For Taranto, "a hard run, a good shot of whiskey and a conversation with my co-founder where we would just convince each other that everyone else was wrong and we were right, those three things would get me back on track," he says.
And Taranto and Hix eventually became successful, as did those early investors who believed in them. Like ABC's "Shark Tank" investor Kevin O'Leary.
Taranto and Hix appeared on the show in May 2014. Though an initial deal with billionaire tech investor Mark Cuban fell apart, when the show followed up with Plated for "Beyond the Tank," Kevin O'Leary was impressed with the start-up's development and made an investment. Now Boise, Idaho-based national grocery store chain Albertsons' purchase of Plated marks the largest exit in the history of "Shark Tank." O'Leary made a 1,346 percent return on his investment.
The food delivery start-up had also raised money from venture firms ff Venture Capital, Greycroft Partners and Formation 8, according to public fundraising database Crunchbase.
Taranto advises others to dream big, despite the potential for rejection.
"[I]t is so important to have a big hairy audacious goal, a big mission that you really feel motivated by," says Taranto. "[Y]ou have something that keeps getting you up out of bed excited even when you have to slog through paperwork all day or fire someone or make the tough decisions that are really just not fun or inspiring," he says.
"So having that North Star, that big mission, to keep you focused I have found has been instrumental in allowing me to be my best."
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