Sneak Peak: Barbara Corcoran


Bryant University’s Student Arts & Speaker Series has announced that Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran will be presented as a guest speaker. For any students who have interest in commercial real estate, entrepreneurship, or just general business, this is a great opportunity to learn from one of the most successful people in her field.

Most notably known as being one of the “Sharks” on ABC’s hit television show Shark Tank, Corcoran has invested in over 23 startups and is the founder of a billion dollar commercial real estate business. By the age of 23, Corcoran held over 20 jobs ranging from retail to the restaurant industry. She was also an undergraduate student at St. Thomas Aquinas College, where she received a degree in education. Two years after graduation, Corcoran opted to quit her job as a waitress in favor of taking out a $1,000 loan and starting her own small real estate company. Over the next 25years, Corcoran would parlay that $1,000 loan into one of the most prominent businesses in her industry; ultimately selling it for 66 million dollars in 2001.

Since that day, Corcoran has continued to find ways to thrive in different fields of business. Corcoran says, “If I could set a world record, it would be that I have 150 business partners, all with thriving businesses of their own that started with nothing, and I made the difference to make them all billionaires.” Besides being an integral part of over 20 startups, Corcoran also spends her time now reaching out to the public. Corcoran has appeared all around the country, speaking out to students, hoping to bring her front-line experience and infectious energy to each person in the audience. Critics and audiences alike say, “They laugh, cry and learn how to become more successful. Motivational, inspirational and sometimes outrageous, Barbara Corcoran’s tell-it-like-it-is attitude is a refreshing approach to success.”

For Bryant students, this is a great opportunity to engage themselves with someone who has a wealth of knowledge in a variety of different industries. The vast number of startups that Corcoran has invested in means that she can relate to both liberal arts and business majors. Questions can be asked at the end of Corcoran’s talk. For those students who cannot attend Corcoran’s event, which takes place on Monday September 29 at 8:00 p.m. in the MAC, a variety of outlets are still available for students to learn about Corcoran’s ventures. She is the author of If You Don’t Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons on Your Pigtails, an unlikely business book that has become a national best-seller.

Furthermore, Corcoran is a popular contributor to the Daily Show and CNBC. She also writes a weekly real estate column for the Daily News and monthly columns for MORE Magazine and Redbook. Finally, for anyone who has interest in the Shark Tank television series, her most recent book, Shark Tales, includes material from her experience on the show and gives an inside look on the thought process and decision making behind the many deals she has made on the show.

Luckily, for those who can make the event, tickets are free and become available starting Friday September 19 in the Fisher Student Center. All that is needed is a Bryant ID. The event doors open at 7:30 p.m. and seating is first come first serve. All students are encouraged to attend and learn about Corcoran’s story of going from rags to riches. Who knows, maybe even someone will become the next billion dollar entrepreneur.