I really enjoy the TV show, Shark Tank, created by Mark Burnett. The show has been very popular since it was introduced in September of 2009. The show is a platform for inventors and business entrepreneurs where they have the opportunity to make proposals to investors that have the money – but they aren’t willing to offer it for just any ideas or concepts.
The lenders are considered to be the sharks. If one or more of the sharks shows an interest, then the contestant can make a deal with them. That means the pitch has to be really good or the person will leave the room empty handed. What the viewers see is about a 10 minute pitch, condensed from the actual 1 hour they have for the presentation. The amount of air time available makes this necessary.
The sharks can be very brutal and they can find problems and risks too great with the proposals. In addition to the regular panel of investors, there are often guest investors that are on the show for either an episode or a given season. Even though many ideas are declined, the investors have put over $12 million into the backing of some of the ideas, so there is success coming from it.
One of the concerns from the program is that someone has an idea and others steal it after they see it on the show. Keep in mind though that what viewers see taking place isn’t live but it has already been pre-recorded over time. Therefore, the ideas that are going to be accepted have already been protected through the right channels before that information is seen publicly.
As for those that aren’t accepted, people can use them as a foundation to create something better. That is a risk that the inventors on Shark Tank have to take if they want to attempt to get the money for something they really believe in. They too have the chance to make improvements on their proposal in the hopes that it will be financially backed at some point.
There are open auditions for the show annually. For season 3, there were more than 36,000 applicants for the small number of contestants on Shark Tank. The 6th season will begin airing in September of 2014.