Business

Whatcom native back on TV with ‘Shark Tank’ update

Stephan Aarstol, second from right, works on a board for his company, Tower Paddle Board, in this undated photo. Aarstol’s company will be featured on the television show “Beyond the Tank,” on ABC at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28.
Stephan Aarstol, second from right, works on a board for his company, Tower Paddle Board, in this undated photo. Aarstol’s company will be featured on the television show “Beyond the Tank,” on ABC at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A Whatcom County native that landed an investor on “Shark Tank” will be featured in a television segment on Thursday, Jan. 28.

Stephan Aarstol, founder and CEO of Tower Paddle Boards, will be on ABC’s “Beyond the Tank” at 8 p.m. Aarstol was born in Bellingham, grew up in Whatcom County and is a Mount Baker High School and Western Washington University graduate. He founded the stand-up paddle boarding brand in 2010, building the company in San Diego.

Four years ago Aarstol went on the popular television show about investors and entrepreneurs and received $150,000 in funding from billionaire and NBA’s Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Since that time the company has done more than $17 million in sales, including $7 million in 2015.

Tower Paddle Boards recently was ranked No. 239 on INC. magazine’s “Inc 5000” 2015 list of fastest growing U.S. companies. In 2014, the company was ranked as the fastest growing private company in San Diego.

Prior to the investment from Cuban, Tower Paddle Boards had $100,000 in lifetime sales, according to a news release from the company.

For a recent article in Forbes.com, Aarstol talked about how the groundwork for success was in place before going on “Shark Tank.” Those keys included production, distribution and marketing innovations that helped position the company for growth.

“Your customer experience becomes much more important,” Aarstol said in the article. “It’s got to be so over the top that customers will tell their friends.”

The “Beyond the Tank” segment will include Aarstol meeting with Cuban to talk about ways the company can improve as well as a business development meeting with senior Amazon.com executives.

Details about Aarstol’s company can be found at towerpaddleboards.com.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz

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