Trans-owned business scores investment deal on Shark Tank


Erin Spencer and Bec Cerio of Sock Drawer Heroes making their pitch to the Shark Tank judges
Erin Spencer and Bec Cerio of Sock Drawer Heroes making their pitch to the Shark Tank judges. Photo: Network Ten.

Sock Drawer Heroes, the first ever trans-owned company to appear on Channel 10’s hit TV series Shark Tank Australia, landed a joint investment deal with two of the Sharks during last night’s season finale.

AI expert Dr Catriona Wallace and e-commerce fashion expert and founder and CEO of ShowPo, Jane Lu backed Sock Drawer Heroes’ investment proposal to expand their business selling gender affirming products to help trans and gender diverse people feel more comfortable in themselves, which has been shown to improve their confidence, wellbeing, and mental health. 

Sock Drawer Heroes co-founders Erin Spencer and Bec Cerio initially sought an investment of $120,000 for a 7.5% stake in Sock Drawer Heroes, to help them grow their business.

Four of the five Sharks quickly said ‘I’m out’, but AI expert, Dr Catriona Wallace, who is passionate about social impact and minority-led businesses, made an offer, which enticed fashion expert, Jane Lu, back in. 

After tough negotiations, they settled on $120,000 for a 16% buy in between Catriona and Jane. 

Following the filming of the episode, Jane Lu stepped out of her half of the investment, but has agreed to offer pro bono e-commerce, website and social media advice to Sock Drawer Heroes. 

Erin and Bec moved forward with the $60,000 investment from Dr Catriona Wallace for 8% equity in Sock Drawer Heroes, and say it is a well matched partnership, with a shared passion and commitment to serving the LGBTIQA+ community

“When the idea of going on Shark Tank first arose, the financial investment wasn’t the thing that sold me on it,” Sock Drawer Heroes co-founder Erin Spencer said after the episode went to air.

“It was the opportunity for trans non-binary representation on national television. If just one kid watches the show and sees a positive future for themselves, that’s the most important outcome.

“That’s worth more than any amount of money. As we said in our pitch, it was very important to us that anyone we work with is an ally to the trans and gender diverse community. Little did we know that one of the Shark’s was going through their own gender identity journey.

“We are not only grateful for Cat’s investment, which will help us grow our business, but we are so excited to have welcomed Cat into our queer family.”

Dr Catriona Wallace said her interest in appearing as an investor on Shark Tank had always been about supporting and promoting “socially purposed and minority led businesses.”

I have been a long time supporter and ally of the LGBTQ+ community so my attention peaked as Erin and Bec entered the Tank,” Dr Wallace said.

“The pitch from Erin and Bec was very compelling with Sock Drawer Heroes being one of the best companies we had seen on the show. It was an easy decision for me to invest – the founders were excellent, the business was profitable, it serves an important community and I identify as non-binary and gender queer.

“I am very happy that I can continue to support the community through my involvement with Bec and Erin and Sock Drawer Heroes.” 

You can watch the episode on Network Ten here: www.10play.com.au/shark-tank

To find out more about Sock Drawer Heroes’ range of products go to to www.sockdrawerheroes.com

For the latest LGBTIQA+ Sister Girl and Brother Boy news, entertainment, and community stories in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Andrew M Potts

Andrew has been covering LGBTQIA+ issues for a range of publications in Australia over two decades and was the Asia-Pacific correspondent for global LGBTQIA+ news website Gay Star News.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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