Dragons' Den is a reality television program format in which entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of venture capitalists in the hope of securing investment finance from them. The program originated in 2001 in Japan, where it is known as The Tigers of Money (マネーの虎 manē no tora), a pun on "The Tiger of Malaya" (マレーの虎 marē no tora), the nickname of WWII general Tomoyuki Yamashita. The format was created and is owned by Nippon TV and is distributed by Sony Pictures Television.
Local versions of the show have been produced in nearly 30 countries, as well as one for the Arab world; in some countries, more than one version has been aired. The most popular name for the show is Dragons' Den or variations thereof, a name that originated in 2005 in the United Kingdom. The show has also been titled Shark Tank (a name that originated in the United States) and Lions' Den, and variations on those names, among others. In versions where the name of the show contains a creature's name, the investors are referred to by that name.
The contestants are usually inventors, product designers, or service operators who have what they consider to be a viable and potentially very profitable business idea, but who lack funding and/or business acumen. They pitch their idea to five rich entrepreneurial businesspeople, who in most iterations of the show are referred to as "dragons", "tigers" (in the original Japanese show), "lions" or "sharks". Before the show, the contestants have named a specific amount of money that they wish to get along with a percentage in the business that the contestant is offering to sell to the investors. The rules stipulate that if they do not raise at least this amount from the dragons, they get nothing. In return, the contestant gives the dragons a percentage of the company's capital stock, which is the chief point of negotiation. The program does not show the entire pitch as scenes are selected and edited from the episode due to time constraints.
The dragons probe the idea further once the contestant has made the presentation. This will either reveal a sound business proposition resulting in an investment offer from one or more of the dragons in return for equity or a withdrawal from the transaction by either the contestant or all of the dragons. A rejection by the dragons is often given as "I'm out" which is usually triggered (in the investor's opinion) by the investor asking for a larger equity stake in the business than the contestant wants to give up, the contestant's valuation on the business being too high compared to its overall profits, the product not having any proprietary value, or the investor's belief that they cannot add value to the business. Sometimes the dragons identify troubling facts such as an embarrassing lack of preparation on the part of the contestant, the contestant's lack of business knowledge, their perceived margins, competitors, insufficient sales, or high manufacturing costs. Contestants often negotiate and barter with the investors. The deals agreed to on the program may or may not actually be carried through.
Dragons' Den series have been produced in numerous countries. Apart from Japan (where the show debuted) the show names, structures, and styles are based upon the UK version.
In Afghanistan, the show is called Fikr wa Talash (Dream and Achieve). The show's purpose is to encourage Afghans to embark on entrepreneurship. It aimed to promote entrepreneurial spirit among ordinary Afghans, with the show giving contestants a lifetime opportunity to pitch their creative business ideas before a panel of business tycoons and walk away with the cash prize of US$20,000.
The show began in 2008 on TOLO TV. The first series ended in August 2008, with the final contestant, Faizulhaq Moshkani, winning $20,000 towards his plastic recycling business. At the time of the show, he owned a plastic recycling plant in Qandahar in southern Afghanistan. After winning, Moshkani shut the factory due to the high cost of fuel to power generators. Instead, he used the $20,000 prize money to move the business to Kabul, where he planned to build a miniature hydroelectric plant to power the new recycling plant. Mariam Al Ahmadi collected the runner-up prize of $10,000. In the second season, a follow-up episode was introduced with the top contestants tracking their progress in their businesses.
The show was produced by Bamyan media with the help of the Moby Group's strategic communications arm, Lapis Ltd, and aired on the Group's most popular channel in Afghanistan, TOLO TV, reaching an estimated 7 million viewers in 2010.
Fikr wa Talash was sponsored by USAID, Roshan telecommunication (the country's leading mobile operator) and Bank e Milli (Afghan National Bank). The host is Ramiz Baktiar.[circular reference] Like the Egyptian version, it was created by Anna Elliot, founder of the NGO Bamyan Media.
In the Arab world, Dragons' Den was known as Dragons' Den: Al Aareen العرين (The Den). It was broadcast on the Lebanese channel Future Television and was hosted by Ibrahim Abu Jawdeh. The show received contestants from various Arab countries.
