A Conversation With Kevin Harrington

Kevin Harrington, Inventor of the Infomercial, Original Shark on ABC’s Hit Show, “Shark Tank” and As Seen on TV Pioneer, is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time.

In 1980, Kevin started The Small Business Center and Franchise America. As a real estate and business broker, he sold thousands of businesses and then offered one-stop services from accounting and insurance to advertising and more.

While watching television one night in 1984, Kevin noticed that sometimes the only thing on the screen were the color test bars that stations ran when they had nothing else to air, thus giving Kevin the idea to produce the industry’s first 30-minute infomercial to fill that dead air space, which is what coined him the Inventor of the Infomercial.

Since then, he has been involved with over 500 product launches that resulted in sales of over $4 billion dollars worldwide and 20 products that reached individual sales of over $100 million. By 1990, Kevin was named one of the 100 best entrepreneurs in the world by Entrepreneur Magazine.

In the mid-1980’s he formed Quantum International, which grew to $500 million in sales selling products in 100 countries in 20 languages. He then formed HSN direct in conjunction with Home Shopping Network and soon after formed Reliant International Media. Kevin also founded As Seen on TV, Inc. and acquired AsSeenOnTV.com, the world’s largest web site featuring as seen on TV products.

Kevin has worked with some of the biggest celebrities including Cee Lo Green, Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, 50 Cent, George Foreman, Paula Abdul, Montel Williams, Chubby Checker, Hulk Hogan, Kris Jenner, Tony Little, Billy Mays and many more.

In 2009, Kevin was selected as one of the original “Shark Tank” Sharks on the ABC hit show. As an innovator and pioneer in the industry, Kevin has been featured on over 150 “Shark Tank” segments over the last five years on both ABC and CNBC.
Kevin is regularly featured as an industry expert in numerous media outlets including the NBC Today Show, ABC Good Morning America, CBS Morning News, The View, the Wendy Williams Show, CNBC, Squawk Box with Jim Kramer, the Bethenny Show, Bloomberg, Fox Business, CNN, MTV, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, Fortune, Inc., Wall Street Journal, New York Times and many more.

Kevin founded two global associations – ERA (Electronic Retailers Association), which is now in 45 countries and Young Entrepreneur’s Association (now EO - Entrepreneurs Organization), which boasts, combined member sales of over $500 billion dollars.

Kevin is on the board of University of South Florida (USF) entrepreneur programs, and teaches regularly. He has also been involved with Moffit Cancer Research, and is constantly giving back to the community. Kevin’s recent book, “Act Now: How I Turn Ideas Into Million-Dollar Products,” details his life and achievements in the direct marketing world, and his business was used as a class case study for 12 years at Harvard/MIT, illustrating the essential principles of grass-roots entrepreneurship.


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