SHARK TANK (Part 2) - Preparation

Okay – no time to celebrate. Snap back into it. We have some preparing to do.

We have a limited amount of time before we fly out and have a million things to do before then. We have to: learn everything we can about each Shark (will we get a guest Shark?), gather all of our company sales data and statistics (ten years worth), order brand new pieces of sporting equipment and ship them all to Sony Studios (will the colors complement our display and the lighting systems?), get permission from sporting equipment brands to show their logos (virtually impossible task – these companies are huge), finalize our pitch (are we touching on all the right points?), hand-craft some of the best lighting systems we’ve ever made (what shark gets what color?) … just to name a few. You get the point…

(Securing the Burton snowboard for our display)

To make the most of our time in front of the Sharks and the possible millions of viewers at home if we get selected to air, Dakota and I didn’t sleep much during this time leading up to our departure date. We had too much to do. We had calls every day with our mentors going over Q&A and potential scenarios (mainly a gentlemen named Chris – a.k.a. the smartest dude you’d ever want to speak with) and we also decided to work with presentation coaches to ensure that we would effectively share our story and feel as confident as possible. Their names were Claudio Sennhauser and Nathan Gold, and my goodness was that also a great decision we made prior to pitching to the Sharks. We met with them over Zoom (Claudio is in Thailand and Nathan, California) on a daily basis leading up to our pitch and covered everything from breathwork and tonality to simply refining our pitch. The most important takeaway from our time with Claudio and Nathan however, was to just simply be THE TWO OF US. We need to be the energetic and passionate action sport junkies that we are at our core and act like there aren’t cameras zooming by our heads and bright lights in our faces. Act like we aren’t pitching our product to five millionaire and billionaire investors that we grew up watching and listening to.

We just need to be ourselves.

It was the reason we made it this far to begin with. We stopped trying to be the buttoned-up business professionals that only talked about numbers and data and instead leveraged our personalities, our journey as entrepreneurs, and our passion for the action sport industry.

Okay – we’re as ready as we’ll ever be. Time to board our flight to LA (where we will inevitably spend more time going over our notes and company data).

We landed in the late afternoon and were picked up by Shark Tank vans that drove us from the airport to our hotel for the night.

Our first time in Los Angeles is filming a television show about our company? Is this real?!

Immediately upon entering the hotel, we were required to take a few COVID tests to ensure a negative result (for about the tenth time throughout the casting process) before getting checked into our room.

With some time to kill that night (we didn’t want to just sit in the hotel room – would would literally go crazy overthinking what the next day will bring), we decided to go to a nearby mall to pick Dakota up some new black pants for his Shark Tank wardrobe. Apparently, he didn’t love the ones he was planning on wearing and wanted to try on some new pairs before potentially being seen by millions of people on TV. Fine. We should probably get out and clear our heads anyway. We Uber to the mall and start our hunt for black pants.

After finding a couple of solid options, my phone rings. It’s our producers, Drew and Shawn. They sound happy. They let us know that they were able to convince the stage manager to cut the lights during our pitch so that ActionGlow could really shine on set. This has been something that we wanted to happen but seemed to be an impossible task. Amazing! … right? Well, sort of. They also told us that we would now have to make up some new “filler” lines and incorporate them in the middle of our pitch to allow enough time for the lights to cut.

The pitch we’ve been curating, practicing, and memorizing over the last several months. The night before we step in front of the Sharks. Yeah, not sure about that.

We voiced our concerns of changing our pitch the night before, but ultimately were convinced to do it. We rushed back to the hotel to curate our new lines with an uneasy feeling in the pit of our stomachs.

While reworking our pitch in the hotel room, we received an email from the Shark Tank legal team that some of the riders shown in our 20-second promo video that was going to play on the monitor behind us never signed the image release form. This means that unless we edit the video and replace those specific clips (which will disrupt the edit and flow) they won’t be able to show it. Dakota now must shift his attention to editing a new video while I remain steadfast on our new lines and pitch.

11pm turns to midnight. 1am. 2am. We have to be up at what time for another COVID test?

5am. We have to be up at 5am.

We are going to get less than three hours of sleep before the biggest moment of our lives. That’s if we hit the hay right this second. Realizing this, Dakota finished up the video as quickly as possible and sends it over to the legal team for review. We rehearsed the pitch one last time and called it a night around 2:30am.

A quick shower to wake us up was needed. We mosey down into the lobby to receive our final COVID test of our Shark Tank journey. Assuming negative rapid test results, you have 20 minutes to grab your belongings (suitcases, product samples, everything) and be in the van for a ride to Sony Studios.

There it was. The big Shark Tank banner hanging off Stage 24. Sink or Swim. Nice. What an encouraging phrase. That outta give you the warm and fuzzies.

Netflix movies were being filmed all around us, game shows were being taped – it was wild to see. We couldn’t lose focus too much, though. Eye on the prize. We were shown to our green room where we would keep our belongings and where the entrepreneurs will spend an undetermined amount of time until it is their turn. We knew we had some time to spare because our producers informed us that our pitch was going to be sometime after lunch. The only reason we were on set so early was to install ActionGlow on all of the sporting equipment pieces we had previously shipped out to LA.

Good – at least we have some time to gather ourselves and rehearse, right?

We immediately leave our green room to start installing our lighting systems on all the different pieces of equipment. Still not totally confident on our new lines that were made up last night, we tried to go over them as much as possible while doing this. These installs had to be PERFECT, and multitasking has never proven to be more difficult than that moment. Meanwhile, we could see the first pitch of the day happening in real time on the backstage monitors which definitely didn’t help our situation. Trying not to watch and psych ourselves out too much, we couldn’t help but take a quick peek every now and again. The first pitch of the day ended up not receiving any offer, and we heard the stage manager’s voice over the intercom say “all five Sharks are out. Please turn around and exit the stage.”

Yep, now we’re nervous.

We continue to work on our display, adding AG lighting systems to the equipment when a last-minute thought pops into my head. Aren’t we supposed to ride down the Shark Tank hallway on these longboards that we’ve never even rode once? That sure is the plan. We quickly finished up what we were working on so we could hop on the boards and try them out.

Not one minute passed before we were stopped and told that we were next in the tank. Our time slot got moved up. You have to be kidding...

Suddenly, we are being hauled off to get mics clipped on, final wardrobe checks, and hair and makeup. So much for gathering ourselves and rehearsing.

We asked the hair and makeup team to give us a little more powder under our eyes, so the signs of a restless night didn’t show as prominently on camera.

This is it. It’s our turn. We walk down the hallway to give one final approval of our display and how it was set up. With our final confirmation, we found ourselves waiting behind the famous doors to enter the tank.

1 comment

  • Jeremy

    Nicely done! Although I’ve been waiting wayyyy too long for Part 2, lol. Hopefully Part 3 comes a bit quicker!

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