ABC’s popular TV show "Shark Tank," where entrepreneurs pitch to multimillionaire and billionaire investors, is holding an open call for potential show participants Jan. 15 at the Small Business Expo at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
Those interested in pitching should bring a completed application, which can be downloaded at abc.go.com/shows/shark-tank/applications. Numbered wristbands will be distributed from 9 to 11 a.m. in Hall C of the Convention Center, with audition interviews beginning at 10 a.m. Florida International University students and local businesses working with the Small Business Development Center at FIU will be among those making presentations during the Shark Tank casting call for the opportunity to pitch to Mark Cuban, Barbara Cocoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O'Leary.
The Small Business Expo, with exhibits, workshops and speed networking, runs from 9:30 to 5 p.m. and is free to attend. Register here: www.thesmallbusinessexpo.com/miami
On Jan. 16, University of Miami students, faculty and alumni will get their chance to apply to “Shark Tank.” Those interested should complete the application and go to Storer Auditorium at the School of Business Administration from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. University of Miami alumni who have appeared on "Shark Tank" have included Omar Soliman and Nick Friedman of College Hunks Hauling Junk, headquartered in Tampa, and Rodolfo and Alexis Saccoman, founders of MyTherapyJournal.com. Rodolfo, who was on in the first season, is currently CEO of AdMobilize in Miami Beach.
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Other South Florida entrepreneurs who have appeared on the show include Dominique Barteet of Palm Beach Gardens, who successfully pitched a shoe with an interchangeable top, and Bibbitec’s Susie Taylor of Miami, with a cleanable, eco-friendly oversized bib for kids. She didn’t get funded but saw sales spike after her appearance.
Shark Tank – and its star Sharks – have made fairly regular appearances in South Florida. Kevin O'Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful, spoke at a TigerDirect event for businesses before its 2014 TechBash. Daymond John keynoted an Entrepreneurs' Organization conference. And there have been several casting calls.