'Mensch on a Bench' maker returning to ABC's 'Shark Tank' Friday

CINCINNATI – The Mensch on a Bench is heading back into the Shark Tank.

Neal Hoffman, the Madeira entrepreneur who created “Mensch on Bench” – basically a Hanukkah-themed take on “Elf on a Shelf” – will return to ABC’s “Shark Tank” Friday night.

The show will take a look at some of the moves the company has made since Hoffman first appeared on the show and talk about some of the future additions they have in the works.


Hoffman previously appeared on the show to pitch Mensch on a Bench and ended up giving up 15 percent ownership of the business to Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec for $150,000.

For Hoffman, who described himself as more of a marketing guy than a manager, going on Shark Tank was “less about the money” and more about “trying to make sure we got the right person” he a business partner, he said last year.

Before his initial appearance on the show, Hoffman did his research. He looked into the “sharks,” read their books and watched previous episodes of the show, then delivered copy of the Mensch on a Bench with a personal message to each of them.

The toy comes with a book about Moshe the Mensch, an honorable man who stayed up all night in a Maccabean temple to make sure its Menorah kept burning. Even before the “Shark Tank” appearance, Hoffman said it drew a lot of support from the Jewish community in Cincinnati.
 

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