The panel of Dragons for the 2007 series consisted of:
- Omar El-Quqa
- Ahmad Tantash
- Nassif Karam
- Roger Azar
The Egyptian version of Dragons' Den is El Mashroua ("The Project"). The show was created in 2013 by Anna Elliot, the founder of the NGO Bamyan Media. It was broadcast on the national channel Alnahar and followed by approximately four million people. The program created the largest community of entrepreneurs[clarification needed] through a digital platform connected to the show with one million participants. The winner of the first season, Tina Boules, lost the sum of 350,000 Egyptian pounds to develop her startup Taqa Solutions, which specializes in agricultural waste recycling and biogas exploitation.[circular reference] The panel of Dragons consisted of :
- Hala Hattab
- Hisham Al Jamal
Dragons' Den (2005 version)
The Australian version of Dragons' Den was broadcast on the Seven Network and hosted by Andrew O'Keefe. Unlike in other versions, the host ran through the outline of the business with the contestant before the contestant began negotiating with the Dragons for a deal. The show was produced by Michael Horrock. The Australian Dragons were:
The Seven Network announced in December 2005 that the show would not be back for a second season after poor ratings.
Shark Tank (2015 version)
The format was revived by Network Ten, under the American Shark Tank name, for a show that premiered February 2015. It ran for four seasons, until August 2018. The show was hosted by Sarah Harris. The Sharks for this edition are:
- Janine Allis (founder of Boost Juice)
- Andrew Banks (founder of Talent2)
- Steve Baxter (entrepreneur, investor, internet pioneer)
- Naomi Simson (founder of RedBalloon)
- John McGrath (founder of McGrath Estate Agents) (season 1)
- Glen Richards (Greencross Vets) (seasons 2–4)
The Austrian version is called 2 Minuten 2 Million "2 Minutes 2 Million". It debuted on Puls 4.
The Brazilian version is called Shark Tank Brasil — Negociando com Tubarões ('Negotiating with Sharks').[circular reference] It debuted in October 2016. The sharks (investors) have included João Appolinário, Cristiana Arcangeli, Robinson Shiba, Sorocaba (of Fernando & Sorocaba), Camila Farani, José Semezato, Carlos Wizard Martins and Caito Maia. Specials episodes included Roberto Justus, Luiza (Magazine Luiza) and others.
The English-language Canadian version of Dragons' Den began airing in 2006.
The Canadian Dragons were:
|1||Jim Treliving||Robert Herjavec|
|2||Kevin O'Leary||Michael Wekerle||Lane Merrifield||Wes Hall|
|3||Jennifer Wood||Arlene Dickinson||Joe Mimran||Vincenzo Guzzo|
|4||Laurence Lewin||W. Brett Wilson||Bruce Croxon||Vikram Vij||Manjit Minhas|
|5||Robert Herjavec||David Chilton||Michele Romanow|
Past and present dragons include:
- Dany Vachon — co-founder of Impera Advisory Inc, PVG Partners LLC and Fusion Immunovative/NVNC
- Danièle Henkel — president and founder of Danièle Henkel Inc
- François Lambert — co-founder of Aheeva and Atelka
- Gaétan Frigon — executive chairman of Publipage
- Normand Legault (Canadian Grand Prix, Just for Laughs)
- Alexandre Taillefer (Stingray Digital, Téo Taxi, Voir, L'Actualité, etc.)
- Serge Beauchemin
- Martin-Luc Archambault
- Mitch Garber
The Chinese version of Dragons' Den（中国合伙人 "Chinese Partner"）started airing in May 2016 on Shenzhen Satellite TV. The Chinese format is produced by Shanghai-based IPCN (International Programme International Network).
