November 29, 2023

Love Shark Tank? Let's Dive Into Entrepreneurship

By B&SC Blog Team

Love Shark Tank? Let's Dive Into Entrepreneurship

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur hoping to start your own business one day, then you have probably heard of Shark Tank – the ultimate business reality TV series – which offers thought leaders and innovators an opportunity to present their ideas to some of the most powerful venture capitalists of our time.

Shark Tank provides viewers with a stimulating and exciting experience, all while giving them a basic business education. It’s the perfect binge-watching opportunity for anyone wanting to be in charge of their own business career.

What Is Shark Tank?

Shark Tank is an American reality TV show that first aired on the ABC network in 2009 and has recently begun its 15th season. As one of the most beloved shows on network TV, it appeals to those who aspire to build a company or take on leadership positions in business. The show’s premise is simple yet effective: Aspiring entrepreneurs are invited to pitch their business ideas to venture capitalists, otherwise known as the “sharks.” Over the course of its time on the air, products in which the sharks have invested have generated more than $8 billion in revenue.

How Does Shark Tank Work?

For nearly 15 years, the premise of the show has remained consistent, and that’s because it’s utterly enthralling to watch. Budding entrepreneurs are selected from a large pool of contestants and invited to give a product pitch to the sharks on the show. The show’s Wikipedia entry notes:

• About 40,000 entrepreneurs apply to be on the show each season, with only 1,000 advancing to the next stage of consideration.

• Of those 1,000 entrepreneurs, 150 have the opportunity to make a pitch. Fewer than 100 will be showcased on air.

In real life, the pitches last for about 45 minutes, and the sharks subject the entrepreneurs to intense questioning and feedback. On the show, viewers see about 11 minutes of footage.

If one of the sharks is impressed enough, they will offer a handshake deal at the end of the show —the pinnacle of success for a contestant. If none of the sharks are interested, the entrepreneur walks away with nothing.

Do the Sharks Use Their Own Money?

The sharks are venture capitalists, meaning they are “self-made” millionaires and billionaires seeking lucrative business investment opportunities. While they are paid cast members of the show, they do rely on their own wealth in order to invest in the entrepreneurs’ products and services. They consistently consider equity and valuation when determining whether they want to make a deal.

Who Are the Sharks?

The venture capitalists, or sharks, who appear on the show are known for their larger-than-life personalities and intense approach to business. Each shark has earned their own reputation over the years, with some being more sympathetic and others being particularly critical.

The sharks on Shark Tank include:

Daymond John

Today, Daymond John is worth more than $350 million, and that could be because he launched his business career at the age of 10 selling flyers for $2 per hour. He is most well-known for founding the company FUBU (For Us, Buy Us), which began as a clothing company in his mother’s basement and grew into a beloved national brand.

His lifelong passion for business development has made him the perfect shark for the show, where he is known for working with partners to secure business deals. He has made more than 60 deals on the show.

Barbara Corcoran

Long-time cast member Barbara Corcoran has a net worth of about $100 million. Her entrepreneurial endeavors began on the streets of New York City in the 1970s, when she took $1,000 and invested it in the real estate market. She quickly grew her investments into one of the most well-known real estate brokerages in the city, The Corcoran Group.

On the show, Corcoran is known for her kind and empathetic approach; when she doesn’t want to make a deal, she tries to let the entrepreneur down gently. During her time in the cast, she has made more than 53 deals. Though she is known for going it alone, she occasionally partners with other cast members.

Robert Herjavec

Robert Herjavec is a Canadian business investor who boasts a net worth of about $300 million. Over the course of his time in the cast, Herjavec has become known as the one shark willing to invest big money in the products he believes in. He has made nearly 60 deals on Shark Tank, worth more than $16 million in investments.

Kevin Harrington

Kevin Harrington was one of the original sharks on the show, and he is most famous for being the inventor of the infomercial. During his run of 131 episodes, Harrington made more than 40 deals; he is considered one of the most successful sharks on the show. His net worth is estimated at more than $400 million.

Kevin O’Leary

Widely considered to be the toughest shark to face, Kevin O’Leary is fierce and intense. His business career began in the 1980s, when he co-founded a tech company that created products rooted in both education and entertainment. Today his net worth is nearly $400 million, and he has successfully made more than 40 deals on the show. O’Leary is a fan favorite, even if his approach may feel aggressive at times.

