Thursday, September 18, 2014

Could you swim in The Shark Tank?

Kevin Brass, WSJ, Aug 25, 2014, talks about what it takes to brace down those mean investors in the TV show The Shark Tank. Ever seen it? Entrepreneurs bring their show-and-tell and try to convince someone on a panel of investors to toss them some money.

Mark Cuban of BB fame is, to me, the biggest smugbag--but they all are, really. Tough room.

God forbid you don't have your ducks in a row when the investors start grilling. How is your idea different? How many hits has your site had? Why so few orders then? This is nothing new--what's new about it?

The poor would-be business person stands there and tries to respond. So the first advice is Stand Up Straight. Look confident, authoritative.

Get right to the point. Don't start with, "I was eight months pregnant when I wondered how I would protect my baby's little knees while crawling..."

Forget jargon like "burn rate"--keep it simple.

Show why YOU can do it--the business plan, the experience, the track record, the instinct.

Show you are tough--if you failed and revamped or tried something else, admit it.

Don't be greedy and ask for too much you can't deliver. Also--if they offer the money you want for a bigger share, don't dismiss it out of hand.

Show how the business can grow--and be "scaled."

And don't beg. If they don't chomp, thank them and leave.

Oh--this applies to all ven cap meetings.

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