Past and present Chinese Dragons include:
- Bob Xu, co-founder of New Oriental Education and ZhenFund (season 1–2)
- Annabelle Long Yu, CEO of Bertelsmann China (season 1–2)
- Li Guoqing, co-founder & CEO of Dang Dang (season 1–2)
- Yao Jinbo, Founder & CEO of 58.com (season 1–2)
- Hugo Shong, chairman of IDG Greater China (season 1)
- Zhou Hongyi, co-founder and CEO of Qihoo 360 (season 1)
- Jerry Huang, founder and CEO of Gaudi Capital (season 2)
The Colombian version of Shark Tank called Shark Tank Colombia began airing on 23 February 2018 on Canal Sony.
Colombian sharks include:
- Alexander Torrenegra (seasons 1–2)
- Leonardo Wehe (season 1)
- Ricardo Leyva Gutiérrez (seasons 1–2)
- Juliana Barreto (seasons 1–2)
- Frank Kanayet (seasons 1–2)
- Mauricio Hoyos (seasons 1–2)
The Croatian version of Dragons' Den called Zmajevo gnijezdo (Dragon's Nest) was scheduled to broadcast in May 2007 on Croatian Radiotelevision and produced by Ocean Film, a local production company.
Contracted Croatian Dragons were:
- Maja Pečarević — owner of Generalturist, the leading and oldest travel agency in Croatia.
- Hrvoje Prpić — owner of Smee d.o.o, bamboo flooring company.
- Davor Štern — owner of Trade Consulting d.o.o., business consulting company.
- Juroslav Buljubašić — co-owner of Blue Line International, the international maritime company.
- Branko Roglić — owner of Orbico, one of the leading importers and distributors of various consumer goods and toys in Croatia.
A few episodes were filmed but never broadcast for undisclosed reasons.
In the Czech Republic, the show is called Den D (The D-Day).
The show is hosted by radio host Jan Pokorny and the dragon investors are:
- Ivan Pilny – former general manager of Microsoft in the Czech Republic, chairman of the board of Czech Telecom and entrepreneur (Series 1 & 3)
- Marta Novakova – founder and CEO of U&SLUNO software company (Series 1, 2 & 3)
- Ondrej Bartos – serial entrepreneur, consultant and venture capitalist, Partner with Credo Ventures (Series 1 & 2)
- Dana Berova – former minister of informatics, entrepreneur and business development director of Gartner (1st, 2nd & 3rd series)
- Tomio Okamura – Czech-Japanese entrepreneur in travel and retail (Series 1, 2 & 3)
- Michael Rostock – investment banker and advisor with Venture Investors Corporate Finance (Series 2 & 3)
The Dragons are/were:
|Seat||Series 1||Series 2||Series 3||Series 4|
|1||Ivan Pilný||Michael Rostock|
|2||Ondřej Bartoš||Ivan Pilný||Margareta Křížová|
|3||Dana Bérová||Petra Rychnovská|
|4||Marta Nováková||John Vanhara|
|5||Tomio Okamura||Michal Hanus|
A Danish version of the show, Løvens Hule (The Lion's Den), began airing in April 2015. The five "lions" in the first season were Christian Stadil, Birgit Aaby, Tommy Ahlers, Ilse Jacobsen and Jesper Buch. Only Jesper Buch remains as of 2022.
|Season 1||Season 2||Season 3||Season 4||Season 5||Season 6||Season 7|
|Ilse Jacobsen||Jan Dal Lehrmann|
|Tommy Ahlers||Mia Wagner|
|Birgit Aaby||Peter Warnøe||Christian Arnstedt|
|Christian Stadil||Jacob Risgaard|
Lion's Mouth (2007)
In Finland, the first version of the show was Leijonan kita, which means the jaws or the mouth of a lion. The show began running on 27 September 2007 on the MTV3 channel and aired for one season. It was hosted by Anna Sorainen. The local leijonat (lions) were Kyösti Kakkonen, Eero Lehti, Toivo Sukari, Lisa Sounio and Kaija Ward.
Lion's Den (2013)
In February 2013 the show re-emerged on the Nelonen channel, this time named Leijonan luola (Lion's Den). The show was hosted by Kirsi Salo, and the new lions were Riku Asikainen, Jorma Terentjeff, Ari Lahti, Anne Berner and Oskari Lehtonen.
