Let’s face it – you can have the best business idea in the world, but investors won’t come and chase you on their own. You need to get exposure and tell your story. For that, you need to know how to get on Shark Tank.

What is a better way of landing investment funds than participation in the Shark Tank show? There is an open casting call almost all the time, so you may consider this idea. Being on Shark Tank means that over 5 million viewers will learn about your opportunity. You will get exposure, even if you don’t get funding. Of course, not all breakthrough business concepts make it thanks to the show, but Shark Tank can be your turning point.

Look at Xero Shoes, for example. They turned down the Shark Tank offer, as they weren’t ready to give up 50% ownership share. So it seems that they made the right decision, as they are now earning $2.5 million in sales per year.

YouTube player

Odds are, you do well on the Shark Tank casting, and present enthusiastically, but don’t get an offer. Yet, millions of potential customers will know about you. No wonder Shark Tank gets 45,000 applicants for each season. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get an offer. Every American who likes to watch Shark Tank will be aware of your existence, and that’s a good start!

Before you go on the Shark tank website and fill in an application, check the following:

  • Are you 18 or older?
  • Are you a citizen or a legal resident of the USA?
  • Are you affiliated in any way with the Shark Tank show or the ABC production?
  • Are you running for public office?
  • Do you have felony convictions?
  • Would you accept a background check before doing the Shark Tank audition?
  • Did any of your immediate family members participate in the show?
  • Are you fully vaccinated?

Of course, there are even more eligibility criteria down the candidate pipeline. Shark Tank participants report also doing lots of paperwork, and even being confused at times. If it is necessary, hire a lawyer to understand the obligations, and protect your invention.

The Shark Tank Casting – How to get on Shark Tank?

Essentially, there are two ways to get invited to the Shark Tank audition:

  1. An Open Call – Note, however, that the Season 15 Shark Tank casting doesn’t offer this possibility. The reasons are COVID-19 restrictions.
  2. An online application on the Shark Tank website

Get ready

How to get on Shark Tank? Once the application is in, it is time to do some prep work. Be patient and use time wisely. It may take months for the casting team to review it and reach out to you.

While you are waiting, start preparing for the phone calls and interviews. Even if the call never comes, you’d have invested time wisely to improve your business.

Keep in mind that the casting team wants to hear numbers. You need to know this inside and out and be ready for any forecast question. Shark Tank investors want to know everything about an idea, including the impact you expect to have on the market. There will be lots of conversations about numbers and data, so be confident. You need to prove that you understand what you’re getting yourself into.

Register at the patent office to protect your invention

Another thing that is very appreciated on the Shark Tank show is caution.

You need to apply for a patent in advance, and this will cost you about $200 to $500 depending on the product. The patent office will want to know the purpose and function of your product.

The phone interview

If things take a good turn and you do get invited to the next stage, prepare for a phone interview. You’ll get a confirmation letter where you are nominated as a finalist.

The first person of contact is the casting team producer. He will ask all sorts of questions about your business, such as your motivation, your background, plans, or experiences. At this stage, figures and charts are not yet that important.

In reality, the call with the producer lasts no longer than a couple of minutes. And yet, the pitch you pack inside them is the most important step you will do. The producer decides whether you can meet the Shark Tank judges. The better you present the idea to him, the better your chances.

Don’t only focus on the story, but also on how you present it. Excessive body language and facial expressions until you find them perfect. At that point, 50% of the job will be done.

Getting accepted

Congratulations! You are now officially selected to participate in the Shark Tank show!

Learning how to get on Shark Tank was not easy, but now you have the chance to pitch a product in front of millions of US viewers.

The finalist stage takes a while, so give it a few months. Time will go by sooner than you thought, and you should use it to prepare yourself for the biggest opportunity of your life. For instance, you may be ignoring the impact of camera and production lights, or the fact that you are about to face some of the richest Americans. This may be overwhelming if you have no experience, so give it some thought.

Remember, by the time the show airs, the Shark Tank investors will know everything about your business. Odds are, in the back of their head, they’ve already made a decision. Thus, they may ask very specific questions or expect that you pitch your idea very inventively.

Here are some common questions of the investors:

  • Where is your company now, compared to its competitors?
  • What motivated you to start this business?
  • How long have you been in business? Do you have other similar experiences?
  • Did you already try to raise money from other sources?
  • What is the ideal outcome of this show?
  • Please discuss your unique selling proposition
  • Are you associated with any organizations?
  • Have you won any awards for your invention?

And the list goes on and on.

Rehearse your start-off pitch

YouTube player

Good preparation is half of the job! The key is 1-2 minutes, so stay focused on the most important details. Shark Tank investors don’t have the time for matters that are not crucial and may lose interest soon. That’s the last thing you want, so stay focused on the details, and be ready for their questions.

You are not only selling a product, but you are selling yourself! It is all about how you negotiate your deal. Build expectations (both the bottom line and the ceiling number), and wrap up a figure to discuss on screen. Shark Tank investors may question that figure, so be ready to justify it.

Learn who the Sharks are

Don’t simply ask the Sharks to help you, but make an effort and tell a story. Present your unique approach, and focus on what is important to you. Why should the Sharks choose your product? What is it in there for them? If you know who they are and what they do, this will make it easier for you to get the finances you need into the picture.

