Kingonomics registrants will receive priority pitch opportunities at the open call, which includes coaching. The way it works is that participants will get one minute to pitch.
“So, you have to fine-tune your elevator pitch to the point where the casting directors feel like in one minute your company is one that they will want to take a closer look at,” explains Sampson.
Entrepreneurs simply get the opportunity to pitch. There is no guarantee of funding.
“Your company has to stand on its own on a valuation perspective.” He adds, “if someone says ‘I am raising $200,000 for 10% of my company’ what you are telling shark-type investors is that your company has a valuation of $2 million. If you sold it today you would get $2 million for it.”
Investors aren’t your friends; they are looking for a return on investment, Sampson cautions as someone who is an accredited investor (individual with a network more than $1 million or annual income over $200,000). “Investors look at valuation. We look at teams. We look at marketability. We look at track record. We look at differentiation. We look at innovation. We look at your branding. You have to understand that investors are looking for good deals for themselves.”
For those companies that casting directors are interested in, there is still a long vetting process involving a background check and intellectual property or patent checks, notes Sampson.
If you don’t make it on this season you may make it on another season. The number of competitors has steadily grown. During the Shark Tank’s premiere season in 2009, roughly 42 entrepreneurs tried to convince the Sharks to invest in them. By last year’s season 4, that number of entrepreneurs to swim with the Sharks had more than doubled, at 104.
What if you can’t make DC’s casting call on the 23rd, no worries Sampson says, since the producers are actively looking for companies to pitch on the show. Find out more by visiting the link DC.Kingonomics.com.