Shark Tank Season Four 4
We’re back on air very soon! Here is the press announcement that was released this morning:
Narrated by Studio 10’s Sarah Harris, Shark Tank brings together five of the country’s most powerful business leaders, who are ready to put their own cash on the line and turn the next big idea into a profitable venture.
Australia’s Sharks are internet pioneer Steve Baxter, Boost Juice entrepreneur Janine Allis, international businessman Andrew Banks, RedBalloon experience founder Naomi Simson and Dr Glen Richards, founder of Australia’s largest pet-care company Greencross.
The inventions and ideas floated in the Tank this year range from the brilliant to the bizarre. They include the world’s first fully articulated, life-like and camera-ready prosthetic baby, an online site selling rude and un-PC gifts, and a “donug”, a cross between a chicken nugget and a donut.
Worth more than $1 billion collectively, the five Sharks are ready to judge the products and concepts pitched to them by ordinary Australians. Smart, shrewd and unapologetically direct, Steve, Janine, Andrew, Naomi and Glen will decide whether they are willing to put their own dollars on the line to invest in these products and ideas.
Network Ten Executive Producer, Paul Leadon, said: “Season four of Shark Tank ramps up the rivalry between our five alpha Sharks, as they battle each other for the best deals. And there’s plenty to fight over; from a schoolboy whose business is already turning over $500,000 a year, to a 75-year-old with a radical new approach to the electric drill. Deals will be closed and doors will be opened.”
The Sharks have invested over $21 million of their own money since series one. While they are happy to take the bait for brilliant ideas, the pitches that are less than impressive will be torn to shreds.
All the Sharks are out and about at the moment speaking with the press and on the radio. The number one question we all get is “Is it really your money?”. The answer is yes. As we move into the fourth season with many, many investments in Shark Tank businesses (and other startups), we cannot do it without the systems, processes and assistance from a team. Each business needs love and attention and it does take time (and frenetic activity), especially after the shooting of a series, to make sure that each business is ready for its on-air experience.
I take a system and process approach to each of my invested (and soon to be invested businesses) businesses. As an angel investor staying on top of where things are up to, especially when there is a lot on the go, is like managing a ‘sales pipeline’. They are always at different stages and going through a due diligence process (and not forgetting anything) requires a checklist as well as a process.
Here are my top five tips for the angel investing due diligence process:
- Understand the landscape — you must take the time to learn about the industry, competitors, customers, associations, and regulations. It’s very important to speak to relevant parties beyond the names given to you by the startup. You might have no previous understanding of the vertical you’re considering investing in, so you need to come up to speed quickly… that means more than a few Google searches. I always look for people in my network that could assist and I make sure I speak to people (not just send off a few emails). I’d much rather know the challenges or regulations that exist or a plethora of other issues, prior to investing.
- Is it an industry that is being ‘disrupted’, transforming, growing or commoditised? Finding out what is driving innovation throughout the industry is important. A new idea does not mean automatic traction; my job as an investor is to assist the founder to navigate and map the environment.
- Collaborate with previous investors in the industry (or this business) or experts in the field. Find people who are really tapped into the ecosystem and who can access relevant tech businesses for the right type of angel investment criteria. Look for research, background information and industry data — even the Australian Bureau of Statistics can provide interesting relevant market data. Seek out your brains trust.
- Get a tech expert on your side. It is very important to have tech experts on your team – all websites are not equal – and even if they are using an off the shelf solution like Shopify or WordPress, the way it has been implemented might not be straightforward. Tech due diligence is imperative — especially when it comes to search engine optimisation and customer traction; I want to see that they have implemented an analytics package effectively. It will show me the number of site sessions, bounce rates, average order values and return visits. Also, looking at the hosting and scalability of the tech platform is important, it is all relevant. I don’t try to do this myself, I have an expert review the data to help validate the promise that these companies can actually do what they say they can.
- Ask the right questions. I have an advisory group of people who are either industry vertical experts or technology experts; they help me ask the right questions. After all, once the money goes in (and just to reconfirm, yes it is our money) we want to make sure we know where, how and what it will be used on to help the business scale.
I’m sure you will agree that this season is exciting, interesting and gives the Sharks plenty to bite into.
Shark Tank Products
When you purchase one of these great products you are assisting a small business to grow. They make great gifts, they are not hard to find, and we have presented them all in one place.
If you want to check out products from the last three seasons, head this way…
Also published on Medium.