- Vural Öger (season 1–2) — Travel entrepreneur
- Jochen Schweizer (season 1–3) — Pioneer of bungee jumping in Germany, founder of a German web portal for adventure gifts
- Lencke Wischhusen (season 1–2) — chairwoman of German Federal Association of Young Entrepreneurs (BJU), Bremen head of the Free Democratic Party
- Frank Thelen (seasons 1–5) – managing director of a venture capital and private equity company
- Judith Williams (seasons 1–5) — shopping channel presenter and businesswoman with her own fashion and jewellery lines
- Carsten Maschmeyer (seasons 3–5) — founder of financial services company AWD Holding and investor in technology and health care companies
- Ralf Dümmel (seasons 3–5) — head of consumer goods company DS Produkte
- Dagmar Wöhrl (season 4–5) — lawyer, entrepreneur, and politician
The first episode of the second season aired on 18 August 2015. The third season launched on 23 August 2016, introducing two new presenters. A fourth season was announced for 2017. Nico Rosberg replaced Frank Thelen as an investor on the programme ('The Lions' Cave') in late 2019.
The Hungarian "sharks" are/were:
|Seat Order||Season 1||Season 2||Season 3||Season 4|
|2||Gyula Fehér||István Lakatos|
|4||Anna Apró||Szabina Tomán|
The seven sharks who participated in season 1 are:
|Ashneer Grover||Managing Director and Co-founder of BharatPe and blink it|
|Aman Gupta||Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of boAt|
|Anupam Mittal||Founder and CEO of Shaadi.com and People Group|
|Ghazal Alagh||Co-founder and Chief Mama of MamaEarth|
|Namita Thapar||Executive Director of Emcure Pharmaceuticals|
|Peyush Bansal||Co-founder and CEO of Lenskart|
|Vineeta Singh||CEO and co-founder of SUGAR Cosmetics|
In Israel, Dragons' Den is entitled Hakrishim, Hebrew for "The Sharks". It was produced by Gil Productions and was broadcast on the now defunct Channel 10. It was hosted by Guy Zohar and ran for two seasons. In the Israeli version, there were six dragons who rotate their appearance weekly. The first season was broadcast during the summer and fall of 2006 and the second during the summer of 2007.
In 2018 the show was renewed by Gil Productions and is now being broadcast on Keshet 12. The show is currently airing its 3rd season on Keshet 12. The show welcomed an entirely new cast, with dragon Amir Eyal from the original iteration of the show returning for the 3rd season.
|Shark||Seasons on channel 10||Seasons on Keshet 12|
Titled マネーの虎 ("Manē no Tora", Money Tigers), this is the original version. It was created by and broadcast on Nippon Television from 2001 to 2004. It was the first entertainment programme in the history of Japanese television that dealt with the concept of business investment. During its three-year run, as many as 16 business executives appeared in the programme as Tigers.
The premier of Lion's Den was in October 2016 on NTV. The show was sponsored by KCB Group, the largest commercial bank in East Africa. The format was introduced to Kenya by Quite Bright Films Kenya Ltd (QBF) who produce the show in Nairobi.
The Kenyan Lions are:
- Darshan Chandaria, director and Group CEO of Chandaria group
- Kris Senanu, venture capitalist and MD, Telkom Digital
- Myke Rabar, entertainment Guru and Founder, CEO of Homeboyz Entertainment Group
- Olive Gachara, businesswoman in fashion, image consultant and Editor in Chief of Couture Africa Magazine
- Wandia Gichuru, businesswoman with own fashion lines and stores
In Mexico the series is called Shark Tank México: Negociando con tiburones or just simply Negociando con Tiburones, Spanish for "Negotiating with Sharks".