Mark Cuban

Arguably the most famous shark on the show, Mark Cuban is known for his lifelong love of entrepreneurial endeavors. He began his own business career at the age of 12, when he went knocking on doors in his neighborhood to sell garbage bags. Although his career was rooted in the tech industry, today he is known for being a reality star, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and a best-selling author.

According to CNBC, Cuban’s net worth is about $5.1 billion, making him one of the wealthiest sharks on the show. Not surprisingly, he has struck the most deals, with his handshake agreements totaling more than 218. Most of the time, he makes partnership agreements, and his favorite person to partner with is Lori Greiner.

Lori Greiner

Known for her creativity and business prowess, Lori Greiner is an innovative business owner with more than 120 patents to her name. Her net worth exceeds $150 million, giving her plenty of capital to invest on the show. Shark Tank fans have come to love Greiner’s approach, as she is often able to instantly determine whether she thinks a product will be a hit. She has made more than 60 deals on the show.

Famous Guest Hosts

In addition to its regular cast, Shark Tank also has celebrities act as guest hosts. According to Shark Tank Products, celebrity guest hosts have included:

• Kevin Hart

• Gwyneth Paltrow

• Maria Sharapova

• Alex Rodriguez

• Ashton Kutcher

• Jeff Foxworthy

Shark Tank Successes

Investopedia lists some of the most successful products and deals to emerge from the show:

• Sleep Styler – A $75,000 deal made by Lori Greiner that resulted in more than $100 million in sales.

• The Original Comfy – A $50,000 deal made by Barbara Corcoran that resulted in more than $150 million in sales.

• Squatty Potty – A $350,000 deal made by Lori Greiner that resulted in more than $175 million in sales.

Business Advice From Shark Tank

Contestants on the show as well as viewers have learned valuable business lessons from Shark Tank. Here are some key takeaways from the show:

Understand Your Competition

When you launch a new product or service, you are entering one of the most cut-throat industries. Knowing who you are up against and understanding your audience is crucial to your success.

Confidence Is Key

As an entrepreneur, you first have to sell yourself before you can sell your product to a venture capitalist. Believing in yourself and developing confidence and poise is necessary to secure the deal.

Negotiation Is Part of the Game

Don’t accept the first offer you are given. Anyone willing to invest in you wants to see that you have the negotiation skills needed to succeed in the world of business, so don’t be afraid to partake in a little back-and-forth.

Don’t Give Up

You are going to get turned down. You are going to be told no. Persistence is the key to succeeding as an entrepreneur; all it takes is one yes, but you may have to showcase your product many different times before you get that answer.

Listen to Criticism

Criticism can be hard to hear. In the case of Shark Tank contestants, they are forced to listen to criticism about their products that may also be aired on national television. However, you can take that criticism as constructive feedback to grow into a better business leader and create a more enticing product.

Networking Can Be Worth More Than Money

The end goal of presenting your product or idea to a wide range of business investors is to secure the capital you need for your project. Yet networking with these top-tier professionals can actually be worth more than the money you secure. These are business leaders who may be able to give you reliable advice or constructive feedback. And while they may not be the right fit for your project, they likely know someone else who is.

Share Past Successes

Investors will feel more confident in you if they know you have had previous business success. Don’t be afraid to showcase those successes as part of your pitch.

Know Your Numbers and Finances

When making a pitch, you should be upfront, honest, and succinct. Come in prepared with the money you will need to start your own business and rely on data and metrics to come up with an estimate for the amount of revenue you think your product can generate.

Start Your Journey in Business With Bryant & Stratton College

Shark Tank may be both entertaining and informative, but the best way to build a company and gain investors is to enroll in a business degree program that equips you with foundational knowledge and relevant business skills. At Bryant & Stratton College, we provide a business education that allows you to take control of your own career.

We offer degree programs that will give you a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing, an associate degree in business, or a Business Assistant diploma, among other programs. Though these business programs may not guarantee your success on Shark Tank, they will surely set you on the right course to establish a rewarding and long-lasting career.

Request more information about our business degree programs today.

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