Venture Capitalist, Shark Tank shark and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is known for backing innovative products. He has a bunch of tech companies in his portfolio, but it doesn’t have to be high tech, or web based technology to catch Cuban’s eye.
Two years ago Cuban invested $200,000 for 40% equity into Utah startup KISSSTIX on Shark Tank. KISSSTIX are flavored lip balms that when paired with each other create new flavors. Their target audience is high school students, college students and young adults. It’s a fun type of lip balm for young couples.
A new product, being developed in Raleigh North Carolina, targets a similar audience in an innovative way but definitely not for kissing.
The Triangle Business Journal reports that when Mark Cuban heard about a nail polish being developed, by Undercover Colors a startup in Raleigh that detects date rape drugs, he called the product “brilliant”. Obviously it’s a brilliant safety innovation for any young woman that’s going out on the town. She can use the product to unobtrusively make sure that what she is drinking is safe.
Triangle Business Journal writer Lauren K Ohnesorge was talking with Cuban about social entrepreneurship, startups and innovation that are aimed at making social change.
“That is not about being a social entrepreneur,” Cuban told Ohnesorge “That is about being smart. Coming up with unique solutions. Solutions that are original, which is exactly what I love.”
Cuban added “So many people try to be the Uber of this or the Facebook of that,” he says. “The fact that they used nail polish to solve a serious problem is brilliant. Have them get in touch with me with some research that proves it works and I will consider an investment.”
While many investors stick to one area that they specialize in, Cuban has one of the most diverse portfolios ever. This proves that innovation can happen just about anywhere around anything, and Cuban isn’t going to miss the boat.