Arts & Culture News

Good Guy Mark Cuban Invested Time and Money In this Shark Tank Winner

Mark Cuban knows a good investment when he sees one.

When Stephan Aarstol pitched his San Diego-based company, Tower Paddle Boards, to the sharks on Shark Tank, he ultimately chose Dallas Mavericks owner and entrepreneur Cuban to invest $150,000 for a 30 percent stake in the paddle boarding company.

Now, Aarstol and the company will be featured on the spinoff, follow-up show to Shark Tank, Beyond the Tank, at 7 p.m. tonight to showcase what the company has been up to. Since partnering with Cuban nearly four years ago, Aarstol says the company has acquired $17 m illion in sales. However, when he partnered with Cuban, he wasn’t sure how much he would actually be involved.

“Once we signed the deal, [his team] was like, ‘We want you to CC Mark on all communications.’ I was like, ‘Great, at least he’ll be able to see this.’ But the reality is I’m emailing Mark and CCing the rest of the team because it’s Mark who responds, and it’s usually within 10 minutes, and it could be in the middle of the night,” Aarstol says.

Cuban also helped out Aarstol and the company by personally giving them a $300,000 line of credit because the start-up couldn’t get a loan from the bank. That loan obviously had a significant impact on the company’s success. While Tower Paddle Boards is featured on Thursday's Beyond the Tank, the show will catch up with the company to see what’s new and how everything turned out. But one thing it might not mention that Aarstol thinks is important to note is that one of the company’s own employees was diagnosed with leukemia not too long ago.

She took a break from working and when Aarstol filled Cuban in that the employee would have to take a three-month, unpaid leave of absence, Cuban personally covered her salary for those three months. "He covered her salary because we weren't going to be able to pay her for three months. I didn't ask him to, I was just telling him what was going on with the company ... so it was kind of interesting," Aarstol says.

Watch Beyond the Tank at 7 p.m. tonight on ABC.
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner