San Antonio-tied founders of Project Pollo and Aqua Boxing Glove fail to land Shark Tank deals

The Sharks said Project Pollo founder Lucas Bradbury is growing too fast and balked at his valuation of the company.

click to enlarge Lucas Bradbury of Project Pollo explains the growth trajectory of his vegan restaurant chain. - Courtesy Photo / ABC Studios
Courtesy Photo / ABC Studios
Lucas Bradbury of Project Pollo explains the growth trajectory of his vegan restaurant chain.
Both San Antonio-linked entrepreneurs who appeared on Friday's season finale of Shark Tank failed to land deals with the long-running ABC show's panel of celebrity investors.

No Sharks bit on Lucas Bradbury's Alamo City-based vegan restaurant chain Project Pollo, flinching at the business' rapid growth — 100 stores by 2024 — and the founder's request for $2.5 million for a mere 5% stake in the company.

While several of the panelists liked the taste of Project Pollo's mock fried-chicken sandwich, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he worries customers will fly the coop for healthier vegan options.

The Sharks also decided it was too early to invest in former pro boxer and Texas A&M-San Antonio grad Tony Adeniran's Aqua Boxing Glove, which fills with water to add resistance during workouts. Even the finale's guest shark, comedian and boxing buff Kevin Hart, threw in the towel, saying he wouldn't put money into a product he couldn't see himself using.

Despite falling short with their pitches, both entrepreneurs were upbeat in their green room interviews, saying the show was a learning experience.

Bradbury added that he wasn't bothered when "Queen of QVC" Lori Greiner likened Project Pollo's brisk growth to a tornado. The restaurateur said he grew up in Kansas and was used to tornados.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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