‘Shark Tank’: Mark Cuban saves Hopscotch with $550,000 deal but fans ask ‘400,000 dollars to give it for free?’

As she exited the ‘Shark Tank’ stage, Samantha John couldn't express her delight enough and said, ‘When Mark said he looked up to me, my heart stopped’

‘Shark Tank’: Mark Cuban saves Hopscotch with $550,000 deal but fans ask ‘400,000 dollars to give it for free?’
Mark Cuban and Samantha John on ‘Shark Tank’ (ABC)
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Coding is not as difficult as it looks. Hopscotch even makes it fun. An entrepreneur from Brooklyn, New York, presented her fun educational app on ‘Shark Tank’ and got the Sharks engrossed in drawing and developing games.

Samantha John fell in love with programming during her senior year at Columbia. Hailing from Detroit, her introduction was quite a surprise as Daymond John sprung up and asked, “Your last name is John? And you are from Detroit?” She answered, “We might be related.” And Daymond said, “Yes, let me call my mom.” Before we analyze if Samantha is really related to Daymond, let's look at the fun app she came to pitch. 

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Hopscotch on ‘Shark Tank’ (ABC)

Seeking a $400,000 investment for a 4% stake in her company, Samantha presented the product that uses funky animals and narrated how it was first founded in 2011 with no revenue model. Intrigued at first glance, Mark Cuban remembered the app and said, “I used Scratch. My kids used Hopscotch...” Kevin O'Leary jumped in, “It's intriguing, how do I make money?” Samantha then explained that they were in the subscription business but are looking for a new model. She was a little jittery and frightened and that raised a red flag for a few Sharks.

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Daymond John was the first to opt-out saying it is a “little dangerous for me”. Lori Greiner was next in line and she said that she liked the app but she “personally didn't know how to help her”. Kevin, meanwhile, said, “I have spent many years of my career in your sector,” and vowed never to get back. Calling Samantha a tremendously talented young woman, Barbara Corcoran wondered if she was “frightened” or “not sure” about the way forward and then said she was out too. 

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Now, onto Mark Cuban. The first question he asked was: Can a kid do it on an iPhone? He then praised Samantha and said, “I look up to you...” and added it was incredible what she had done for his daughters.  

Mark Cuban on ‘Shark Tank’ (ABC)

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Offering a coding camp, Cuban first warned “you won't like my offer” and then said he would chip in $400,000 but at a 16% stake. A little hesitant but determined to stick to 4%, Samantha asked if he would go up to $600,000 for a 5% stake. The answer was a big NO. But Mark gave her another chance. She asked if he was okay with a 10% stake.

Mark then made his final offer: A $500,000 investment for an 11% stake. Even then, Samantha wanted to bargain more and asked: $550,000 for 11%. Thankfully, Mark said yes — clarifying “only because I am a softie” — and she was over the moon. As she exited the ‘Shark Tank’ stage, Samantha couldn't express her delight enough and said, “When Mark said he looked up to me, my heart stopped.”

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Samantha John on ‘Shark Tank’ (ABC)

Fans were impressed with the end result. “That was one of the craziest negotiations I’ve ever seen,” one excitedly said. Another posted, “@mcuban says you’re not going to like my offer #Hopscotch; I don’t give a damn what it is, If Mark makes me an offer I like it!” A third chimed in, “Wow that's such a compliment that Cuban loves #Hopscotch and it's helped his kids.”

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A few, however, didn't quite like the plan. “This business model is weird. What, so they basically want 400,000 dollars to go back to giving it up for free?” But many others praised the concept. “Just learning about @hopscotch umm this is everything wonderful and finally something good to do online. Kids and Computers is a no-brainer and a career in IT is for everyone.”

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‘Shark Tank’ Season 12 Episode 9 returned to ABC after the winter break on January 8, 2021, at 8 pm ET. Catch the latest episode featuring Better Bedder, Everything Legendary, Walkee Paws and Hopscotch on February 26, 2021, from 8 pm ET to 9 pm ET.

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Missed an episode? Been wanting to catch up? Episodes can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu. Not just that, you can also watch old seasons and episodes on Amazon Prime and iTunes.

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