Maria Shriver Says Being on “Shark Tank” Was Son Patrick Schwarzenegger's 'Bucket List' Item: 'Dream Come True' (Exclusive)

The former First Lady of California tells PEOPLE that her product was inspired by her continual work with Alzheimer's advocacy following the death of her father

<p>Disney/Christopher Willard</p> (L) Patrick Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver on

Disney/Christopher Willard

(L) Patrick Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver on 'Shark Tank'

Maria Shriver is in the business of making her children's dreams come true.

Ahead of their entrepreneurial debut on Shark Tank on Friday, May 3, the former First Lady of California exclusively tells PEOPLE about how she created MOSH with her son Patrick Schwarzenegger — and why they decided to take a chance with the sharks.

"I'm super excited," Shriver, 68, says of the opportunity. "I can tell you that it was [on] Patrick's bucket list. Ever since that show premiered, ever since he had his own lemonade stand, he's been watching it religiously. He knows every episode, he knows everything about the show."

She adds fondly of the 30-year-old actor, "And he was always like, 'One day, I want to be a judge on this show. One day I want to go on this show. This is my favorite show. I want to be on this show.'"

Related: 18 Shark Tank Rules You Didn’t Know Entrepreneurs Have to Follow (Exclusive)

<p>Disney/Christopher Willard</p> Mark Cuban tries MOSH on 'Shark Tank'

Disney/Christopher Willard

Mark Cuban tries MOSH on 'Shark Tank'

According to Shriver, the road to presenting in front of Shark Tank's panel of potential investors — Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Daymond John and Kevin O'Leary — was not an easy one. After numerous attempts and rejections, the journalist says that Schwarzenegger worked hard as producers put him through his "paces" and made him "pass all of these hurdles."

"He was determined, and so we got on Shark Tank," she explains. "So I was so happy, actually, for him. Well, I'm happy for MOSH, but I was so happy for Patrick because it was just such a dream come true for him."

Finally, the mother-son duo were able to present MOSH, a protein bar packed with brain-loving ingredients. The bars — which come in a variety of flavors, including banana bread, cookie dough crunch and peanut butter chocolate — also aid in funding gender-based Alzheimer's research at the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement at the Cleveland Clinic.

Related: Inside the Tank: Proven Skincare's Co-Founder Reveals What It's Really Like to Be on Shark Tank

<p>Allen Berezovsky/WireImage</p> (L) Patrick Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver

Allen Berezovsky/WireImage

(L) Patrick Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver

Shriver says that her son has "always been interested in business" and the two were able to lift her long time dream of creating a protein bar off the ground when they moved in together during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I'm a protein bar fanatic and I had this dream, and he said, 'Let me do it. I'll help you."'And I was like, 'Oh, wow, really?'" she recalls. "He goes, 'Yeah, let me help you make your dream come true.' And he goes, 'I know people in this space. I know how to get it up and going, and I'll help you.'"

Though MOSH is the brain child of Shriver and Patrick, she reveals that her other children, Katherine, Christopher and Christina, whom she shares with her ex-husband Arnold Schwarzenegger, have helped every step of the way.

"Every one of the kids have been involved in it from picking colors to picking fonts, to tasting and testing every conceivable bar that we've gone through. And so I would say that all four of them are deeply involved," she continues.

Related: Maria Shriver On the Lesson She Teaches Her Kids: 'Never Take No For An Answer'

Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Sargent Shriver pose for a family photo with their grandchildren
Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Sargent Shriver pose for a family photo with their grandchildren

For Shriver, creating a brand that promoted healthy brain habits and fund research was of the utmost importance after her father, Robert Sargent Shriver Jr, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2003 and died of the disease in 2011.

"I've spent 20 plus years as an advocate in this space," she explains. "And I was the first person to write out and report out that women were disproportionately impacted by the disease because we had no research into our brains."

Shriver says that MOSH is an "educational tool" that's not only "nutritious" and "tastes good" but also "does good in the world."

"I didn't want to just go and start a protein bar company," she continues. "I wanted to start a protein bar that had a mission and a purpose, which was to get people thinking about their brains, thinking about what they put into their mouth, and thinking about how to live a lifestyle that when you get to my age, you've done all you can to try to prevent neurological disease. And that's why I'm proud of MOSH's success."

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