• Entertainment

What It's Like To Be On Shark Tank, And What Happens After You Close A Deal

Shark Tank is reality television at its finest. It's engrossing, entertaining, at times uplifting, sometimes uncomfortable, and always real. But what happens after you make a deal on Shark Tank? Is Shark Tank behind the scenes anything like what we see when the show airs? Is Shark Tank really real? The answers might surprise you.

Over the course of nine seasons, hundreds of deals have closed and millions of dollars have been invested. The show's biggest success story is the Scrub Daddy - a sponge, emblazoned with a smiley face, that softens in warm water and gets firm in cold water. Shark Lori Greiner paid $200,000 for 20% equity and then sales for the product went through the roof. Scrub Daddy's founders had $100,000 in sales before Shark Tank. After Shark Tank they earned over $50 million.

Find out what it's like to be on Shark Tank and take a swim through these interesting facts about the show.

  • The Shooting Schedule Is Grueling

    Photo: ABC

    Like most reality shows, Shark Tank doesn't film on a typical primetime shooting schedule. Because the sharks have multiple jobs and projects and many don't live in Los Angeles, CA,  the show is filmed in two marathon sessions - once in the summer and once in the fall.

    The seventh season, for example, took 17 days, filmed in two sessions, and required the sharks to be on set for a demanding 12 hours a day.

    No wonder they're always so hungry and grumpy.

  • There's No Communication Between Sharks And Entrepreneurs Prior To Taping

    Photo: ABC

    The tension and on-air standoffs between the sharks and the entrepreneurs are real. Entrepreneurs are purposely separated from the sharks before filming. There are no preliminary meetings, no schmoozing sessions, and no heads-up on pitches. Fraternizing is strictly forbidden.

    Part of this is because drama is central to the show and part of this is because the sharks are too exhausted to socialize. 

  • It's Next To Impossible To Get On The Show

    Photo: ABC

    During auditions, casting directors see hundreds of people on any given day. Of those chosen to move on, less than 1% make it to the final pitch in front of the sharks. The show producers are not only vetting the entrepreneurs, they're looking for good television.

    A good idea isn't enough; an interesting personality is necessary as well.

  • Not All Filmed Pitches Make It On The Air

    Photo: ABC

    Of the small entrepreneurial fraction that pitches to the sharks face-to-face, not even all of them will make it on the air. Let's not forgot that Shark Tank is first and foremost a TV show and TV shows are primarily interested in ratings.

    Since higher ratings come from better quality television, producers go through each filmed pitch and only choose the ones they feel will make for the most entertaining viewing experience.