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UA McGuire Center Alumni to Appear on ABC's 'Shark Tank'

UA Eller College of Management alumni Connor Riley and Samantha Meis are headed into the tank to pitch their business concept on Sony Pictures Television’s hit ABC reality series, "Shark Tank."

Riley and Meis, who were part of a team that developed the concept for MistoBox while in the University's top-ranked McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship program, will be introduced to a panel of five millionaire and billionaire investors the "Sharks" as guests on the show.

The UA alumni both were selected from 36,000 applicants to pitch their innovative business idea in hopes of getting their venture funded. The television segment will air May 3.

One year after returning to the UA from a study abroad experience in Spain, the two were paired with Collin Crowley and George Andros in the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program at the Eller College. The team was given an assignment to come up with an innovative business idea.

They loved coffee and wanted to figure out a way to get delicious coffees from the best roasters into more households. MistoBox was born on graduation day in 2012. Since then, Riley and Meis have moved the company to Phoenix and are currently located in the revitalized warehouse district downtown.

"Getting to pitch to the investors on 'Shark Tank' was a once in a lifetime experience. It was so exciting and terrifying all at the same time," Meis said.

MistoBox is a subscription service that sends members four exceptional coffees from artisan roasters across the country. Each month, a panel of MistoBox coffee experts taste more than 50 coffees submitted by different coffee roasters. Only four coffees make the cut, and are delivered to subscribers' doorsteps.

Subscribers brew each of the coffees and pick a favorite. When they find one they love, they can head back to the online shop and get up to two full bags of their favorite with free shipping – just enough coffee to tide them over to the next MistoBox and their next new favorite. A Tucson favorite, Cartel Coffee Lab, was featured just last month.

To watch Riley and Meis in action, tune in to ABC on Friday, May 3 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT).

Photos courtesy of Collin Crowley and Samantha Meis.

Contact: Liz Warren-Pederson, marketing and communications manager for the UA Eller College of Management, at 520-626-9547 or warrenl@eller.arizona.edu