Since 2020, Mark Lin has brought in at least $1.2 million selling food-scented slime from his garage in Burbank, California.
On Friday's episode of ABC's "Shark Tank," Lin — who was 17 years old at the time of taping, and is now a freshman at UCLA — wooed investors with an earnest pitch and impressive profits. Out of Lin's $540,000 in year-to-date sales at the time of filming, $300,000 was pure profit.
All five Sharks were impressed. Lin's company Sliimeyhoney was profitable almost from its inception, despite being run by a high school student at the time. Lin made the slime himself, hired 11 friends to help package and ship it, and sold $50,000 worth of product in his first year, he said on the show.
The next year, that number became $580,000, he added.
Today, Sliimeyhoney sells non-edible, food-scented slime — in "flavors" like banana milk, hot chocolate and birthday cake batter — for $10 to $16 per six-ounce container.
The company's TikTok account, which has more than 933,000 followers, is its main source of marketing. Each Saturday, it announces new product drops that consistently sell out, Lin said.
On the show, Lin asked for $150,000 in exchange for 10% of his company. His goal: Move Sliimeyhoney from his garage into a full-fledged warehouse, and gain a mentor to help him run the business while he's in school.
He found willing negotiators in Kevin O'Leary and Daymond John.
O'Leary, who goes by the moniker "Mr. Wonderful," said he'd invest $150,000 for 30% of the company if Lin could create a "Wonder Slime" flavor for his followers. John jumped in too, offering $150,000 for 25% of Sliimeyhoney — while recommending that Lin focus more on his upcoming studies than the business.
The company's sales proved it was worth more than that, Lin said. His counteroffer: $300,000 for 25% of Sliimeyhoney.
Both O'Leary and John declined. Mark Cuban chimed in, encouraging Lin to "stick to your guns," so Lin made another offer with a similar valuation: $200,000 for 20%.
John suggested that Lin stick with $150,000, because Sliimeyhoney already had a healthy cash flow. Lin obliged, countering with $150,000 for 20%.
Both Sharks accepted, and Lin decided to make a deal with John after watching O'Leary struggle to get the slime unstuck from his hands during the initial pitch.
"I believe in you, and we're going to make sure you go to school, and I will help you with this business," John said.
Lin left the show seemingly happy, despite giving up more of Sliimeyhoney's equity than he'd anticipated.
"I'm so glad I was able to get a deal and gain the mentorship of a Shark," he said. That's "really what I came in here looking for."
Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."
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