Where Is Plate Topper From Shark Tank Today?
Although Plate Topper is still in business today, it hasn't been a smooth ride for Michael Tseng. After all, when he introduced Plate Topper on "Shark Tank" in Season 4, Episode 8, "Episode 408," it initially seemed like a done deal. Tseng already had a reliable product with purchase orders from Walmart and QVC lined up that amounted to $1 million. Moreover, he was only initially asking the Sharks for a $90,000 investment in exchange for a 5% stake in the company. It caught the eyes of everyone in the room, and rightfully so — Plate Topper was one of the best food storage containers around, mainly because it was designed to eliminate the need for plastic wrap or containers.
According to Tseng's presentation on the show, he invented the product because he realized there was a better way to store leftovers. He'd spent seven years working on the design, even putting off his work as a practicing physician.
Nevertheless, because of the potential opportunity, Tseng tried to get the best offer he could, which backfired. He walked away with an investment deal from Lori Greiner, but it didn't go as he expected.
As Michael Tseng demonstrated the Plate Topper's product line, which consisted of three different sizes of his suction-tight, dishwasher- and microwave-safe storage lids, he impressed the Sharks. Kevin O'Leary tried to jump on it with only a tiny tweak to the deal, offering a $90,000 investment for 5% royalties. However, Lori Greiner and Daymond John made the exchange more interesting. They were willing to shell out $900,000 for a 30% stake and $1,000,000 for 25%, respectively.
But Tseng talked a few of them out of the deal once he brought up valuation and couldn't bring up a figure as readily as the Sharks had hoped. This upset a few of them, particularly John, who eventually accused Tseng of acting "slippery." This devolved into either the offers being taken off the table or, in Greiner's case, reducing her bid to the original request. Undeterred, Tseng attempted to haggle, and it only made things worse, prompting O'Leary to state that they might watch "a guy with a fantastic business walk out of here with nothing."
Although Tseng salvaged the situation, he couldn't recuperate it enough to return the Sharks to their previous offers. As a result, he was forced to leave the room with an agreement from Greiner for $90,000 at an 8% stake.
Despite the exchange, it appeared Michael Tseng's Plate Topper had something going for it by the end. However, shortly after the show, Lisa Greiner posted on her Twitter account that the deal had fallen through: "Sorry to say I wound up not liking his tactics much either, that agony didn't end in the tank. I'm out." Although the tweet is no longer accessible on Greiner's feed, it can be seen on the Shark Tank Blog, which snagged an interview with Tseng around the same time.
According to Plate Topper's creator, things went a lot differently than the way they ended on the show. "Like I said, it's impossible to separate the negotiations that occur during and after the show before you actually appear on the show, but that was not fair. Lori wanted a one-year exclusive on all decision-making powers for the company before entering into the agreement we made on TV," he told the Shark Tank Blog. "I showed it to my lawyers ... and no VC would attempt to control a company prior to making an investment. I tried to negotiate a shorter time frame with her, but she wouldn't budge. I think it's condescending to say my 'antics continued after the show.' There was no way I was going to sign that."
It seems Greiner's involvement simply wasn't meant to be. And while Plate Topper isn't necessarily considered one of the food-related fails on "Shark Tank," the situation was certainly a drawback.
Although the fallout between Michael Tseng and Lori Greiner after the show might suggest that Plate Topper is no longer in business, that's not strictly true. While Tseng's product is no longer available on either Walmart's or QVC's websites, it's still available for purchase on his company's website. The business now goes by Prestagon, Inc. and offers multiple different products outside the Plate Topper, including fitness equipment, a roll-up tool bag, and a set of pet stairs.
Moreover, the sealed plate lid meant to make food storage much simpler has also received some rebranding. Instead of being called Plate Topper, the product is now called MyTopper.
Along with the original item, consumers can now buy the IceTopper, a stackable ice cube tray available in various sizes and bundles. Tseng was able to get his company off the ground after all, despite losing Greiner's support.
Not much is known about Michael Tseng's future plans, aside from the expansion of Prestagon, Inc.'s product holdings. According to Tseng's LinkedIn page, he still has several patents and trademarks in place and is still currently working on developing Prestagon, Inc. Moreover, the company has maintained an active presence on social media, thanks to Prestagon Pets' Facebook feed.
Either way, Tseng's legacy remains intact. And he used his 2012 interview with the Shark Tank Blog to offer guidance for other business owners.
"As for advice to other entrepreneurs, I'd say you need to find a project or idea you enjoy without regard to the potential for profit. You need to enjoy it before it becomes lucrative because you need to love the journey regardless of the outcome," he told the outlet. Who knows — Tseng could surprise everyone with a new undertaking.