Show that you are devoted and organized

More than anything else, this means that you need a patent and proper paperwork. The Shark Tank team will also appreciate it if you do marketing research and a pros-cons analysis, as well as at least one prototype to test. True, Sony pictures television is about fun, but you are presenting in front of investors. All they need to know is whether the idea is profitable or now.

Play fair

Of course, you can and you will make mistakes. What matters is not to try and fool the Sharks. The board is extremely experienced and intelligent, and won’t be impressed by complicated numbers and big words. Stay aware of the big picture, as your audience is millions of Americans who may or may not buy your product.

In essence, keep things simple. Be convincing, and don’t settle for the fits ‘No’ you get.

Have realistic expectations

Most participants who failed at Shark Tank failed because they had huge expectations. If you’re just starting, you can expect the investors to give you $1 million, that is more than clear.

Also, you should be ready to offer a fair ownership portion of the money you receive. It is not just the show, it is what happens afterward that matters the most!

Don’t get discouraged

If you watch past episodes, you will come to an important conclusion: Even if you don’t get funding, you will be exposed to millions of potential buyers. That’s how Shark Tank works – it promotes and pushes your business forward. Just make sure you do everything right from day one.

If things don’t work your way and you end up investing your own hard-earned cash, it is not the worst thing in the world. You should learn the lessons and keep trying.

What helps is to go through your participation and figure out the weak points. If you can explain why you didn’t get any Shark investment, your second attempt will be much better. Stay alert for the next open casting calls!

FAQ about how to get on Shark Tank

How do I apply to be on Shark Tank?

Entrepreneurs can fill out an online application on the official Shark Tank website to apply for the show. The application includes questions about the firm, the proposed good or service, and the entrepreneur’s past. Also, candidates must send a video of their proposal.

What kind of businesses or products do the Sharks invest in?

The Sharks on Shark Tank invest in a diverse spectrum of companies and goods, from consumer goods firms to startups in the technology industry. Nonetheless, they frequently seek out companies with strong growth prospects and differentiating features. The Sharks choose companies with a solid team and a well-defined growth strategy when making investments.

How do I prepare for my Shark Tank pitch?

Shark Tank pitch preparation includes rehearsing the pitch frequently, learning about the Sharks and their investment preferences, and having a solid grasp of the company’s finances. Entrepreneurs should also expect challenging questions from the Sharks and be ready to confidently respond to them.

How do I make my pitch stand out from the others?

Entrepreneurs should concentrate on their company’s distinct value proposition and leave a lasting impression on the Sharks in order to stand out during their Shark Tank pitch. This can be accomplished via imaginative imagery, captivating storytelling, and a compelling personality. Also, it’s critical to project confidence and enthusiasm for the proposed business.

What are the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make on Shark Tank?

Entrepreneurs frequently make errors on Shark Tank including being unprepared for difficult questions, overvaluing their company, negotiating too forcefully, and not knowing when to stop talking. It’s critical to exude confidence while remaining modest and open to the Sharks’ criticism.

How do I negotiate with the Sharks?

When negotiating with the sharks on Shark Tank, you must be ready to present a convincing argument for your company’s worthwhile being adaptable and willing to make concessions. It’s crucial to comprehend the Sharks’ investing preferences as well as the company’s financial situation and growth possibilities.

How much equity should I offer the Sharks?

The value of the company and the quantity of funding required determine the amount of equity given to the Sharks. Entrepreneurs should study market norms and be ready to haggle with the sharks about the stock split. It’s crucial to take into account the long-term effects of handing up firm equity.

What happens after I make a deal on Shark Tank?

The entrepreneur and the shark(s) will collaborate to discuss the conditions of the investment and finish the due diligence after reaching an agreement on Shark Tank. Via the Shark Tank platform, the business owner will also gain exposure for their enterprise, which may boost sales and brand recognition.

How can I increase my chances of getting a deal on Shark Tank?

Entrepreneurs should concentrate on making a compelling and concise argument, showcasing a strong team and development potential, and being willing to bargain with the Sharks to boost their chances of landing a deal on Shark Tank. It’s also critical to have a solid grasp of the company’s finances and to be well-prepared for challenging questions.

What should I expect during the Shark Tank filming process?

Entrepreneurs may anticipate spending many hours on set and being asked to pitch their company several times while the Shark Tank is being filmed.

Although the filming process can be demanding and stressful, it also presents a chance to get exposure to the company and obtain insightful feedback. Entrepreneurs need to be ready to maintain their energy and attention throughout the day.

Conclusion on how to get on Shark Tank

Shark Tank producers do an excellent job helping ambitious entrepreneurs around the country. It can help you promote your business and get the funding you need.

At the same time, success rates on the Shark Tank show are much higher than failure rates. Only 6% of participants throughout seasons 5 to 9 left without a deal. At the same time, only 20% of all participants on the show reported not making huge profits afterward. The live casting call for the next season looks even more promising.

Overall, the success rate of Shark Tank is 94%. This is a good enough reason for you to try your luck.

If you liked this article on how to get on Shark Tank, I have a few more interesting ones for you. Want to know the most successful Shark Tank products or where you can watch Shark Tank?

I also wrote about similar topics like who are the sharks on Shark Tank, who is the richest shark on Shark Tank, how much the sharks make on Shark Tank, the Shark Tank members’ net worth, and how Shark Tank works.


I'm the manager behind the Upcut Studio team. I've been involved in content marketing for quite a few years helping startups grow.