Kevin Harrington – Inventor of the Infomercial, Original Shark on Shark Tank and As Seen on TV Pioneer – is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time. Kevin has won acclaim as both an investor and speaker and he will give his thoughts on the emerging marijuana industry and investment opportunities therein. Following the keynote Kevin will appear in a live pitch session with several other investors in a “for real” competition to get a business funded.
In the early 1980s, Harrington was busy launching companies and working as both a real estate and business broker selling thousands of properties and thousands of businesses. While watching television one night in 1984, he noticed that sometimes the only thing on the screen were the color test bars that stations ran when they had nothing else to air, thus giving him the idea to produce the industry’s first 30-minute infomercial to fill that dead air space. Thus, the birth of the infomercial.
Since that fateful night, he has been involved with over 500 product launches that resulted in sales of over $4 billion dollars worldwide and 20 products that reached individual sales of over $100 million. By 1990, Harrington was named one of the 100 best entrepreneurs in the world (by Entrepreneur Magazine).
In the mid 1980s, Harrington formed Quantum International which grew to $500 million in sales, selling products in 100 countries in 20 languages. He then formed HSN direct in conjunction with Home Shopping Network and soon after formed Reliant International Media. Soon he founded As Seen on TV, Inc. and acquired AsSeenOnTV.com, the world’s largest web site featuring as seen on TV products.
With his impeccable track record, Harrington became internationally known for his entrepreneurial prowess and penchant for product development and sales. As such his business was used as a class case study for 12 years at Harvard/MIT, illustrating the essential principles of grass-roots entrepreneurship. He has worked with celebrities including Cee Lo Green, Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, 50 Cent, George Foreman, Paula Abdul, Montel Williams, Hulk Hogan, Kris and Bruce Jenner, Tony Little, Billy Mays and many more. He is regularly featured as an industry expert in numerous media outlets including The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Morning News, CNBC, Squawk Box with Jim Kramer, Bloomberg, Fox Business, CNN, MTV, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, Fortune, Inc., Wall Street Journal, New York Times and many more.
In 2009, Harrington was selected as one of the original ‘Shark Tank’ Sharks on the ABC’s Emmy-Award winning show. His episodes can currently be seen nightly on CNBC.
He founded two global associations – ERA (Electronic Retailers Association), which is now in 45 countries and EO (Entrepreneurs Organization) which boasts more than 10,000 members.
He is on the board of University of South Florida (USF) entrepreneur programs, and teaches regularly. He is also involved with Moffit Cancer Research and a variety of community based programs.