On Shark Tank, Kevin O’Leary is reminded of his humble beginnings by Brian Kleinschmidt, an entrepreneur on the show who’s pitching a potty training lid, EZPeeZ. Kleinschmidt brings it to everyone’s attention that O’Leary he asked his mother for $10,000 in order to launch his first entrepreneurial endeavor. O’Leary says yes, “But it wasn’t for a toilet seat.” He added, “If she looked at this, she would say I’m not going to give you any money because it’s a bad idea.”
O’Leary found himself in a jam when he was first working on SoftKey Software Products Inc. An investor who promised $250,000 pulled out while the company already hired staff. He needed $10k to pay them. O’Leary said: “In my desperation, I called the only person I knew who had $10,000 at her disposal: my mother.” That check kept the company afloat for six months. In 1999, O’Leary sold the company to Mattel for $4 billion. Georgette O’Leary must have been proud. She died in 2008. She was 89 years old. Shark Tank airs Fridays at 9pm on ABC.