First Deaf Entrepreneur in Shark Tank History Appears on Show, Secures a Deal
NEW YORK, OCT. 27, 2019 – Colorado family-owned and operated business Tailgate N Go secured a deal with Recurring Shark Matt Higgins, cofounder and CEO of private investment firm RSE Ventures, Sunday night on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
Tailgate N Go began with an unorganized camping trip in Colorado. After Ron Johnson and his daughter Taylor (27) and son Kobe (18) unpacked their cluttered totes, the family realized they had forgotten a spatula, salt and oil – the essentials for burgers. With a cluttered picnic table and no other surface to prepare food on, the family realized they needed a better way – so they decided to create a fully equipped dry box that could store all camping essentials and act as a full kitchen.
Nine prototypes and a year and half of weekend tradeshows later, the Johnsons now have the best portable outdoor kitchen and dry box on the market – so good that it captured the attention of “Shark Tank” and secured a deal with Recurring Shark Matt Higgins.
“Once we found out Matt Higgins was the guest shark, we knew he was our target. Matt’s background in sports and his business experience made him our obvious choice,” Taylor said.
Higgins, who is also vice chairman of the Miami Dolphins, initially said he was “out” on the Tailgate N Go, but after the family made him a counter offer, he jumped back “in” to offer the Johnsons a $250,000 investment for a 20% stake in the business, with a $50 per-unit royalty.
“The Tailgate N Go is the most elaborate outdoor kitchen and dry box you’ve ever dreamed that has all your tailgating and camping needs covered,” Higgins said. “A grill, a griddle, a burner, a sink, a dry box, a cutting board and more all at once. I can’t wait to work with this amazing family and my sports network to make some magic!”
Kobe, who recently graduated from high school, aspires to launch a company to improve technology for the Deaf. He is the first deaf entrepreneur to appear on “Shark Tank.”
“When we’re done changing the outdoors world with Tailgate N Go in the future, I also want to change the Deaf world, starting with the old technology for the Deaf,” Kobe said. “I want to start a new business that will modernize the Deaf world! Shark Tank is just the beginning!”
Higgins has been on “Shark Tank” since Season 10, when he invested in the Cup Board Pro, the product of late New York firefighter and chef Keith Young.
About Tailgate N Go
Tailgate N Go is a family-owned and operated business based in Grand Junction, Colorado. After an unorganized family camping trip, Ron Johnson and his children Kobe and Taylor decided there had to be a better way. So they created Tailgate N Go – a customizable portable outdoor kitchen and dry box that is fully equipped to store all the camping essentials, allowing you to cook, prep, store and more during tailgates and camping trips – all from a single box.
Learn more at tailgatengo.com
ABOUT “SHARK TANK”
The recipient of the 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Structured Reality Program, “Shark Tank” features The Sharks – tough, self-made, multimillionaire and billionaire tycoons – as they invest in America’s best businesses and products. The Sharks will give people from all walks of life the chance to chase the American dream, and potentially secure business deals that could make them millionaires. Mark Burnett, Clay Newbill, Yun Lingner, Max Swedlow and Phil Gurin are the executive producers of “Shark Tank,” which is based on the Japanese “Dragons’ Den” format, created by Nippon Television Network Corporation. The series is produced by MGM Television in association with Sony Pictures Television.
Contact: Heather Harder