What Happened To Wired Waffles After Shark Tank?

If you've ever looked at a product and thought you could come up with something a lot better, "Shark Tank" is the show for you. According to What to Watch, the reality TV series has aired a total of 14 seasons on ABC, a fact which only highlights its massive appeal among emerging inventors and entrepreneurs. The premise is simple: Participants pitch their ideas to the hosts, which include Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran, who then decide whether to invest their own money in the product. If successful, the originator of the product gets financial support, while the investors, aka "the Sharks," get in on the ground floor of a lucrative business.

Many of the entrepreneurs who've participated in the show have gone on to experience lasting success. Insider highlights a few of these success stories, such as Scrub Daddy. Pitched to the Sharks in 2012, the business has experienced massive financial gains over the years, with a recorded value of $170 million in 2019. Then there's the Simply Fit Board, which appeared on the show in 2015 and garnered $1.25 million in profits within 24 hours of the initial investment. Of course, not every entrepreneur that appears on the show is lucky enough to experience such a lucrative outcome.

Kick-start your morning routine with ... waffles?

On "Shark Tank" Season 4, Episode 5, a coffee shop owner and entrepreneur named Roger Sullivan introduces the Sharks to his special recipe for waffles. When presenting to the Sharks, Sullivan explains the concept of Wired Waffles, which are waffles imbued with enough caffeine to equal two cups of coffee. In order to realize his dream of "energy waffles", Sullivan requests $75,000 from the investors, ultimately offering interested parties a 25% share of the company. Sullivan cites recent profits, totaling approximately $1,000, as proof of the appeal of Wired Waffles.  

However, despite his impassioned pitch, the hosts of "Shark Tank" are not completely impressed with Sullivan's product. Both Mark Cuban and co-host Kevin O'Leary (aka Mr. Wonderful) raise concerns about the taste of the product, which Sullivan attributes to the drying effect of the bright studio lights. Other hosts claim that the concept of energy waffles is wrong-headed, as well as express concern that children could potentially eat the waffles and experience adverse effects. 

While the Sharks pass on the product, Shark Tank Blog reports that Sullivan was eventually able to secure another investor and get his business off the ground. However, much like a waffle-provided caffeine buzz, the accomplishment was relatively short-lived.

Oh, Wired Waffles, we barely knew you

In addition to his Wired Waffles, Sullivan also introduced the world to caffeinated maple syrup, as explained by Business Wire. With each syrup serving equivalent to one energy drink, Sullivan hoped that customers would see the value in a sweet condiment that also serves as a morning pick-me-up. However, concerns about caffeinated foods may have put a damper on his creations. A clip via the Washington Post featured on Newspapers.com shows that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cited potential concerns about the effect caffeinated foods might have on both children and adults. And while no official moves were made by the FDA, it likely didn't help bolster consumer interest in Sullivan's products. Sullivan ultimately shut down Wired Waffles in 2015 (per Shark Tank Blog). 

Despite setbacks, Sullivan's LinkedIn profile shows that the entrepreneur has been extremely busy since that time. Sullivan launched another product in 2012 called Eve's Moonshine, which remained in business until 2018. He's been employed by numerous businesses, including Aramark Uniform Services and Realty ONE Group. His most recent LinkedIn entry shows that he's a field underwriter at Symmetry Financial Group, a position he's held since November 2022. While his Wired Waffles weren't the resounding success he'd hoped for, Sullivan illustrates the value of maintaining a tenacious entrepreneurial spirit.