Can you get on the next season of Shark Tank?

Since my national InkFlip TV debut (which also happened to be my national TV finale) I often get asked by other entrepreneurs about both the PROCESS of getting onto Shark Tank and the LIKELIHOOD that there will be another season.

Personally I found the process of getting on the show for to be relatively painless. Here's how it went.

  • In early July of 2009 I was told by a friend that she heard about a show for entrepreneurs that ABC was filming and that they were still taking applications. I believe she said, "You've always got all these crazy ideas - you'd be perfect for them".
  • Not knowing anything other than what she told me I went to the ABC web site, found the Shark Tank section and clicked on the Casting link.
  • On this page I found the following information - which is still there as I make this blog post:
  • I typed up an email, included the photo below, and, as I was about to press send literally said, OUT LOUD, "This is going off into hyperspace, I just wasted a bunch of time."
  • In less than 24 hours my phone range and I was being interviewed for 20 - 30 minutes by a representative from Mark Burnett Productions. I was STUNNED!
  • 24 hours later I was asked to submit an official application which included signing a lengthy legal agreement and submitting a home-made video. The video included me both giving my "pitch" in 2 - 3 minutes and answering a number of questions (posed by an off-camera neighbor).
  • Within a week of submitting my official application and video I was interviewed several additional times on the phone and then told that I was a "finalist" which meant there was a good chance I would be receiving a plane ticket to Hollywood.
  • Three weeks later my plane touched down at LAX... and the rest is history.
All in all the application and interview process was pretty simple and pretty low stress. I would absolutely do it again and I would absolutely encourage anyone thinking about applying to hit the send button and see what happens!

Before you apply, however, you may want to consider that there has been NO CONFIRMATION THAT THERE WILL BE ANOTHER SEASON OF SHARK TANK. ABC has not said yes or no, they simply have not said anything. Just the same, there may be an alternative worth considering.

Dragon's Den, the Canadian version of the show, is now casting (Season 6) and, as best anyone can tell, it's open to all (i.e. not just Canadians). Here's a LINK if you're interested. The show is very similar in format to Shark Tank and even has two of the ABC Sharks on the panel - Kevin O'Leary and Robert Herjavec - who are both Canadian born. It seems that you can apply online like I did for Shark Tank or in person (ala American Idol) by looking at the Audition Cities and Locations tour schedule (follow link above). Auditions are currently in progress so if you're interested you'll need to move quickly.

Having no idea about the audition process for Dragon's Den I would say it's likely not the same as I described above for Shark Tank.

Should Shark Tank be picked up for another season I'm sure the application pool will be much larger and thus make it more difficult to get on the air. As I discovered through my Shark Tank experience however, if you've got a solid idea and an entertaining presentation (meaning really good OR bad - again think American Idol, specifically William Hung) you've got a shot and SHOULD take it.

Next thing you know you'll be writing your own blog - feel free to plug!

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