Mortgage broker pans for gold on ‘Shark Tank’…literally

Did one of the Sharks bite on "golden" invention?

Inventors and entrepreneurs often go on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ and pan for gold, but an Oregon mortgage broker took it to a whole new level when he appeared on the show in February.

Mark Peterson is the chief executive officer of Western Mortgage Brokers in Eugene, Oregon. Peterson is also the inventor of the ‘Gold Rush Nugget Bucket,’ a gold panning and gold prospecting kit.

And Peterson took his invention to Shark Tank to try to convince one of the show’s panelists, which include Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and real estate bigwig Barbara Corcoran, to invest in what Peterson’s website calls a “breakthrough design for the gold panning kit.”

The Portland Business Journal chronicled Peterson’s journey from mortgage broker to inventor.

From the Portland Business Journal:

“Owning a mortgage company during the crisis was the furthest thing from having fun,” Peterson said. “I almost lost the company twice over that time. Because of that, and because I needed a departure from reality, I started thinking about something else.”

That something else happened to be an all-in-one gold prospecting kit. A father of two young children, Peterson had watched his kids having a blast on the river one day panning for gold with a 5-gallon bucket that had a hole drilled in it. The funny thing about the bucket, however, is that it actually did a great job of separating the sand and rocks and other particles in a way that made perfect sense for gold panning. That gave Peterson an idea.

The Gold Rush Nugget Bucket was born out of that idea. The development of Peterson’s invention was funded with pretax profits from his mortgage business, which improved post-crisis, and a cashed-out IRA.

From there, Peterson began selling the gold panning kit online, which led to his appearance on Shark Tank, where (SPOILER ALERT!) he was able to secure an investment from Robert Herjavec.

Click below to read the rest of Peterson’s story.

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