‘Shark’ successes share secrets to getting on show
- Last Updated: 11:58 PM, April 25, 2012
- Posted: 11:01 PM, April 24, 2012
If the chances of a new business succeeding are two in five, the chances of getting your new business on ABC’s hit business show “Shark Tank” are a handful in 24,000.
That’s how many entrepreneurs applied to get on the show in the last year, producers say. And that was before “Shark” broke out of the Friday night wasteland of low-rated programming.
The art of getting in front of the show’s panel of multi-millionaire investors is only now starting to take shape.
Emily Johnson‘s family needed a cash infusion when a massive fire destroyed their North Carolina home and wiped out their inventory of Flip Outz bracelets, which she hoped would catch on with kids.
“I filled out an application online and they probably called us within a week,” the mom of three says.
The Johnsons — who eventually made a $100,000 deal with three of the millionaire moguls— had something “Shark Tank” wanted: a compelling story of woe and redemption.
Some inventors and small business owners show up at the two open casting calls “Shark” staged last year in Dallas and LA — the kind you normally see for shows like “American Idol.”
“We also have a team of producers who go through the business magazines, reach out to colleges’ think tanks trying to find business and products that perhaps might not apply to ‘Shark Tank’,” producer Clay Newbill tells The Post.
Most begin with an e-mail application submitted at the show’s Web site.
“I changed the signature on our e-mail to a picture of my brothers and I.” says Dan Mastronardo, whose family skin care business, Nardo’s Naturals, received a $75,000 investment from Barbara Corcoran this season.
“That is what I really think influenced the call back. They really liked that we threw ourselves in there as the face of the company.”
Applications are screened in LA and the best are asked to submit short videos.
“We shot ours in the basement,” Johnson says.
“We put the product up on the table and had the kids talk about it. We also showed a picture of the house that just burned down.”
If you pass a background check, you get flown to LA.
For Season 3, 80 pitches were filmed in front of the sharks — Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, Corcoran and Kevin O’Leary. Fifty-eight aired.
“We are looking for wow ideas: the kind when you hear it, you go ‘Wow, why didn’t I think of that?’ ” says Newbill.
“But we’ve got to have the mom and pops, too — because that, at it’s core, is what the show is all about: the American dream, the American entrepreneur.”