Shark Tank for the past fourteen years has not just delivered entertainment but has also begun a culture of entrepreneurship that has managed to spread to many countries. People want to take the leap of faith, expand their businesses, put forward their passions, and seek investment in them. The show’s popularity has grown exponentially, which is why it has reached its 15th season, which premiered on September 30, 2023, in India on JioCinema.
Recap: What Happens In The Episode?
The episode begins with the show introducing three new judges who will be joining the panel this season. Michael Rubin, the CEO of sports merchandise company Fanatics, is one of the new panelists who might or might not aid the contestants with funding their businesses. Jason Blum is one of the leading producers and CEOs of Blumhouse Production, and Candace Nelson is a cookbook author, baker, and the woman who opened the world’s first cupcake bakery, ‘Sprinkles’. Bringing them on board diversifies the portfolio of the show.
The episode also gave viewers a peek into the career graph of Candace Nelson, who started as an investment banker but moved to baking to revive her childhood passion. ‘Sparkles’ was a product of her dreams, and she later forayed into writing books. Her current venture is Pizzana, which plans to serve pizza with a spin, just like she did with cupcakes.
The first episode begins with Ryan and Doug Bouton, who present their product, ‘Gatsby Chocolate’, which essentially has half the calories and no sugar, unlike its counterparts that are found over the counter. Doug is the co-founder of Halo Top Ice Creams, one of the most revered ice cream firms in the country, which sells its products as a low-calorie alternative to others. Unfortunately, Gatsby had a loss of 3 million dollars in the last year, and they are here at Shark Tank to receive help with their marketing. They are expecting the Sharks to invest five hundred thousand dollars for a 5% stake in the company.
Lori Greiner makes an offer that would include redesigning the product packaging and offers half equity and half a short-term loan on 6% interest along with a 20% stake in the company. Kevin offers to invest the amount asked for, but with a 12% stake. Mark and Lori got together to offer the same amount; for every 10 million sales, their stake would increase by ten percent. The counteroffer includes increasing the stake to 40% when there are 50 million sales of their products. The brothers agreed to Mark and Lori’s offer and went home, getting the approval of two sharks.
Best friends Kevin Kline and Joshua Green seek two hundred thousand dollars for a 7.5% stake in their canned wine drink ‘Pie Wines’, which they claim is a great combination with local pizza and an alternative to cola or any other alcohol. They work on a 50-50 partnership basis. Since the market is saturated with products like this, no shark was willing to make them an offer.
The third contestant is a mother, Paige Brattain, who is seeking two hundred fifty thousand dollars with a 10% stake in her company, ‘See Worthy’, which makes playful but medically approved eye patches for kids suffering from amblyopia, an eyesight-related ailment that affects one out of 45 children. ‘See Worthy’ only has one big company as a competitor, which rules the market and the doctors. Unfortunately, none of the Sharks found a strong reason to invest in this company, and Paige left empty-handed.
The last contestant of the show is Kristen Dunning, an MBA graduate who was seeking seventy-five thousand dollars with a 10% stake in her company, ‘Gently Soap’, a product meant for people with sensitive skin. A product she created with natural flowers without any chemical or essential oils that could cater to people who have skin issues like Kristen did growing up. Her company has made one hundred thirty thousand dollars’ worth of sales and has a 78% rate of repeat orders, which means the product is effective. Kevin agrees to Kristen’s offer but asks for a royalty of one dollar on every sale she makes. Candace Nelson offers the same with about a 30% stake in the company. Kristen was keen on Candace’s offer and negotiated the stake to 25% because she knew the Sparkles CEO would not just bring a feminine energy but a platform for several beauty e-commerce companies. Kristen went home with an investor.
Episode 1 Review
The first episode of the fifteenth edition of the OG Shark Tank began on a somber note. It will be interesting to watch what the new judges, including a film producer, will bring to the table. There are essentially three-woman sharks, which will essentially help in giving other women entrepreneurs some chance to understand what their gender goes through to establish businesses from scratch. Without giving any spoilers, there were disappointments in the first episode itself, but that is part and parcel of the show. Investors were just not interested.
There was an opportunity for the sharks to invest in medical-related products that could directly benefit kids. It felt like a lost opportunity because products such as these will not only revolutionize affordable, safe products, especially for tiny toddlers, but they will also pave the way for others to join the pool and increase the competition. The sharks were very interested in investing in a product that had to do with beauty and skin. There is a market for it, and there are countless ways to sell the product as well.
Nothing has changed in the format, which makes the show all the more appealing even after fourteen years for people from across the country and sections to present their entrepreneurial journey. The first episode had its triumphs as well. It will be interesting to see how this reality show unfolds as more episodes come out and introduce viewers to many more products and innovations. A good start to a cult favorite show.