Swimming with the Sharks: An Inside Look at the Shark Tank Experience

Here are the top questions we got asked when we told people we'd be appearing on Shark Tank. Vibes' founder will appear on Shark Tank tonight on ABC at 9/8c!

What drove you to apply to be on Shark Tank?

I was actually not planning on applying for this season of Shark Tank. After only having been in business for four months, I received an email from ABC asking me to give them a call. I originally thought the email was spam, as I thought there was no way they would be contacting me about appearing on Shark Tank, but ended up giving them a call, and they encouraged me to apply to be on the show. After applying, I had to compete against 50,000 other businesses, starting with a submission video, and continuing with a process that got more intense as the competing businesses were narrowed down.

How did you prepare for appearing on the show?

I had about one month to prepare for the show, between the time they told me I was accepted and filming. Aside from getting all the financial information about the business in order, you have to figure out how to make your segment entertaining and interesting, as well. Shark Tank is a television show, after all, and it was really important for me to telling a compelling story about Vibes. You have to be prepared to be asked any questions that could possibly be asked about you and your business, so you have to get to know your business inside and out to be ready to answer whatever comes at you.

What can you tell us about what it was like to give your pitch to such powerful people?

Giving a normal investor pitch is difficult and stressful enough, as it is. But, a pitch with no introduction or pleasantries, no notes, no slides, where the investors know nothing about you, cameras are on you, it’s your one shot, and being front of the biggest celebrity venture capitalists in the world, makes it a pretty intense, unforgettable experience. Knowing that your pitch will not only be heard by the powerful people in front of you, but also millions of people around the country adds a lot of pressure. They call it Shark Tank for a reason!
What did you learn from the experience of being on the show?

Having minimal experience with public speaking and business pitches, it was a personal challenge to put myself in such a public, vulnerable position. Being on the show early in the life of our company, we had to take a much closer, much more long-term look at the company, our finances, and our strategy, than we would have otherwise.

Do the sharks really know nothing about you or your company before you walk in?

Yes, they really don’t know anything about you until you walk through the doors. You have to be able to give them the full story on you and your company in the short amount of time you have for your pitch.

What’s something people might not know about the filming of Shark Tank episodes?

Something you don’t realize is although it seems like a short amount of time on television, about seven minutes for most segments, at least in my case, I was up in front of the sharks for an amount of time several times longer than what you will see on the show.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who want to get their idea on Shark Tank?

It’s as much about your story as your product. Even if you have the world’s coolest product, if you don’t have a good, compelling story, they likely won’t pay any attention to you.

Was there anything that you didn’t get to talk about in your pitch that you wish you would have?

Yes. There was so much going on, I never mentioned our giveback partnership with Hear the World Foundation. Each pair of Vibes purchased includes a donation that helps fund hearing healthcare projects for children and families around the world in need.