The sharks were:
- Ana Victoria García (season 1) Victoria 147 Women's entrepreneur incubator and training
- Arturo Elías Ayub (season main 1–2, 3 guest) Director of Strategic Alliances at Telmex
- Carlos Bremer (season 1–3) Owner Grupo Financiero Value Stock Brokerage firm
- Jorge Vergara (season 1–2) Omnilife nutraceuticals and Anhelo movie production
- Rodrigo Herrera Aspra es (season 1–3) CEO Genomma Labs OTC drugs and skin lotions
- Patricia Armendáriz (season 2–3) Politician, actuary and business consultant
- Marcus Dantus (season 3) Startup Mexico business incubator chain
- Luis Harvey (season 3) Nexxus Private equity and investment banking
There's an unofficial Nepali version of the show and is called Idea studio, and it's currently in the 4th season which is currently broadcast on AP1 Television. There's a plan to release an official licensed version which is set to air in [Himalayan TV] in 2021.
In the Netherlands the show ran on Nederland 3 for three seasons. The first season was broadcast in May 2007, every Friday at 20:25. The second season was broadcast in May 2008, every Monday at 21:25. Both seasons were hosted by Jort Kelder. The dragons were:
- Henk Keilman
- Annemarie van Gaal
- Jan Pieter Melchior (2007)
- Willem Sijthoff
- Arjen de Koning
- George Banken (2008)
Initially, the UK and Australian series of Dragons' Den were broadcast in New Zealand before a local version was produced by Eyeworks Television. It broadcast on TV One in 2006 and was hosted by Rawdon Christie. The dragons were:
The Nigerian Dragons were:
In Pakistan, the program airs as Idea Croron Ka and is broadcast on Neo News. It is a joint venture between Chaudhry Muhammad Akram Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CMACED) at Superior University and Neo News. The first episode premiered on 18 March 2017. The main lead and driving force of this show is Nabeel A. Qadeer who was the Director Entrepreneurship at Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB).
The judges include:
- Salim Ghauri, Founder and CEO of Netsol technologies (Pvt.) Ltd
- Naeem Zamindar, Pakistan Country Director and CEO of Acumen
- Humayun Mazhar, Founder, CEO and chairman at CresVentures
In Poland, the program is called Dragons' Den – jak zostać milionerem ("How to be a millionaire") and has been broadcast on TV4 since 2011. The largest investment ever secured on the program was 15 million PLN (US$5.5 million), on 24 April 2011.
The Polish Dragons in 2011 were:
- Maciej Kaczmarski, founder, "Kaczmarski Inkasso companies", "National Debt Register" and "Reliable Company", called the king of Polish recovery
- Anna Garwolińska, head of "Glaubicz Garwolińska Consultants"
- Grzegorz Hajdarowicz, owner of the "Group Gremi"
- Marian Owerko, CEO Bakalland
- Krzysztof Golonka, president of an investment fund "Xevin"
The Portuguese version of Dragons' Den has the American name Shark Tank. It ran for two seasons, from 2015 to 2016, on the SIC Network.
The Portuguese Sharks are:
There is a Romanian version of the format called Arena Leilor (Lions' Arena). The Romanian Lions are:
- Marius Ghenea
- Dragos Anastasiu
- Florin Talpes
- Mircea Tudor
- Mihaela Nicola
- Cristina Batlan
- Orlando Szasz
The show started in 2007. It lasted for a few years and then it was canceled.
The show was released again in 2019 under the name Imperiul Leilor (Lions' Empire). The new Romanian lions are:
There was a Russian version of the show called KAPITAL.
Saudi Arabian broadcaster STV1 showed the BBC version of Dragons' Den in 2010, then broadcast a local version in 2011. It was called التجار, or "Traders". The dragons were:
- Saleh Kamel
- Ahmed Fitihy
- Nashwa Altahir
The Slovenian version of the show was called Dober posel ("Good Deal"). It was aired by new Slovenian broadcaster Planet TV, owned by Telekom Slovenije. The show was announced in May 2012, and premiered on 11 November 2012.
The Slovenian investors were:
- Branko Drobnak, Procurator at Alta Skupina d.d., an asset management, non-discretional brokerage services, corporate finance services, accounting and audit services company. He is part of The Business Angels Club of Slovenia and non-executive chairman of Acies bio d.o.o, a biotechnology contract research organization.
- Borut Rismal General Manager, CHS d.o.o., a computer peripherals distribution company
- Daniela Bervar Country Manager for Slovenia at Cotrugli Business School and co-owner of MEDIA LAB d.o.o. deal of the day business company.
