13-year-old Utah Valley entrepeneur baits three ‘sharks’ into making offers

Highland residents Noah and Brian Cahoon struck a business deal on ABC's "Shark Tank."

Highland residents Noah and Brian Cahoon struck a deal for their Paper Box Pilots on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

A father-son duo from Highland took a splash in the “Shark Tank” and came out not only alive, but triumphant.

Noah Cahoon, the 13-year-old CEO of Paper Box Pilots, and his father Brian Cahoon struck a deal with “Mr. Wonderful,” Kevin O’Leary. O’Leary invested $35,000 into the company in exchange of a 50 percent stake.

Before taking the plunge in the Shark Tank, Brian had taken his son as far as he could with his experience and wanted Noah to continue learning from the sharks, Brian said in the show.

“When Noah was born, I was getting my MBA,” Brian said. “I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but when I brought home that little guy, it’s a feeling of responsibility and you have to be careful and I never got the chance to take that risk. … I don’t want to teach him that there is only one path in life that you have to follow this corporate ladder. I’ve always wanted to have an opportunity to own my own business and show him that.”

In their presentation, Noah and Brian shared time explaining the Paper Box Pilots, stickers used to decorate cardboard boxes like planes and cars, business statistics and how the product worked.

“I’m a 13-year-old kid and it’s hard to walk into a store and ask someone to sell my product, but with a shark by my side, people will instantly want to hear about the product,” Noah said in his presentations to the sharks.

While Noah was only 13 when this episode of “Shark Tank” was filmed, he has been heavily involved in making decisions for his company from the beginning. Brian pointed out that Noah had been there for every step from choosing the paper and going to the printers to talking to vendors.

Three sharks took the bait in the end of the Paper Box Pilots presentation: Kevin O’Leary ($35,000 for 50 percent of the company), Robert Herjavec ($50,000 for 50 percent of the company) and Barbara Corcoran ($35,000 for 35 percent of the company). All of the sharks added the stipulation that Paper Box Pilots would need to add the option of ordering the cardboard box along with the stickers.

When it came down to choosing a shark as an investor, Noah turned to his father for help. “All I can say is, you’re the CEO. The decision is ultimately yours,” Brian told Noah, and then later added, “Who do you think will be the best mentor?”

After an internal debate, Noah confounded the other sharks by choosing O’Leary.

“It’s really Kevin (O’Leary) has a ton of background in the toy industry,” Noah said. “He’s got all the background that we need for this company.”

O’Leary joked that Noah would need to drop out of school and work full time, and he had a lot to say about Paper Box Pilots on Twitter.

The Cahoon’s had a “Shark Tank” viewing party at Provo Beach Resort on Friday night with over 100 friends.

Watch the Brian and Noah Cahoon on ABC’s “Shark Tank” below.


Rebecca Lane

While her first language is sarcasm, Rebecca dabbles in English and Russian to achieve her lifelong dream of being a journalist. A BYU sports fan, reading enthusiast and wannabe world traveler, Rebecca is a Colorado transplant that is convinced Colorado's mountains are much larger than the many Utah County peaks. Rebecca manages UtahValley360.com for Bennett Communications. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccalane.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *