Ever dream of swimming with the sharks? Not in the deep blue—but in the high-stakes ocean of entrepreneurship on prime time TV.

Imagine the lights, the camera, and the heart-racing moment when you pitch that big idea to a circle of industry titans.

Yeah, we’re navigating how to get on Shark Tank—the launchpad propelling business ventures into the stratosphere. Here, in this no-nonsense guide, unlock the vault to venture capital TV shows.

You’ve got a groundbreaking product, a business plan ironclad enough to withstand a hurricane, and an infectious passion.

Tap into an arsenal of strategies: from honing that knockout pitch presentation to detailed financial projections.

We’re about to break down the Shark Tank casting process, dish out audition tips you can’t afford to ignore, and pepper it with advice straight from the Sharks’ mouths—because when it comes to securing a coveted spot on ABC’s hit series, you want the inside scoop.

Power through, and you’ll grasp the lifelines to pull yourself aboard—an entrepreneur’s ultimate prizefight. Let’s dive in.

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.


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


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 On How To Get On Shark Tank

What’s the initial step to apply for Shark Tank?

Crafting that knockout application is your ticket in. Head to the Shark Tank website, find the application form, and fill it with your business’s story.

Attention to detail is a deal-maker—showcase the uniqueness and potential profitability of your venture. It’s like setting up your first date; you gotta impress!

Is there a secret to a successful Shark Tank pitch?

The secret sauce? Be more than just numbers. Yep, financials matter, but your story, the passion igniting your startup idea, that’s pure gold.

Remember, it’s a pitch, not a board meeting. Make them feel your dedication; let them taste the success—a recipe that casts a spell on those Sharks.

Can a solo entrepreneur get on the show?

Solo or team, the stage welcomes all. What’s vital is the strength of your vision and the backbone of your business.

If you’re a one-person army with a product prototype that turns heads and a business valuation to drop jaws—those Sharks will bite.

What are Sharks really looking for in a business?

It’s a blend: innovation meets market potential. Sharks are on the hunt for a business that fills a gap, ripples the market landscape, or reinvents a wheel with flair.

Plus, they want an entrepreneur audition that’s memorable—for all the right reasons.

How important is the business valuation when presenting?

Think of valuation as the anchor in Shark-infested waters. Too high, you drift away from deal shores; too low, and you undervalue your blood, sweat, and years. 

Strike a balance—a realistic financial projection sharks can sink their teeth into without biting off your head.

What sets apart successful Shark Tank applicants from the rest?

Successful applicants marry confidence with due diligence. They possess a command over the business pitch tips they’re presenting and articulate a clear trajectory for growth.

Also, being adaptable and showing that you can navigate the rough waters of entrepreneurship—traits that signal a savvy skipper.

Should an NDA be part of my Shark Tank arsenal?

In the Shark Tank arena, an NDA is your sword sheathed. Sharing ideas openly is part of the show’s DNA.

If your pitch hinges on trade secrets, ensure intellectual property protection like patents is in place beforehand. But remember, the Sharks respect innovation, not concealment.

How vital is an elevator pitch for Shark Tank?

The elevator pitch is your battle cry—short, powerful, defining the soul of your brand. Master this, and you’ve got your foot through the door before the main event.

It tells the Sharks you mean business, and you value time—yours and theirs.

How can I make my business stand out to the Sharks?

Simple: don’t be a minnow among dolphins. Innovate in a way that your business becomes an entity—undeniable and captivating.

A clear, concise pitch, spiced with unique features and a clear path to profitability, is a neon sign to a Shark’s investor instinct.

After applying, how long does it take to hear back?

Patience, padawan. The casting reel spins for a while—weeks, sometimes months.

Meanwhile, the Shark Tank application tips whisper: refine your business model, tighten your pitch, and prepare as if the call comes tomorrow.

When it does, you better be ready to shine.


Diving into the Shark-infested waters, you armed yourself with the ins and outs, the do’s and the crucial don’ts of how to get on Shark Tank. It’s a hefty swim, with no room for half-baked ideas or nerves that crack under HD lighting.

Brush off the business plan. Keep it crisp, yet detailed. Master your elevator pitch—that’s your handshake from across the room. Lock down your numbers, market analysis, and those genius strategies that’ll get a Shark to bite.

Hey, remember, the application is only the beginning. What follows is prep, polish, and a sprinkle of patience. And when that call comes? Stand tall, pitch with heart, and maybe, just maybe, those doors swing wide open.

So, whether you secure that coveted handshake or taste rejection, know this: You’ve braved the deep. You’ve stared down giants. Heads up, stay relentless. The game of entrepreneurship never taps out.

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.