Here's What Happened To The Wine Balloon After Shark Tank

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Eric Corti brought his invention, The Wine Balloon, to "Shark Tank," where he appeared in front of Kevin O'Leary, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, and Robert Herjavec, according to Shark Tank Blog. Countless American entrepreneurs and business owners have gone on "Shark Tank" in the hopes of one (or multiple) of the investors striking a deal with them, catapulting their idea to the next level, per ABC. Corti asked the Sharks for a $40,000 investment in exchange for 30% equity in his business. He then showed the investors how his product worked, and all of them seemed interested.

O'Leary offered Corti $40,000 if Corti gave O'Leary the right to produce and sell The Wine Balloon with another wine company that sold a similar, less impressive product, per Shark Tank Blog Greiner also had a huge offer of $500,000 for the entire business. "When was the last time you held a check for $500,000? What would that do to your life? So, here's a chance, with just one word: 'Yes.' How could you say no?" Cuban asked Corti. Eventually, Cuban joined in, bringing the total to $600,000. However, Corti didn't want to give up his business completely and asked for a 3% royalty, which Cuban didn't like.

Eventually, Greiner and Cuban made a final offer of $400,000 for 100% equity without any royalties to Corti. With all of the pressure, Corti ended up making a deal with both Cuban and Greiner (via Shark Tank Tales).

Post-Shark Tank, The Wine Balloon took off

Despite The Wine Balloon founder Eric Corti stating, "It was a great experience, great idea, and it's really helped our product as well," (via YouTube) of his "Shark Tank" appearance, post "Shark Tank," Corti second-guessed his deal with Lori Greiner and Mark Cuban and decided to not go through with it, according to Shark Tank Blog. Corti did say, however, that he appreciated the exposure the show gave the company. "We've had a lot of great feedback from the show, a lot of people who were very supportive of us on the show, a lot of positive feedback that they love the product, love the idea, and it's been fantastic," Corti said.

Soon after, Corti changed the name from The Wine Balloon to Air Cork after appearing on a similar show called "Invention Hunters," which aired on Food Network (via Facebook). Patrick Raymond and Steve Greenberg, who are the hosts of the show, made a deal with Corti, suggested the new name, and reworked the product's packaging to make it more user-friendly.

Corti's deal with Raymond and Greenberg enabled the entrepreneur to distribute and sell his products in various markets, per Shark Tank Blog.

Is Air Cork still in business?

Eric Corti's company Air Cork (formally The Wine Balloon) is very much still in business and makes around $7 million in sales each year as of March 2023.

The Air Cork is ordered in bulk by many wineries and liquor stores, according to Shark Tank Success. Currently, there are four Air Cork options to choose from: one with a burgundy grape-shaped pump, one with a charcoal grape-shaped pump, one with a white grape-shaped pump, and one with a black, barrel-shaped, minimalistic pump (via Air Cork). Each Air Cork is priced at $28.50 as of July 2023, and there is also a three-pack of spare balloons if needed. The balloons are made of latex and won't change the taste of your wine, and it's designed to extend the wine's life by around three days.

On social media, customers rave about Air Cork. "This is literally the coolest thing ever!!" commented one Instagrammer, while another chimed in, "I love this gadget! ... When we open several bottles at once on wine night there's always many half bottles left over. Instead of dumping them, I love to enjoy them days later. No other method I tried so far was as good as this one. Great invention!"

What's next for Air Cork?

Air Cork founder Eric Corti told Hi Velocity, "The next phase for Air Cork is growth and creating a presence in the wine market." It seems that growth is happening, as in addition to being sold on the company website, Air Cork has also started selling its product on Amazon, where it has a 3.9-out-of-five star rating. It is also being sold internationally, allowing the product's exposure to extend to different countries. Furthermore, Air Cork continues to expand when it comes to retail opportunities, and you can apply on the company website to become a retailer. Per Gazette Review, Corti's net worth is $14 million, and, if Air Cork continues to be successful and more and more consumers start using the Air Cork instead of recorking their wine bottles, that number can only grow.

In addition to being the owner of Air Cork, Corti also works for a company that provides financial consultations for construction companies (via LinkedIn). Perhaps his next invention will be construction related, but as Corti calls himself a "'Shark Tank' survivor," we think even if he does come up with a new invention, he might not be so keen to jump back into the tank.