Kids of fallen 9/11 firefighter take his invention to ‘Shark Tank’

The children of Keith Young, who died of 9/11-related cancer, pitched his innovative cutting board to the Sharks, who all collaborated on a deal

CULVER CITY, Calif. — The children of a firefighter who died of 9/11-related cancer took his invention, as well as his story, in front of the “Shark Tank” judges.

CNBC reported that FDNY firefighter and two-time “Chopped” champion Keith Young was honored by his children, Kaley, Christian and Keira, when they pitched his product, the Cup Board Pro.


A post shared by Keith Young (@firehousechefky) on

Young created the bamboo cutting board, which comes with an attachable tray for food scraps as well as strategically-placed grooves that make for easy cleanup.

During their pitch, the Youngs played an audition video Keith had filmed for “Shark Tank” before his death in March.

Kaley also told the Sharks that, before their father died, his venture into building the product was put on hold when their mother, Beth, died of breast cancer in 2012.

Young went on to compete on “Chopped” after her death and won twice, and Kaley said it was this experience that prompted him to move forward with Cup Board Pro. He made 2,000 units of the product before being diagnosed with cancer.


A post shared by Keith Young (@firehousechefky) on

The children were determined to see their father’s dream come to reality and sold 300 of the boards before appearing on “Shark Tank.”

"Honestly, it's kind of hard to overwhelm the three of us because of just the amount of stress you go through seeing your loved ones sick. We are only able to be here because of how strong our parents were," Kaley told the Sharks.

The Sharks were not only impressed with the product, but moved by the story as well. They collaborated  on a deal and offered the Youngs $100,000 for 20 percent of the business. However, any profits the Sharks make on the product will go to a charity that helps firefighters who have fallen ill due to efforts after 9/11.

"Your story is amazing," Mark Cuban said. "Obviously, you have a million reasons to be proud. And your father will live on forever through each of you and this product. But rather than us fight it all out, we decided to work together."

John O’Leary told the Youngs that the Shark collaboration rarely occurs.

"In fact, it pretty well never happens," he said.

The Youngs accepted the offer.

"This is the beauty of entrepreneurship," Cuban said. "They're going to be able to support themselves. This is going to be a product that's going to go on forever."


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