Barbara Corcoran: Businesswoman, author, Shark Tank investor
Barbara Ann Corcoran is an American businesswoman who has gained fame and acclaim as one of the original investors on ABC’s hit show, Shark Tank.
She is an investor, author, syndicated columnist, executive producer, and TV personality.
Data sourced from crunchbase 2023
About Barbara Corcoran
Early Years and Work History
Barbara was born in New Jersey, the second of 10 children in an Irish-Catholic home. On her website, Corcoran reports that she got “straight D’s in high school” (although she still managed to earn a degree in education from St. Thomas Aquinas College). Before the age of 23, she had 20 jobs.
In 1973, she was working as a receptionist for a real estate firm, but didn’t enjoy answering to her bosses. She borrowed $1000 from her boyfriend and decided to be her own boss. She launched a small real estate company in New York City together with her boyfriend. They called it the Corcoran-Simonè.
The firm continued to grow until the couple broke up when Corcoran’s partner told her he was going to marry her secretary. She took charge, remained the company The Corcoran Group, and enjoyed extreme success. In 2001, Corcoran sold her company to NRT for $66 million.
Corcoran is known for publishing The Corcoran Report, a newsletter about real estate in NYC that she launched in the mid-1970s. To date, she has also published several books, including:
- Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business
- If You Don’t Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons On Your Pigtails: and Other Lessons I Learned From My Mom
- Nextville: Amazing Places to Live Your Life
Adding to her list of accomplishments, Corcoran hosts a Business Unusual podcast and regularly delivers keynote addresses, inspirational speeches, and more.
As of this writing, Corcoran has made $5.465 million in investments on the television show Shark Tank. Her biggest investment was to Coverplay in Season 1, amounting to $350 thousand in return for a 40% stake in the business. Her average investments on the show are about $103 thousand. A little less than half of her deals are made in partnership with another shark, namely, Mark Cuban.
One of her notable investments on the show was to Junior Desinor, who founded Toor, an app-controlled lockbox for real estate agents to use when showing homes. Corcoran and another shark, Kevin O’Leary, agreed to invest $200K, but Desinor later pulled out of the deal. The episode stands out due to the lively debate that broke out among the sharks (you can watch it here.) While Desinor has sinced paused his work on Toor, he is still in touch with Corcoran.
In March 2022, Corcoran made headlines when she counseled two entrepreneurs on Shark Tank not to underestimate themselves. The pair created a line of African-inspired children’s clothing, and the affordable pricing blew the investors away. While Corcoran cautioned them not to underestimate their capabilities, she also invested $200 thousand in their venture.
Corcoran recently signed on for the 14th season of Shark Tank. As of this writing, her net worth is $100 million.