Matt Higgins has a story made for TV.
He’s a true rags-to-riches success, escaping poverty in Queens to become a huge success in the worlds of business, sports and politics. Higgins is a Dolphins vice chairman and Stephen Ross’ partner in RSE Ventures, their New York-based private investment company.
Sounds like just the kind of person the show Shark Tank celebrates.
And celebrate him they will this fall, as Higgins will be a guest host on the hit reality television program that helps aspiring entrepreneurs get their businesses on track.
“I literally came from nothing,” Higgins, 43, said Wednesday at Dolphins camp. “Sixteen years old, living in a shoebox apartment in Queens, taking care of my sick mother. I had government cheese in the refrigerator. I was poor as you can get. I think this country’s about endless possibility. You have no excuses not to make the most of your life. There’s no room to be a victim. I think the show shows that every week.”
For those who have somehow never seen the program, Shark Tank lets small business owners pitch their product to a panel of “Sharks” — deep pocketed rock stars of the world of commerce, including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban — who compete over who can invest in the company.
That’s basically what Higgins does at RSE Ventures, where he has either built or helped grow successful products like the International Champions Cup soccer tournament, Vayner Media and the Momofuku restaurant empire.
Now he’ll try to do the same in front of a network television audience.
Higgins, a former Jets executive and one-time spokesman for then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, met people from with Sony Pictures Television (which produces the show) a while back and they were intrigued by his back story.
They eventually asked him to join the show as a guest host — joining the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Bethenny Frankel and Charles Barkley — and he jumped at the opportunity.
They have already taped his appearances; it’s unclear when (and in how many appearances) he will appear.
“Everything we do is about taking a visionary entrepreneur that’s at an inflection point,” Higgins said of RSE. “Maybe they’re missing something to get the rest of the way there, and we supply it.
“... I’ve probably watched every single episode,” he continued. “For me, it represents everything I’ve gone through in my own life, in my own journey as an entrepreneur.And it also helped give me an outlet to pay it forward to someone who’s trying to make that same transition that I did as a kid. It doesn’t mean they’re coming out of poverty, per se, but making hard decisions to leave their job, to mortgage their house to give up their 401(k), I love being part of that dream.”