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Friday, December 14, 2018  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A&E >  TV

Spokane-based Bear Bowls get funded on season premiere of ‘Shark Tank’

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 8, 2018, 6:11 p.m.

Cory and Heidi Santiago of Spokane pitched their Bear Bowls on the season premier of season 10 of “Shark Tank” on Sunday night.

And their project got funded.

“Well, the big secret is out! Bear Minimum got two offers and we chose to be Jamie Siminoff’s (RING.com) 1st Shark Tank investment!” they posted on their company’s Instagram account Monday morning along with a photo of Siminoff and Shaquille O’Neal holding a Bear Bowl. “Here he is with @shaq @shaquilleoneallegend holding our Papa Bear Bowl cook pot! Shaq and a Shark!”

Siminoff offered the Santiagos $100,000 for a 25 percent stake in their Spokane-based company. It was Siminoff’s first deal on the show.

Siminoff created the world’s first Wi-Fi video doorbell in 2011 and pitched his invention on “Shark Tank” in 2013. But he walked away empty-handed after rejecting an offer from Kevin O’Leary.

His company, Ring, went on to be a huge success. Billionaire Richard Branson became an investor and then, in February, Amazon bought Ring for $1 billion.

Now Siminoff is a guest judge on the show.

Bear Minimum makes flame-resistant, fold-able, square camping cook pots that fit into your pocket.

The Santiagos appeared on the 200th episode of Emmy-winning “Shark Tank,” in which budding entrepreneurs look for business help from self-made tycoons.

The show was filmed back in June.

An avid outdoorsman and the inventor of the Bear Bowl, Cory Santiago, 47, began working on creating a compact pot for camping because “I like cool gear – cool gear for camping, cool gear for survival. I’m not a zombie apocalypse person,” he told The Spokesman-Review in story published last week.

Bear Bowls are made from a sheet of flame-resistant, food-grade, coated fiberglass that’s anchored to an aluminum base. The entire bowl folds down into the size and shape of a wallet.

“It does look like a wallet,” Cory Santiago said. “But most wallets you can’t cook food in.”

Bear Bowls can also double as baskets for berry-picking or as a portable dog dish. They come in three sizes: Baby, Mama and Papa. Mama has twice the capacity as Baby, and Papa has twice the capacity as Mama.

The Bear Bones option, a little lighter and a little less expensive, comes without paracord, lightweight nylon rope used on parachutes. It’s the same size as Baby Bear.

Bear Bowls are designed to be used on butane backpacking stoves.

Most come with 12 feet of paracord that’s braided around the cook pot’s handle. The cord is decorative as well as functional. It holds up to 550 pounds and includes seven inner strands that can be used in emergencies as fishing line, shoelaces, snares or thread for sewing or mending.

Cory Santiago said he got the idea for a fire-resistant, fold-able cook pot years ago but didn’t really get going on product development until late in 2014. That’s when he found the coated fiberglass material and started making a prototype. He worked on his invention at the kitchen table and counter tops in the kitchen and bathroom.

Cory and Heidi Santiago, Mead High School graduates who have been married 19 years, had applied for season one of “Shark Tank,” but, Heidi Santiago said, “didn’t get any response.” She had invented the Wee-Minder, a watch-like gadget to help with potty training.

Sunday night, their business partner Tim Krauss appeared on the show with them but, they said, wasn’t allowed to say anything. He dressed in a bear costume for the presentation.

The Santiagos also received an offer from Daymond John but turned it down.

Bowls sell singly as well as in sets of three. They’re available on Amazon as well as the Bear Minimum website at www.bearminimum.org. Soon, Cory Santiago said, Bear Bowls will also be available in stores.

On the web: bearminimum.org.


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