Get Money: Braving “Shark Tanks” for Cash

Expert advice and resources for entrepreneurs who want to raise financing for their business

Are you ready to swim with "sharks" like FUBU Founder Daymond John?

Business is about competition—for customers, for market share, for employees and yes, for financing. When you are looking for capital to launch or expand your venture, you are likely to be tapping the same sources as millions of other entrepreneurs. Lenders and investors are looking to answer just one question: Which of these entrepreneurs have the best ideas, and are most likely to make my loan to or investment in their businesses pay off?

Business plan competitions boil this concept down to its essence, identifying a group of entrepreneurs and inviting them to literally compete for the capital and expertise they need to take their business idea from concept to reality, or their venture to the next level. These competitions now include those sponsored by university business schools (the originators of such contests), others  funded by major corporations looking to identify new suppliers, and reality TV shows such as ABC’s Shark Tank. Nearly all of these competitions require you to submit yourself and your business plan to the scrutiny of business experts, financiers, bankers, accomplished entrepreneurs and others who will decide which business ideas are worthy of investing in—and which are not worth the paper the business plan is printed on. While the most obvious incentive for braving these competitions is a major cash infusion for your business, even more valuable is the chance to gain access to expert advice and business contacts that might otherwise be unaffordable or inaccessible to you as a new entrepreneur.

If you have a great business plan, the ability to effectively articulate your business model, and the courage to face merciless criticism and even cold rejection, business plan competitions could be a great source of funds for your business.

ABC’s Shark Tank: The producers of the new ABC reality series Shark Tank are on “a nationwide search to discover the next successful–and possibly wealthy—entrepreneurs, inventors, businesspersons, dreamers, promoters, creators and innovators.”

In each episode, aspiring entrepreneurs are given the unprecedented chance to convince a panel of business moguls and potential investors (the “sharks”), such as FUBU Founder Daymond Johns, to provide the financial backing necessary to bring their business concepts, products or services to the marketplace—in return for an equity stake in the ventures. A really hot idea could prompt a “feeding frenzy”, causing the sharks to compete for the chance to invest by bidding up the level of financing offered.

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  • http://sharedaluv.com ShareDaLuv

    This article is real helpful to a new entrepreneur that’s trying to get a grasp on what to expect when looking for investors to infuse their business. I’m an entrepreneur, and i have found out if you build up your business credit first you’ll have better chances of finding an investor for your idea. One of the main resources i use is http://gboogie.net to help educate me on what are the main aspects that investors look for in getting their resources to help your business of the ground.

  • Lora V Brooks

    GOD gave me two creative ideas for a playing card game: 1st Word-up card game 48 cards all about God words you have to know his words to WIN !

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    LVB

    • Orlando

      This is getting a bit more suictjebve, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of neighbors will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune Social is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.