by TJ AndersonPhoto: Lady Bird Johnson speaks with Nashville mayor Beverly Briley and an unidentified woman at the Hermitage in 1967, via Tennessee State Library and Archives.Getting to know
Hopeful Nashville Entrepreneurs Have A Chance To Be On Shark Tank
by TJ Anderson
One of my favorite things about living in Nashville: People here will go out of their way to support local businesses. And with that, Nashville entrepreneurs get a lot of support. It doesn’t mean every small business launched in Nashville succeeds. But it certainly makes for a more welcoming climate.
If you’re among the budding Nashville entrepreneurs working on a small business, but in need of a little extra support, there might be a valuable opportunity in your midst. As long as you don’t mind a little reality-TV time.
Hit reality show Shark Tank has a series of Open Calls going now, which has casting folks hunting for the next big business success story from California to Kentucky to New York. Along the way, they’re stopping here in Nashville.
If you’re unfamiliar with the show, the basic gist: a crew of famous, seasoned investors — including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and real estate maven Barbara Ann Corcoran — hear pitches from upstart entrepreneurs, and then make an investment offer for a stake in their business… or don’t.
Outside of its TV success, the show’s managed to make some real business waves — Reely Hooked Fish Co. And Bombas socks are among the breakout successes boosted with a Shark Tank deal. And an Inc. magazine study into Shark Tank successes shows that most (sometimes all) of the companies that appear on Shark Tank end up having legs, and becoming profitable.
Nashville actually has a few Shark Tank success stories of a sort already, too. Cousins Maine Lobster was on the show in 2012, and took an investment from Corcoran, expanding food trucks to multiple cities, including Nashville, before opening a brick-and-mortar location here in Smyrna. Glasses-securing-stuff startup Nerdwax did the show in 2015, and turned down an investment, but the publicity gave the company a huge boost.
Where to go and what to do if you want to try out for ‘Shark Tank’
Think you might be the next Nashville entrepreneur with the right product(s) to grab the famous Sharks’ attention? Put Thursday, March 28 on your calendar.
On the 28th, folks from Shark Tank will be at The Fairgrounds Nashville here in Music City (625 Smith Ave., Nashville, TN 37203), starting at 9 a.m.
Your prep: Download the Shark Tank application packet and fill it out beforehand, and polish a one-minute “elevator pitch” to deliver to their casting team.
Folks who show up for the casting call will be given wristbands (those are set to be distributed between 9 and 11 a.m.), and starting at 10 a.m., casting folks will start hearing pitches.
The fine print: Don’t necessarily count on there being power/internet/etc. there for your pitch, and you’re only pitching one business, product or idea. You can find more information/Shark Tank Open Call scheduling at the ABC website.
If you decide to go swimming with the Sharks: Is break a leg the appropriate shout-out here, or…?
If your next investment is going to be homeownership in Nashville, that’s my particular pool. Check out some homes for sale in Nashville now here, and call or email TJ Anderson Homes. I’d love to help you find the perfect place.
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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