Utah Shark Tank Hopefuls Bring Everything – Including Kitchen Sink

Business hopefuls line up in front of the student center at SLCC for a chance to appear on Shark Tank.

Business hopefuls line up in front of the student center at SLCC for a chance to appear on Shark Tank.

It wasn’t exactly a kitchen sink that Craig Jensen wheeled into the holding room at SLCC in hopes of getting on ABC’s Shark Tank show, but it was close. Jensen’s invention is a utility sink that connects to any washer to provide instant hot/cold water and drainage. Pretty ingenious? Jensen hopes the show’s producers think so.

About a 150 entrepreneurs lined up outside the student center in Taylorsville to get their chance of appearing on the hit reality show that could provide major exposure and money to their startup businesses.

The first 500 hopefuls were provided wristbands to guarantee their position to give a one minute pitch to casting producers. The “Salsa Queen” Maharba Zapata was one such entrepreneur. Made up like a Mexican “day of the dead” character, Zapata was hoping to get funding to expand her year old salsa business.

Nicolas San Juan was there to pitch his children’s athletic coaching business which uses high-tech sports balls. He’s seeking funding to develop a soccer ball prototype and launch a kickstarter. Other businesses included a silk screener for custom printing on flowers and a local kale chip manufacturer.

Despite the amount of props, costumes and gimmicks brought to the audition, the show’s producers said they wouldn’t be allowed. Addressing the group, the lead producer explained this audition was about the individual presenter. Could the person auditioning tell a compelling story in one minute? It’s the classic elevator pitch scenario, no props, no slide decks and no charts. But in this instance, you’re not in an elevator with Mark Cuban, you’re in a room with one of his representatives.

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