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Whatever Happened To Grypmat After Shark Tank?

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While many of the determined entrepreneurs who appear on the hit ABC reality TV series "Shark Tank" hope to wow the panel of investors with their bold, game-changing ideas, it's sometimes the simplest concepts that yield surprising results. One creator who was able to hit a home run with such an idea was Tom Burden and his innovative product, the Grypmat. A veteran jet mechanic for the Air Force (per Forbes), Burden's silicone mat allows for a flexible, non-slip base for mechanics to place their tools in while working on planes, cars, and other machinery. The simple yet versatile tool impressed from the get-go. In 2017 Burden started a Kickstarter that earned over $113,000, far exceeding his initial goal of $10,000.

Burden appeared in Season 9, Episode 10 of the show, hoping to get a deal of $200,000 for a 10% stake in his company. His intention was to use the money to invest in inventory that would afford him more time to invent new products to work alongside the Grypmat. In a rare instance, all the sharks fought over Burden, with him eventually making a deal with Lori Grenier, Mark Cuban, and guest shark Richard Branson for $360,000 and a 30% stake. So, all these years later, has the Grypmat stuck around? 

Grypmat has been staying strong

As one would imagine, after connecting with a trio of successful sharks from the show, Tom Burden's business ventures skyrocketed like crazy. In an interview with Business 2 Community, Burden says that after their episode aired, the Grypmat quickly sold out, so ramping up production was a priority. The company also began working on getting distribution from more countries worldwide thanks to Burden's collaboration with the sharks. The product itself can be found on their website and on Amazon. There are different sizes available, from a small size that goes for close to $45 to a pack of the three sizes for $100 on Amazon. In 2019, Tom Burden would be featured on Forbe's prestigious 30 under 30 list in the Manufacturing and Industry category.

Season 10 of "Shark Tank" saw an update segment dedicated to Grypmat. Burden's business continues to be extremely successful, grossing nearly $5 million in sales only a year after appearing on the show. In the segment, Cuban and Burden visit an Air Force base and we learn that they have managed to make a deal with the USAF. It seems as though Burden's dreams were reached, and then some, thanks to his time on "Shark Tank." When asked in his Business 2 Community interview about his time on the show, he says, "There is no question that 'Shark Tank' was the right move for Grypmat ... Everything was accelerated and so many opportunities have been presented that it's been life-changing."