Tom Burden, a U.S. Air Force fighter-jet machine-gun mechanic from Columbus, Ohio, is the inventor of Grypmat, “the world’s best non-slip tool tray.” He pitched the rubberized mat that sticks to any surface and keeps tools from slipping off on Shark Tank in November 2017. Burden went into the Tank seeking $200,000 in exchange for 10 percent equity. He said he wanted to money to build up inventory and to create new products. On Shark Tank, Burden accepted an investment from Guest Shark, Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Air (a personal hero of Burden’s), Lori Greiner and Mark Cuban: $360,000 for 30 percent.
Since Shark Tank, Grypmat has been on a roll with winning awards. In April, Grypmat won the Gold Medal at the Edison Awards. In May, Grypmat won the New Product Award at the National Hardware Show. Most recently, Grypmat helped the Ganassi Racing Crew at the Indianapolis 500 (the team won the 2018 Pit Stop Challenge!). Reruns of Shark Tank air Fridays at 9pm on ABC.