Shark Tank is an American business reality television series that premiered on August 9, 2009, on ABC. The show is the American franchise of the international format Dragons' Den, which originated in Japan as Money Tigers in 2001. It shows entrepreneurs making business presentations to a panel of five investors or "sharks", who decide whether to invest in their companies.
The "sharks'’ on the show are successful business people and investors, and the format of the show allows viewers to see the process of how a business idea is developed and funded. During the show, entrepreneurs present their products or services, business models, and financial projections, and then answer questions and negotiate with the sharks. The show provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to receive funding and mentorship from sharks, and it also provides a fascinating look at the world of startups and investment.
The sharks are paid as cast stars of the show, but the money they invest is their own. The entrepreneur can make a handshake deal (gentleman's agreement) on the show if a panel member is interested. However, if all of the panel members opt out, the entrepreneur leaves empty-handed. A pitch of around 45 minutes by a contestant is edited to about 11 minutes.
The series has been a ratings success in its time slot, winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Structured Reality Program four times (2014–2017) in the first four years of that category's existence. In 2012–13, it won Outstanding Reality Program.
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