The 60-Second Pitch: My Journey To Get On Shark Tank

shark-tank logoOn May 15th, I took the journey from Appleton, WI to Columbus, OH for a chance of a lifetime – the opportunity to pitch my startup, WeMontage, for 60 seconds at an open call for the uber popular TV show, Shark Tank.

“Opportunity” is the right word to use because after spending time and money to get to the open call, there was no guarantee I’d get to pitch. There’d only be first-come, first-serve pitch bracelets for five hundred people.

Luckily for me, I made the cut!

Why Do I Want To Get On Shark Tank?

I recently listened to an incredible book by Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing About Hard Things. I had two key take aways from the book:

  1. The only difference between successful and non-successful CEOs is the successful ones never quit. Phew! I have a chance, because not quitting is really the only thing I’m any good at; and
  2. When things get hard in your business and you’re not sure if there is anything you can do to make a difference, you ALWAYS have a move. Let me repeat that. You ALWAYS have a move.

Things are hard right now at WeMontage. We have a great product, with lots of happy customers. And were recently featured on the TODAY Show, but we are out of cash, cutting expenses, and all of our investors and advisors have left us for dead.

With 20 million viewers of the show, and lack of consistent proper exposure as the biggest issue for WeMontage, getting on Shark Tank is my move.

What Should A 60 Second Shark Tank Pitch Include?

60 seconds is not a lot of time to draw someone in, but I think the pitch should include the following elements:

  1. Problem/solution statement
  2. Description of the product or service
  3. Business/revenue model
  4. Market opportunity
  5. Sales traction
  6. The ask and what you’re offering
  7. Use of funds

And you should be super energetic!

Below is a twitter, Facebook, and instagram recap of my journey to get to the Shark Tank open pitch call-using Storify. Enjoy and I look forward to any questions or comments.


James Oliver, Jr.
Co-founder of the world's cutest twins. Founder of Parent entrepreneur advocate via Alum of the startup accelerator and UNC-Chapel Hill (MBA). Cheeky. ESTP. Golf nut.
James Oliver, Jr.

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