Cedarburg sisters to appear on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’
Girls seeking investment for SEA Hamster balls

By Lisa Curtis - News Graphic Staff

July 24, 2014

 From left, Elizabeth, Stephanie and Annika Jahr slept in sleeping bags outside the Milwaukee Art Museum Sunday night in order to get good placement in the audition line for the ABC show
“The Shark Tank.”

Submitted photo

CEDARBURG — Three Cedarburg sisters are headed to California for an appearance on the ABC show “Shark Tank,” which invites budding entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to a panel of potential investors.

Stephanie, Elizabeth and Annika Jahr, ages 19, 17 and 13 respectively, have been invited to county fairs and festivals around the Midwest with their SEA Hamster entertainment ball. On Monday, they appeared before a casting official with “Shark Tank” for a chance to be on the show next season.
>>View video of the SEA Hamster and the Jahr sisters

Annika Jahr said the girls and their parents, Karen and John, slept overnight outside the Milwaukee Art Museum Sunday in order to get a prime spot. They were fifth in line.

The sisters had one minute to pitch their SEA Hamster, a giant inflatable “human hamster ball” in which a person can walk, jump or roll on water. The girls provide a pool that is approximately 20 feet by 30 feet in which the ball rolls around.

The Jahrs drove back to Cedarburg following their pitch, but were later called back to Milwaukee for a second interview the same day.

Stephanie Jahr said they were one of four in the running for a spot on the show in September as of Tuesday, and were told they would learn the results within a week. But by late Tuesday afternoon, someone from the show called the Jahrs to tell them they were chosen.

“It was not even 24 hours and they called us back,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting it. I was surprised and excited.”

The girls will pitch their idea to a panel of self-made millionaires interested in potentially investing in their idea.

Stephanie Jahr said they are asking for $120,000 to buy more balls and a pool and to pay for legal advice to help with franchise agreements. Currently, the balls are made in China, but the girls want to ensure they are manufactured in the U.S.

“There are so many people that always want to buy them for their lakes,” Jahr said.

In return, the girls will give the investor 25 percent equity in the company.

Jahr said the show receives more than 40,000 applications for a season and only picks about 180.

“It was great to know our hard work pays off,” she said.

Lisa Curtis can be reached at .