- Jure Mikuž founder of RSG Capital, a venture-capital management company
- Matjaž Krč, a business angel and Managing Director at Ideus d.o.o., business consulting services for small and mid-sized companies.
Dragon's Den South Africa premiered on 23 September 2014 on Mzansi Magic. In a 2014 episode, Vusi Thembekwayo, one of the Dragons, signed his biggest deal, when he invested ZAR2 million in a Halaal abattoir owned by contestant Johan Jacobs and received a 40% stake in the business. There were two seasons of the show.
The South African "dragons" were:
- Lebo Gunguluza, runs Gunguluza Enterprises & Media which boasts 12 print publications, stakes in numerous hotels and a car-hire business.
- Vusi Thembekwayo, a motivational speaker and CEO of Watermark Pan-African Capital Ltd, with over ZAR4,32 billion in capital.
- Polo Leteka Radebe, CEO of Identity Partners, a small and medium enterprises advisory and fund management services firm founded in 2007
- Vinny Lingham, a serial internet entrepreneur from Cape Town with ties to Silicon Valley.
- Gil Oved, founder and co-CEO of The Creative Counsel, an advertising agency with over ZAR600 million in turnover per year.
In October 2016 the show was renamed to Shark Tank South Africa and premiered on M-Net.
The "sharks" are:
The title of the Spanish version is Tu Oportunidad (Your Opportunity) and went to air on 30 October 2013 by TVE.
The Sri Lankan version is called "Ath Pavura" (ඇත් පවුර), which means "Wall of Tuskers". It debuted on Independent Television Network on 24 September 2017. Unlike the other versions, the Sri Lankan version focuses on social entrepreneurs and impact investors.
The British version was on air in Sweden for several years on TV8 and BBC Prime. A Swedish version called Draknästet ("The Dragons' Nest") ran for two seasons, from 2009 to 2010, on Sveriges Television.
The Swedish Dragons were:
- Gunilla von Platen CEO and founder of Xzakt Kundrelation, a telemarketing company (season 1 only)
- Ljubo Mrnjavac sold his fast food company Pölsemannen 2002, then became active in real estate (season 1 only)
- Mats Gabrielsson, who sold his IT firm in the late 1980s for over $100 million
- Douglas Roos, founder and chairman of nyheter24.se (season 2 only)
- Susanna Falkengren cofounder and member of Exipos Invest (season 2 only)
- Sven Hagströmer founder of HQ, Avanza, Investment AB Öresund and also on the board for the public companies Bilia, Eworks and Insplanet
- Richard Båge, founder of Insplanet, founder and chairman of Mediaplanet
The Swiss version is called "Die Höhle der Löwen Schweiz" (Lion's Cave) and uses the same style, design and name as the German version. The first season premiered on July 7, 2020, on the German-speaking channel 3+. A second season was aired on TV24 and featured famous music producer DJ Antoine.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2021)
Trinidad and Tobago
The Trinbagonian version of Dragon's Den is called "Planting Seeds". The first season premiered on August 23, 2016 on CNC3. The show ran for four seasons before becoming an online sales platform called "Seed Shops".
The original four investors on the show were:
- Joseph Rahael, Managing Director for Real Estate at The ANSA McAL Group
- Racquel Moses, CEO at The Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator
- Joe Pires, Managing Director at Caribbean Chemicals & Agencies
- Sheldon Stephen (Managing Direction at Lollabee Group of Companies
The Turkish version of Dragons' Den is on BloombergHT. Baybars Altuntaş is one of the dragons.
In Ukraine, the series was called Акули бізнесу (Akuly biznesu, "Business Sharks") and featured Dragons such as future presidential candidate Serhiy Tihipko.
