How to Get on ‘Shark Tank,’ According to Contestants and the Sharks

Shark Tank judges

Shark Tank judges Getting on Shark Tank isn’t easy. | ABC

Ever wonder how to get on Shark Tank? Well, you and a couple other hundred thousand applicants each season feel the same. The show that introduced American households to wildly successful products, such as Scrub Daddy and Tipsy Elves, consistently attracts millions of viewers every week. It’s the type of game-changing exposure and publicity that could become the big break your newest business idea needs.

But, like many reality shows, getting face time with the investor Sharks on Shark Tank is easier said than done. The application process is meant to test even the most motivated entrepreneurs. And without a little insider information, it’s unlikely you’ll make it past the initial application.

Luckily, The Cheat Sheet got down to the nitty-gritty for how you can increase your odds of getting on the show, including some fun facts you probably never knew about the process. Read on for our step-by-step approach, highlighting everything from the application and audition process to the secrets for getting your pitch accepted by one of the Sharks.

1. Pick your application poison

Interested entrepreneurs have the option of submitting an email application or attending an open casting call to apply for Shark Tank. Regardless of your chosen method, all applicants are required to complete the 17-page, handwritten application first.

Sure, there’s the standard stuff, such as your business name, gross profit, the stage your company is in, and the number of years in business. But the show also digs into your past with a background check, inquiring about open restraining orders or prior felony convictions. Then, you sign your life away, promising the rights to your audition video and not to sue.

Next: What happens when you make it through step one

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