Jack's Stands: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

Who can forget the youngest person ever to make a pitch on "Shark Tank?" That was Jack Bonneau, a 10-year-old from Denver, Colorado, who appeared on the show with his dad, Steve, in 2016 to pitch an idea for a marketplace for young entrepreneurs. That business, Jack's Stands and Marketplaces, stemmed from the young Jack's desire to buy a LEGO Star Wars Death Star. Only eight at the time, Jack followed the examples of millions of American kids before him and opened a lemonade stand.

Not many kids, however, have taken out $6,000 in loans to make their lemonade stands more profitable. But that's what Jack did, borrowing $1,000 from his parents and $5,000 from the Young Americans Bank in Denver, which exclusively issues loans to kids. When Jack appeared on Shark Tank, he had paid back his parents and 60% of the Young Americans Bank loan.

Jack was seeking $50,000 for 10% equity in his business, which aims to help other kids tell their stories while making money selling lemonade and other products. The youthful entrepreneurship struck a chord with the sharks. Billionaire Dallas Mavericks NBA team owner Mark Cuban, for example, recalled that he had opened his first company at the age of 10. But getting a deal from the sharks proved far from easy.

What happened to Jack's Stands on Shark Tank

The sharks on Jack and his dad Steve's episode of "Shark Tank" in 2016 were Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Kevin O'Leary, and Chris Sacca. While most noted that they were impressed by Jack's poise, eloquence, and ambition at such a young age, the majority of sharks seemed less than impressed with the business' potential.

Kevin "Mr. Wonderful" O'Leary, for example, stated that he didn't want to work with someone who couldn't make a full-time commitment, and he didn't want to encourage a school dropout situation. Cuban, meanwhile, called Jack "incredible" and claimed that inspiring kids was a major reason he got involved with the show in the first place. But like O'Leary, he passed on the opportunity to make a deal with Jack's Stands and Marketplaces. Barbara Corcoran, too, was out, as was Lori Greiner, with the latter cautioning that slow growth should be the mindset for the pint-sized entrepreneur.

The last chance for Jack to make a deal was with Sacca. Luckily, the billionaire venture capitalist said, "There's no way I'm going to let the best pitch of the year get out the door without an offer." That deal turned out to be a $50,000 loan at 2% interest, with the proviso that Jack only accessed $10,000 at a time to ensure he could pay the money back. Jack happily agreed.

Jack's Stands after Shark Tank

10-year-old Jack Bonneau had already achieved a degree of celebrity before his appearance on "Shark Tank." By the time the show aired in late 2016, he had been profiled for his young entrepreneurship by Today and The New York Times. The publicity came after Jack expanded his original lemonade stand into multiple locations at farmers markets in the Denver and Boulder, Colorado, area, laying the foundation for Jack's Stands and Marketplaces. The marketplace aspect was Jack's way of passing on what he had learned to other kids, providing them with the supplies and permitting necessary to replicate his success while teaching them the fundamentals of business in the process.

But just as Jack had the foresight to reimagine the traditional lemonade stand, long a moneymaker for enterprising kids, he also had the foresight to reimagine the traditional paper route, a longtime money earner for teens. Thus, by the time Jack turned 13, he had also founded another business, Teen Hustl, a teen bike and electric scooter-based delivery service that handles restaurant and Amazon orders. Jack was the CEO of two companies before he even entered high school.

Following the Shark Tank appearance, Jack's Stands and Marketplaces signed a deal with Santa Cruz Organic to sell that brand's lemonade and tea at all its locations. Jack's entrepreneurial spirit also led to his invitation — on two separate occasions — to give TEDx Talks.

Is Jack's Stands still open?

As of 2023, both of Jack Bonneau's companies — Jack's Stands and Marketplaces, and Teen Hustl — are still in business, although his focus has been on the latter in recent years. His success with the teen delivery company, in fact, led to a recent award, as Jack was named one of 25 Prudential Emerging Visionaries for 2023. The accolade, which is given only to those between the ages of 14 and 18, cited the environmentally-friendly teen work opportunities he provided, courtesy of Teen Hustl.

That wasn't the first time Teen Hustl was honored on a national level. In 2020, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce chose Teen Hustl as the recipient of its coveted Dream Big Young Entrepreneur Achievement Award, given annually to entrepreneurs between the ages of 14 and 25.

Dating back to Jack's Shark Tank appearance in 2016, the shark he made a deal with, Chris Sacca, had advised him to start a podcast or video blog. So, in addition to running his companies and giving TEDx Talks, Jack has also created a YouTube channel that charts his journey as an entrepreneur and shares the lessons he has learned along the way.

What's next for Jack's Stands

What's next for Jack Bonneau? An Ivy League education. The recent high school graduate is headed to Dartmouth this fall, where presumably, he'll be learning more lessons he can apply as a successful entrepreneur. He could probably teach a class or two as well.

When reflecting on his journey to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, for example, he shared a bit of hard-earned wisdom about running a business. It's "a lot of work, but you will learn so much more than you ever thought. At first, I just wanted money. And now it's about so much more. I've met so many great people, learned to do things I never thought I could, and have been able to help people."

He also learned a bit about how videos can be manipulated through savvy editing, as WorldStarHipHop posted a popular video in 2019 that incorporated footage from his Shark Tank appearance but made it look as though the sharks had destroyed him with crude, critical, and profane comments. On his YouTube channel, Jack noted that he was aware of the fake version, but he had a great time on Shark Tank and was treated well by all the sharks.