Local Start-Up to Appear on ABC’s Shark Tank

The founders of Minneapolis-based start-up My Wonderful Life-which offers an online service that allows users to plan their own funeral-will present their business plan to a group of potential investors on ABC's Shark Tank.

Founder of Minneapolis-based start-up My Wonderful Life will soon present their business plan to the “sharks” in hopes of garnering some investment dollars.

Sue Kruskopf and Nancy Bush will appear on the season three premier episode of ABC's Shark Tank, a reality TV show in which budding entrepreneurs present their companies or business ideas to a group of business moguls-or “sharks.” The presenters' objective is to convince the tycoons to give them the funding they need to jumpstart their business plans.

Founded in 2008, My Wonderful Life offers a free online service that allows users to plan their own funeral. Its Web site-Mywonderfullife.com-lets users write their own obituary; design their headstone; recommend music, writings, and photos for use in their funeral service; and leave information about bank accounts and wills, among other things. Each user can designate up to six “angels”-people who receive an e-mail with a link to the user's profile or wishes.

In early 2011, Kruskopf and Bush were selected by ABC from a pool of roughly 10,000 applicants, according to a report on technology news Web site TechdotMN. The duo was reportedly among approximately 80 applicants who pitched live on film in September. The contestants that will be included in the show's upcoming season were reportedly selected and notified recently.

“It was the most intense experience that I've ever been through and I almost died when I found out we were going to make it, on the premier at that,” Kruskopf told TechdotMN. “We can't say what the outcome was . . . yet . . . watch it to see for yourself.”

The premier episode will feature three other companies in addition to My Wonderful Life-Irvine, California-based Business Ghost, Portola Valley, California-based Clean Bottle, and Miami-based EZ Vip. As of mid-day Tuesday, in an online poll on ABC's Web site, 55 percent of respondents said they would fund My Wonderful Life, whereas only 6 percent of respondents vouched for Business Ghost, 16 percent for Clean Bottle, and 21 percent for EZ Vip.

The real judgment, however, will come from the show's five “sharks”- billionaire Mark Cuban, real estate mogul Barbara Cocoran, Canadian businessman Robert Herjavec, fashion and branding expert Daymond John, and venture capitalist Kevin O'Leary-who will collectively invest more than $6.2 million over the show's third season in businesses that impress them.

Shark Tank's season three premier will air on January 20 at 7 p.m.