ABC’s hit business pitch show, Shark Tank, is holding two auditions in Utah this week. The first on April 16th is for entrepreneurs with ties to the University of Utah. The time is 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm at the Spencer F. Eccles Business Building.
An open casting will be held on April 17th from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at Salt Lake Community College on Redwood Road.
At both auditions, producers will screen one minute pitches from hopeful entrepreneurs. That means contestants will need to be engaging…and concise. A brief question period may occur as well.
Pitching to Shark Tank producers will be very different than pitching to venture capital investors. Professional investors have their favorite businesses they like to invest in but tend to use these five criteria over and over again.
1. Founder(s) – Who are they, what is their experience and would they work well with the investor? Personality counts.
2. The idea – What is it, how is it unique/better and where is it now? Be clear about what development stage your product is in. If it doesn’t exist, show market research to establish there is a demand.
3. Scalability – Is this a product for venture capital? Not every business fits the venture model. If it’s clearly a venture fit, it doesn’t need much time in the presentation.
4. Traction – Is there a demand for the product? If the judge doesn’t immediately “get it,” evidence needs to be provided in the presentation that demand exists.
5. Team – Besides the founder, who else is working on the company? Who are the suppliers? If other people have bought into a startup idea, investors will be more convinced of the company’s viability.
In the one minute format, the most important component is a brief statement explaining what the company does and what makes it stand out. TV producers will look for all of these plus personality and confidence levels.
Only 500 applicants will be seen at the open casting on April 17th. Get there early, have your packet completed and use these tips for the best chance at moving on to the next round.