Another Engineering Grad Finds ‘Shark Tank’ Success

Sharks once again have proven kind to the College of Engineering.

Taylor Gwiazdon, a 2008 graduate in civil engineering, recently appeared on Shark Tank, a show on ABC in which aspiring inventors have a chance to pitch their ideas to four experts, dubbed sharks.

Gwiazdon and friend Jayson Sandberg came up with the idea for to place interior lights in a cooler that would illuminate when the lid was opened, helping thirsty campers, partiers and the like find their favorite beverage in the dark.

Calling their invention Liddup, the duo told the sharks—fashion expert Daymond John, QVC’s Lori Greiner, tech innovator Robert Herjavec, venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban—that they had three patents for the product and a working prototype, but did not yet have any corporate partners.

While three of the sharks took a pass, Herjavec offered them $100,000 for a 25 percent stake in the company and O’Leary offered the same amount but for a 33 percent share of royalties.

Gwiazdon and Sandberg asked if they could consult about the offers, at which point Herjavec pulled out and the pair took O’Leary up on his offer.