“Shark Tank”, the ABC reality show where entrepreneurs pitch their companies to multimillionaire investors, is looking for bait. The program’s casting team will hold an open call in Miami on January 15 at the Miami Beach Convention Center during the Small Business Expo.
If you’re ready to pitch, bring a completed application, available at abc.go.com/shows/shark-tank/applications, to Hall C of the convention center on Thursday morning. Numbered wristbands, to determine the order of the presentations, will be distributed from 9am to 11am and presentations run from 10am to 5pm.
“The exposure can be incredible,” said Jacqueline Bueno Sousa, Regional Director FIU College of Business, SBDC. “By participating in the event, presenters will have the chance to meet other entrepreneurs and possibly investors who can become part of their network of valuable contacts.”
Several businesses working with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at FIU are ready to face the sharks; these include healthy snack product Natural Sins and portable tennis ball server SpeedFeed.
Presentations open opportunities for exposure and valuable lessons.
In the show, business moguls Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, and Robert Herjavec – all self-made multimillionaires – listen to and often grill entrepreneurs as they try to convince them to invest money in their business.
“Any company selected to pitch before the sharks is going to get the opportunity to showcase their product or service to a national audience, and then able to leverage that appearance in their packaging and collateral marketing materials,” says Ricardo Weisz, program mentor with the SBDC at FIU. “So, even without getting “invested”, they will get recognition and a huge spike in sales.”
FIU’s College of Business will have a significant presence at the Small Business Expo, the largest B2B business networking event in the U.S., with representatives from the SBDC at FIU as well as from the COB’s graduate programs.
SBDC consultants will be on hand to meet with owners of small- and medium-size businesses seeking help to grow their companies. The center’s team of experienced experts provides no-cost, one-on-one consulting to assist in efforts including profitability, jobs, expansion, financial management and marketing strategies.