Mavs owner seeks million-dollar idea on 'Shark Tank'




Posted on February 27, 2012 at 11:15 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 28 at 2:51 AM

Mark Cuban says the Dallas Mavericks aren't his only passion. He considers business a full contact sport, and he's always looking for the next big deal.

This is the Dallas billionaire's second season on the ABC show "Shark Tank" (seen Fridays at 7p.m. on Channel 8), but he doesn't have to go to Hollywood to find good deals. 

Some North Texas businesses have caught Cuban's eye, and he's always looking for a home court advantage.

"This is our cash, and you don't want to be the baby with the dog collar, looking stupid and really make a bad mistake," he told News 8.

And when Cuban sees a D-FW-area contestant on the TV show, "my first thought was, 'This is not going to be fair.' Because if I don't invest — or at least try to invest — I am going to lose a customer."

The business deal was a snap for m3 Girl Designs. With $5 million in sales for bottle cap jewelry, it was an easy sell. Eleven-year-old Margot Bradshaw made the pitch by dropping a "Go Mavs!" when she handed the Sharks her product sample.

Margot's sister, 16-year-old Maddie, started the business in their kitchen. Now, she's a teenage tycoon with two lines of teen and pre-teen jewelry.

All the Sharks recognized the money-making potential on the show, but the girls had their choice of investors and went with the hometown team.

Why did they partner with Mark Cuban? "Because he is the Dallas Mavericks owner and he lives in Dallas, so I thought would be cool," Margot said.

"And his name starts with 'M' and we are 'm3 Girl Designs,'" Maddie added.

Cuban ended up with a share of the company. The girls took his money and his connections "to go from 2,500 stores to millions," Maddie said.

Just south of the Dallas skyline, Fleetwood Hicks is tired of spinning his wheels. He too wants Cuban's cash, and is about to appear on "Shark Tank."

His pitch? Hicks is reinventing the bicycle wheel with green, blue, pink, brown and white tires and handlebars in every color.

"Normally all this stuff is like chrome, chrome, chrome," Hicks said, showing off his latest design.

His Villy Custom Bikes brand puts form over function. "We're creating a new category," Hicks said. "You got the mountain bike, the road bike... we want to create the fashion bike."

He's already sold $250,000 in bikes through the Internet alone, but he needs more money to make "Villy" more than his dog's name. He wants this business to go national.

"I love the style. I love everyone we work with, but we got to make money. We have to grow." Hicks said. "We want to have a big company and make a lot of money."

The Villy Custom Bikes episode airs later this spring, so neither Cuban nor Hicks can say if the Mavs owner invested in the local business. But Cuban told News 8 he saw big dollar signs when Hicks walked through the stage doors.

"I recognized the opportunity, but unfortunately, so did all the other Sharks," Cuban said. "And they knew there was something there."

Cuban added the episode will be fun to watch, but it wasn't so much fun to be in the middle of the action.

Even the basketball billionaire can't close every deal, but he always looks for that home court advantage. He offers some advice to the next North Texan with a great idea.

"Take it as far as you can take it; don't be afraid to go for it.," Cuban said. "Sweat equity is the best equity."

That comes from a man who still smiles when he swims with the sharks.