Dragons' Den was first broadcast in the UK in January 2005. In the UK, it is broadcast on BBC Two, which has exclusive rights to the show's format from its Japanese producers. The Executive Producer is Dominic Bird and it is hosted by BBC Newsnight presenter Evan Davis. The Dragons are/were:
|Series 1||Series 2||Series 3||Series 4||Series 5||Series 6||Series 7||Series 8||Series 9||Series 10||Series 11||Series 12||Series 13||Series 14||Series 15||Series 16||Series 17 (1st half)||Series 17 (2nd half)||Series 18||Series 19|
|Simon Woodroffe||Theo Paphitis||Piers Linney||Nick Jenkins||Tej Lalvani||Steven Bartlett|
|Doug Richard||Deborah Meaden|
|Duncan Bannatyne||Touker Suleyman||Theo Paphitis||Touker Suleyman|
|Rachel Elnaugh||Richard Farleigh||James Caan||Hilary Devey||Kelly Hoppen||Sarah Willingham||Jenny Campbell||Sara Davies|
During filming for series 17, Touker Suleyman fell ill with pneumonia and was unable to appear on the show for the second half of the series; Theo Paphitis returned temporarily to cover his place.
In May 2021 it was confirmed that Steven Bartlett would become the youngest ever Dragon to join the den.
The U.S. network ABC ordered a pilot episode which was produced by Sony Pictures TV. On 9 October 2008, a casting producer announced that The Shark Tank was accepting applications for a pilot, giving entrepreneurs two weeks to submit their ideas. The pilot was filmed from 6 to 9 January 2009 in Los Angeles.
On 23 September 2016, Shark Tank began its eighth season. The current "sharks" are:
- Robert Herjavec, who sold his IT security firm at the height of the dot-com bubble for over $100 million. Previously appeared on the Canadian version of Dragon's Den.
- Lori Greiner, President and CEO of For Your Ease Only, as well as host of a monthly show on the QVC Network.
- Kevin O'Leary, former co-host of The Lang and O'Leary Exchange on CBC News Network, formerly president of The Learning Company, which was sold to Mattel for $3.7 billion in 1999. Previously appeared on the Canadian version of Dragon's Den.
- Barbara Corcoran, self-made real estate millionaire who sold her company The Corcoran Group for $66 million in 2001.
- Daymond John, founder of FUBU.
- Mark Cuban, owner of the basketball franchise Dallas Mavericks and billionaire entrepreneur.
For the first two seasons of the series, Kevin Harrington was a regular shark. He was replaced in the third season by Mark Cuban.
Unlike versions of the show in other countries, the U.S. version uses a rotating cast of sharks every season, of which five usually appear in each episode, although all six sharks have occasionally appeared on a single episode. Also on occasion, guest investors fill in for a regular shark on the panel. Past guest investors include:
- Jeff Foxworthy, comedian and television personality.
- Steve Tisch, chairman and Executive Vice President of the New York Giants.
- John Paul DeJoria, founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems haircare line and Patrón.
- Nick Woodman, the founder and CEO of GoPro.
- Chris Sacca, Proprietor of Lowercase Capital which made early investments in companies including Uber, Twitter, Kickstarter and Instagram.
- Ashton Kutcher, American actor and investor.
- Troy Carter, Founder, chairman and CEO of Atom Factory.
- Alex Rodriguez, retired Major League Baseball player, currently ESPN Sunday Night Baseball commentator and investor.
- Jamie Siminoff, Founder of Ring Inc.
- Sara Blakely, Founder of Spanx.
- Rohan Oza, brand marketer.
- Daniel Lubetzky, Founder of Kind (company).
- Kendra Scott, Founder of Kendra Scott LLC.
- Peter Jones, dragon on Dragons' Den
- Emma Grede, CEO and co-founder of Good American and founding partner of Skims
- Kevin Hart, founder of Laugh Out Loud Productions, and an actor and comedian
- Nirav Tolia, co-founder of Nextdoor
|Season 1||Season 2||Season 3||Season 4||Season 5||Season 6||Season 7||Season 8||Season 9||Season 10||Season 11||Season 12||Season 13|
|Kevin Harrington||Mark Cuban|
A Vietnamese version of the show, to be titled Shark Tank Việt Nam, is set to air on Vietnam Television in 2017. The "cá mập" (sharks) that have been announced so far are Trương Gia Bình, Vũ Văn Tiền and Trần Bá Dương.
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