Who is Matt Higgins? Guest Shark Tank Judge

matt higgins shark tank guest judge

Matt Higgins is a respected entrepreneur who worked from extreme poverty to create a multi-million-dollar bank account. His inspiring story has made him a unique figure in the business world, as has his interest in “Angel Entrepreneurship.”

His desire to help small businesses thrive was recently portrayed on various episodes of the popular hit show “Shark Tank,” where he helped several businesses thrive.

Personal History

Few people who knew Matt Higgins as a young man could probably expect he would one day own marketing firms, help run football teams, and even work with the owner of a long-term franchise.

Born in Flushing, a neighborhood in Queens, Higgins lived in very high poverty for most of his young life and had to take care of his mother. He eventually dropped out of high school at 16 and took an equivalency exam.

In recent years, Higgins has repeatedly stated that dropping out was the smartest decision he ever made because he was able to enroll at Queens College and take night classes from an early age.

As a result, he started his career very early and had minimal debt to weigh him down. Succeeding as an investigative reporter, he eventually received a law degree and worked for Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Getting Into Business Ownership

Higgins eventually funded RSE Ventures, a company that focuses on investing in many businesses. Some of his biggest investments include FanVision, a unique device that helps NASCAR fans get content during races, Thusizo, another sports-related project, and the Drone Racing League. He also helped create the restaurant reservation app Resy and earned stakes in Momofuku.

Furthermore, Higgins also launched the public relations firm Derris and Insignia and the International Champions Cup soccer tournament.

Sports remain a big part of his many investments, including working with the New York Jets and the Dolphins. He helped the Jets build MetLife Stadium with the Giants and has helped further develop new sports concepts throughout the nation.

Philanthropic Goals

Higgins, having worked his way to success from practically nothing, understands that some people may need a little help to improve their life. That’s why he supports many charitable organizations and has contributed to several over the years. He has worked regularly with Autism Speaks and runs marathons to help raise money for finding new treatments for this condition.

Higgins is also a testicular cancer survivor who supports charities researching treatments and cures for this disease. He also set up the Linda Higgins Empowerment Scholarship for Queens College in honor of his mother.

It helps support single parents, like his mother, by giving them money to get their degrees. Higgins is a regular supporter of Queens College and has helped it improve its operation.

He also delivered one of the most acclaimed commencement speeches in recent history at Queens College in 2019. This speech focused heavily on inspiring those in the college to strive for their dreams beyond their struggles. Vanity Fair claimed it would “change your mind” if you believed that commencement speeches were nothing but cliches and well-worn positive messages.

Net Worth

Gauging Higgins net worth is somewhat complicated by several current deals that have yet to be completed. However, the most recent updates claim his worth at around $150 million. The likelihood that he’ll only increase his value is high because of his intelligent investment skills and business acumen.

Shark Tank Details

So far, Matt Higgins has appeared on three “Shark Tank” episodes. He appeared alongside long-time regulars Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Lori Greiner, and Kevin O’Leary in episodes three and 16 of season 10. He later appeared on episode five of season 11 with the same cast and, on each episode, faced four pitches and bought into several of them as an investor.

During his time on “Shark Tank,” Higgins was acclaimed as a savvy negotiator and someone who truly cared about the people with whom he talked to on the show.

Like many members, he built up a quick-witted relationship with Mark Cuban and even pitched in with Cuban and a few other investors to buy into a handful of different investments. Higgins seemed drawn to family-oriented pitches during his episodes.

Best/Worst Shark Tank Investments

While Matt Higgins made several deals on “Shark Tank,” the most memorable and meaningful for him was likely The Cup Board Pro. The Cup Board Pro was developed by a NYC Fireman Keith Young in 2010 to help clean up messes more quickly in the kitchen.

However, his wife Beth’s diagnosis with breast cancer and subsequent passing halted production and delayed production until 2015. Unfortunately, Keith then developed cancer and passed away in 2018.

His children, Kaley, Keira, and Christian, were compelled to come on “Shark Tank” after successfully selling 300 boards in two weeks and feeling they needed start-up capital.

After hearing the story, the five sharks made an unexpected decision: all five wanted to contribute equally to the project ($20K a piece) and asked that all proceeds go to the charity Keith Young supported before he passed. Almost overnight, The Cup Board Pro sold out and was a huge success.

In another memorable episode, Ron and Kobe Johnson brought their product, Tailgate N’ Go, to the show to get $250,000 and were giving 10% equity.

The product was a modular kitchen device that let people take their kitchen with them when they went camping. Its compact and 360-degree design impressed the sharks, though they were concerned about the company’s overall valuation.

After intense negotiation (including O’Leary being the only one to offer anything to the company), Higgins eventually agrees to give $250,000 to the company in exchange for 20% equity and $50 royalty in each unit until his investment has been repaid.

This deal was one of his better ones because it gave him a better chance of earning back his investment and gave him heavy equity likely to boost his net worth even further if the product takes off.