Inspiring Iowa Woman Strikes Deal on ‘Shark Tank’ [WATCH]
I've watched a lot of 'Shark Tank' episodes over the years and many times, even if a deal is struck, I'm not so sure of a given business or product. This time, there's zero doubt in my mind about the amazing impact an Iowa City woman's business, and the products she continues to develop, will have on countless people.
Erica Cole of Iowa City was in an accident four years ago that would result in her losing her left leg. Cole told the University of Iowa that after the 2018 accident, "There was a difference in the way people were treating me. They were looking at me with sympathy and asking questions I didn’t want to answer every day.” Cole, who helped design costumes for theatre productions and Herky the Hawk while at the University of Iowa, would then invent her first product: a plastic cover with snaps that could be placed over prosthetics.
That was just the beginning for Cole, who eventually started a business called No Limbits. On 'Shark Tank' Friday night (photo below), she described it as "an adaptive clothing brand with the mission of increasing comfort, confidence, and independence in those who struggle with clothing due to a disability."
Before we get to exactly what happened on 'Shark Tank', let's talk about how Cole ended up in front of the sharks. It all started when a show producer reached out to her after seeing her Kickstarter video. After getting the go-ahead to be on the show, Cole spent approximately two months preparing for her 90-second 'Shark Tank' pitch.
Cole told Living with Amplitude about the process of going in front of the sharks: "That’s the first time you see them, and that’s the first time they see you. A lot of people think they have an information packet on you beforehand, but they do not. That is genuinely the first time they’re seeing you and the first time they’re seeing your pitch."
It's easy to see how nerve-wracking it is to step in front of the sharks. We now have a clearer understanding of why. You've got one shot. Cole explained to Living with Amplitude, "... people think that it’s highly produced, that it’s fake, that there are multiple takes, and that was not the experience at all. You have the meeting, and they just have cameras running the whole time."
During her very impressive presentation on 'Shark Tank', Cole shared that she believed the 2018 accident happened to her for a reason. She revealed that her business, No Limbits, started by making pants with hidden zippers for amputees. The pants make adjustments to prosthetics much easier. No Limbits has also begun to develop sensory and wheelchair product lines.
Cole sought $100,000 from the sharks for a 6% share in her company. You already know she got a deal. You can see most of her 'Shark Tank' appearance in the video below. You can watch to see exactly what deal she made or scroll below it to get the details.
Sharks Emme Grede and Mark Cuban went in together on a deal with Cole and ended up settling on $100,000 for a 10% share in No Limbits.
Congratulations and great job, Erica. All of Iowa wishes you continued success with your business!