Perhaps best known to the general public for her role on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” Barbara Corcoran began her business career with a $1000 loan for her real estate startup, The Corcoran Group. Nearly 30 years later, The Corcoran Group sold for $66 million.
Since the show’s premiere in 2009, Corcoran has invested in 22 businesses on “Shark Tank.” A self-made businesswoman born to a blue collar family, Corcoran prefers to invest in businesses whose founders come from working class, rather than affluent backgrounds, “as a matter of principle.”
Corcoran is also CEO of Barbara Corcoran Business Ventures, which gives her fellow angels “an opportunity to invest alongside Barbara in innovative young companies led by dynamic, growth-oriented entrepreneurs.” She is also a regular columnist for “More Magazine,” “The Daily Review” and “Redbook.”
Corcoran graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas College in 1971. There, as she likes to point out, she earned straight Ds. She published her autobiography, “Shark Tales,” in 2011.
Co-Founder of Barbara Corcoran Business Ventures
On why she won’t invest in “rich kids:” “The best way to think of a solution in business when you’re slammed up against a wall is to try to think of five different solutions to get around it and keep going. But when you know that you have a trust fund, you know that you can always fall back on your parents, and you know that you can get additional funds, you get cheated out of thinking of those spur-of-the-moment, very needy ideas that get you through.”
On academic vs. real-world success: “I’m not a believer in the MBA type stuff. Most of the times I ever lost a lot of money with somebody, they graduated from Harvard.”
On hiring diverse personalities: “And the bigger the business gets, the more it’s got to look like a giant crayon box with a million different colors. That’s what gives the business its substance. Most people like to hire pals that they get along with that are similar to themselves. Always the wrong call.”
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