank for the Kevlar that keeps them safe every day.

    After earning a degree in chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University in 1946, Kevlar went on to invent the material Kevlar, commonly known as the bulletproof vest. It has since saved hundreds of lives, deeming it an invaluable defense for the men and women who keep us safe everyday.
    7) Grace Hopper - Computers
    Computers were invented by a woman?

    YOU BET! And not just any woman. She was a Ph.D in Mathematics, a Yale Grad and a Navy Veteran. While still serving in the Navy, Dr. Grace Hopper developed the Mark I computer program which many believe to be the first operational computing system. Computers have since spread their dominating market in the world. Thanks to Dr. Hopper, who led the effort that revolutionized the computing technology, we now conduct our everyday tasks with machines that operate with lightening speed. Best of all, though, we also have an inspiring female role model in the computer industry to look up to.
    8) Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson - Caller ID
    Women love communicating with one another. Dr. Jackson made sure that with her work at Bell Labs, we can communicate even better. Her breakthrough scientific research enabled others to invent the fax machine, touch tone phones, solar cells, fiber optic cables, and the underlying technology of caller ID and call waiting. The significance of her research is that they drastically changed the telecommunications industry.

    What's more impressive about Dr. Jackson is that she was the first African American woman to earn a doctorate from MIT. After a thriving career in Technology, she now serves in a leadership position, as the the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the oldest technological research university in the United States. With this role, she has the perfect platform to help others "apply science to the common purposes of life" and to inspire young women to thrive in STEM careers like she did.

    9) Maria Telkes - Solar Powered Homes
    Though solar powered homes are popular now, the first solar powered home was invented in 1948, by the brilliant Maria Telkes.

    Telkes, who graduated from the University of Budapest with a degree in Physical Chemistry in 1920 and earned a Ph.D in the same subject four years later, was the first to integrated solar technology into a home system. Her invention laid the foundation for more powerful and practical solar technology use, all of which leads to a bright future for the sustainable energy industry.
    10) Sarah E. Goode - Cabinet Bed
    City dwellers who live in small quarters love the Cabinet Bed, because it is a huge space savor. Thanks to Sarah E. Goode, who housed six children of her own, and turned her dilemma of needing space into a useful invention. Families that live in small homes can now create the space they need by folding up their beds. We like that idea!

    What else makes Sarah E. Goode special? Because of her ingenuity, she became the first African American woman to receive a U.S. patent. Now that's a fact that women of all colors should be proud of.
    Final Thoughts
    Even though history often overlooks the things invented by women, and undermines the brilliant women inventors themselves, a road has indeed been paved to lead young women of the future to thrive in STEM and create more life-changing innovations. As we honor the women inventors of the past, we picture a better and more open culture for women in the future. At last, we look forward to seeing, learning about, and advocating more inventions made by women.

    [ End of Post ]

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