TRAVERSE CITY — A longboard with an ActionGlow lighting system rolled across the Sony Studio stage at “Shark Tank” toward businessman Robert Herjavec.

And just like that Traverse City brothers Dakota and Garret Porter had an investor in their 10-year-old company, an aftermarket LED lighting system for sports equipment.

The Porters episode of the reality show “Shark Tank” aired live to a private party at the City Opera House Friday for family, friends and supporters. Four of the five sharks — Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, Mark Cuban and Herjavec — had already passed on a chance to invest $200,000 for a 15 percent stake in the Traverse City company.

It was all down to Herjavec and after two counter offers from the brothers, he bit.

“Robert, it’s time to get on board,” Garret Porter, the 24-year-old founder and COO of ActionGlow said as he slid a lit-up skateboard to Herjavec.

The brothers had the deal they were seeking, even though it meant giving up twice as much of the company as they were seeking when the entered “Shark Tank” for the Sept. 9 taping in Los Angeles.

The Porters found out three weeks ago about the Nov. 18 air date and couldn’t reveal what happened until the show aired.

“Thank you all so much for coming out,” Garret Porter told the City Opera House audience. “This is 10 years in the making. We wanted it all to come to fruition and at the 11th hour it did.”

“We felt like there was the possibility we nailed it,” added Dakota Porter, the 27-year-old founder and CEO of ActionGlow. “But we also know there was the possibility we blew it.”

In the end the Porters secured a $200,000 investment for a 30 percent stake in their company, which began in 2012 when Dakota was 16 and Garret was 13.

O’Leary was the first to say “I’m out” to a deal for ActionGlow.

“I think the product is great, but the problems ahead are great, too,” said O’Leary, who said he had to fend off several knock-offs for a similar product to ActionGlow a handful of years ago.

Greiner, Cuban and Corcoran — while liking ActionGlow and the brothers — also bowed out, leaving just Herjavec. The Croatian-Canadian investor and businessman wondered what percentage of the company he was going to ask for in exchange for the $200,000 investment.

A counter offer of 20 percent was rejected by Herjavec. So was another counter from the Porters for 25 percent.

“Guys, you’ve been waiting to get in here for 10 years and know you have an offer,” Greiner said. “Don’t blow it.”

The Porters added some drama by getting out a skateboard and sliding it across the stage to Herjavec, who said he was going to keep it after the Porters accepted his offer, which was met by loud applause from the City Opera House crowd.

Dakota Porter said it was the brother’s “dream shark” and the realization of a quest. The application ActionGlow filled out to appear on the 14th season of “Shark Tank” was the fourth time the duo had applied.

“I’m so excited for them,” Venture North Executive Director Laura Galbraith said after the airing. “They’ve worked so hard.”

“It’s so amazing to see the support they have in the community and from ‘Shark Tank.’”

About 40,000 people apply to the show each year and only about 100 are invited to Los Angeles for a taping. About 80 of those ever make it on television.

Since learning the air date, the Porters have been busy ensuring their website won’t crash from the expected jump in activity. needed to be capable of handling 75,000 people at any time.

Dakota Porter said he was adding ActionGlow product to the website from his car, making him a little late to his own party Friday night.

Even before the airing, Garret Porter said an appearance on “Shark Tank” is said to be worth “$5 to $10 million in advertising in one night.” The younger brother said hitting the airwaves a week before the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season “will multiply what a traditional airing will do.”

The Porters post-show plans include hitting the road in 2023 in a renovated school bus the duo purchased a handful of years ago. The bus was parked on Front Street right outside of the Opera House on Friday.

The action tour bus has a mural on one side depicting summer uses for ActionGlow products with winter scenes on the other side. The back of the bus shows the two worlds coming together. See-through vinyl windows from Britten Banner complete the look.

“It’s our plan to go back to the grassroots way of selling and it’s us living the American Dream,” Dakota Porter said last week. “We also want to document the entire thing and push out YouTube videos.”

ActionGlow LED kits range in price, retailing for $69 for a longboard to $169 for one going on a kayak. A snowboard kit retails for $129.

“That’s our top seller,” Garret Porter told the Record-Eagle last week of the snowboard. “It’s our flagship product, so to speak.”

Trending Video

Recommended for you