Forget cutting an onion, I’m fairly certain that an onion cutting factory just opened next door after watching this video. Prepare yourself because this Shark Tank pitch is unlike any other in the history of the hit TV show. The sales pitch by these three brave kids was incredible considering that they recently lost their mother and father to cancer, but were determined to appear on Shark Tank to make their dear father’s last dying dream come true.
The kids of a hero firefighter who did all that he could to help victims of 9/11 made a pitch for the product he had been working on months before his untimely death. Kaley, Christian, and Keira Young delivered an extremely heart-wrenching sales pitch on Shark Tank for their father’s product.
Keith Young was a retired New York City firefighter who served valiantly during the terror attacks of September 11th that destroyed the World Trade Center and claimed the lives of 2,996 innocent people. Keith was working on a bamboo cutting board that has a detachable bowl to collect scraps and make cleanup easier. He designed the cutting board during his years that he cooked at his local firehouse. Young was also a two-time champion on Food Network’s Chopped and published a book entitled Cooking With the Firehouse Chef that has recipes for some of his award-winning dishes such as Spicy Brooklyn Wings and Henry’s Barbecued Pizza.
Keith had just received his first prototypes when his wife and mother of his three children was diagnosed with breast cancer. Keith stopped everything to take care of her, but she soon would pass away.
“He put everything on hold to be by her side,” Kaley told the Sharks. “On Aug. 22, 2012, God called my mom home, and my dad just showed us what strength was in every moment he continued to show up.”
Eventually, Keith started working on his invention again and had perfected it to the point that he was confident enough to pitch the product on Shark Tank. Tragedy struck the Young family again when Keith was diagnosed with cancer that was related to the recovery efforts following the September 11th attacks. Keith Young died before he was able to appear on the show to introduce his product to the world.
Keith’s three children attempted to make his final passion into a reality by pitching the Cup Board Pro on Shark Tank. The siblings, who are between the ages of 15 and 24, drew up enough courage and heart to pitch their father’s idea on national television and they performed incredibly. The kids rose above their unimaginable grief to not only sell the Sharks on their dad’s creation but also cause every one of these usually merciless entrepreneurs in the room to shed a tear.
“It was his dream to pitch it on ‘Shark Tank,’” Kaley said. “Unfortunately, he passed away before he had that chance, but we’re here today to continue his legacy and make that dream a reality.”
“The story is amazing. Obviously, you have a million reasons to be proud,” said Mark Cuban. “Your father will live on forever through each of you and his product.”
Keith died three months before this tear-inducing episode was recorded over the summer. His Cup Board Pro features an insignia that honors the firefighters who died on Sept. 11th.
Daymond John was clearly touched by the story of Keith Young and the dedication of his children as he broke into tears during the show. John wrote on Twitter: “Out of my entire decade of being on #SharkTank this was the most emotional pitch I have ever been through. It took everything in me not to walk off the set because my emotions ran so crazy because I was there and lost many friends from 9/11.”
The pitch was so powerful that all five Sharks — Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, and Matt Higgins — came together to make a tremendous offer. The Young kids scored a $100,000 offer from all five Sharks for a 20 percent stake in the company. Additionally, the Sharks pledged to donate any profits from the business to charities supporting firefighters suffering from illnesses related to the 9/11 cleanup.
The Cup Board Pro quickly sold out on Amazon after the episode aired on Sunday and has over $1 million in orders in only a few days.
Kaley now manages Hot Pilates Secret, a Pilates studio that was founded by her late mother. “Both businesses give me so much support,” Young told Inc. “I’m always surrounded by positive people.”
More than 1,700 responders and others affected have died from the toxic dust from the collapse of the Twin Towers and nearly 10,000 people have been diagnosed with cancer that has been linked to the 9/11 attacks. If you would like to make a donation to the not-for-profit Fire Department of New York (FDNY) Foundation you can do so HERE.