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By Eller College

The sharks bit when McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship alums Connor Riley and Samantha Meis pitched their venture MistoBox on the ABC reality series Shark Tank.

Kevin O’Leary offered Meis and Riley $75,000 for 25 percent of the company while Mark Cuban debated. Then O’Leary raised the stakes by giving the team 30 seconds to convince Cuban to invest before retracting his offer.

Cuban told them he’d need more equity, and they countered with a 30 percent stake: the deal was done.

MistoBox on Shark Tank

Eller alums Samantha Meis and Connor Riley pitch their venture MistoBox on the ABC reality series Shark Tank.
Photo courtesy ABC.

Riley and Meis were part of a team that developed MistoBox in the top-ranked McGuire Entrepreneurship Program. They were selected from among 36,000 applicants to pitch their innovative business idea on Shark Tank.

Swimming with the sharks was a breeze for Riley and Meis, since they have already run with the bulls — literally. It was part of their study abroad experience in Spain. A year after returning to the UA, the two were paired with Collin Crowley and George Andros in the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program. The team was given an assignment to come up with an innovative business idea. They loved coffee and wanted to figure out a way to get delicious coffees — from the best roasters — into more people’s homes. MistoBox was born on graduation day in 2012 after a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Since then, Riley and Meis have moved the company to Phoenix and are currently located in the revitalized warehouse district downtown.

MistoBox is a subscription service that sends members four exceptional coffees from artisan roasters across the country. Each month, a panel of MistoBox coffee experts tastes more than 50 coffees submitted by different coffee roasters. Only four coffees make the cut, and are delivered to subscribers’ doorsteps. Subscribers brew each of the coffees and pick a favorite. When they find one they love, they can head back to the online shop and get up to two full bags of their favorite with free shipping — just enough coffee to tide them over to the next MistoBox and their next new favorite. Tucson favorite Cartel Coffee was featured just last month.

Top photo, MistoBox’s Samantha Meis and Connor Riley, courtesy MistoBox.