Where are former Shark Tank guests now? Two of them started out right here in the capital of Texas.
Mikaila Ulmer and Blake Mycoskie will both return to the tank Friday night in ABC's Shark Tank: Where Are They Now episode, which checks in on some of the most memorable pitches in the show.
Ulmer will return to discuss her lemonade brand, Me & the Bees, while Mycoskie, the face behind TOMS Shoes, will return as a guest Shark.
The Shark Tank alumni have something special in common: St. Stephen's Episcopal School, where Ulmer is in her junior year and of which Mycoskie is an alumnus. He graduated in 1995 but no longer lives in Austin.
Ulmer, who is almost 16 years old, started her company from her front yard here in Austin when she was just 4 years old, selling her beloved great-grandmother's flaxseed lemonade. The lemonade uses honey to cut down on sugar, and 10% of the profits go to bee-saving charities.
Ulmer appeared on Shark Tank in 2015, when she was 9 years old, receiving a deal with Daymond John for $60,000. Now, Ulmer is selling her lemonade in over 1,800 stores, including H-E-B, Kroger and Whole Foods.
Ulmer said she is excited for people to see how far the company has come, but also realize she isn't a kid anymore.
"I had such amazing experiences since starting this and I'm so grateful for all the people who support me, but it's also a little bit of like, I kind of knew this was gonna happen," Ulmer said. "I think this recap is going to be really helpful for people to see where the company is now and also to realize that I'm no longer a (child) and I'm 16 and in high school and driving."
Ulmer has not stopped grinding since she got off Shark Tank. In addition to growing Me & the Bees Lemonade, she now runs her own nonprofit, Healthy Hive Foundation, was invited to the Whitehouse during the Obama administration and just released a new book, "Bee Fearless: Dream like a Kid."
"It's important to start in your backyard--I say my front yard because that's where my lemonade stand was," Ulmer said. "You don't always want to have a huge, big launch when it comes to business. You can start small and build your community from there."
D'Andra Ulmer, Mikaila's mother, said they feel lucky to have started the business in Austin because the city has entrepreneurial roots and friendly people.
"(It is) wonderful it's been to start and grow this business in Austin," D'Andra Ulmer said. "Being part of a community that has deep entrepreneurial roots helps every entrepreneur grow."
Mycoskie will return as a guest Shark after kicking off the season as the first guest on the Oct. 16 episode. Mycoskie stepped down as CEO of TOMS in 2014 and is now working on a mental health company called Madefor, a 10-month program aimed at improving body and brain through science.
The entrepreneur has already made an investment on this season: Touch Up Cup, which keeps excess paint accessible and fresh.
One of the reasons why I invested in @TouchUpCup is that I felt an instant connection to Carson and Jason. I too wa… https://t.co/UxcKvjt77H— Blake Mycoskie (@Blake Mycoskie)1603396429.0
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