‘Shark Tank’ draws 200 Salisbury entrepreneurs

"Shark Tank" hopefuls

Some 200 hopeful entrepreneurs attended a casting call for the ABC TV show “Shark Tank.”

A record number of entrepreneurs came competed last week for an opportunity to be on one of the most popular shows on television — “Shark Tank” — seen locally on 47 ABC.

Some 200 entrepreneurs and their support teams arrived at The Perdue School of Business on the Salisbury University campus to pitch their products and ideas for an opportunity to appear on the ABC hit show.

Entrepreneurs began to gather at the Atrium in the Business School the night before the event, sitting up all night just for the chance to be at the start of the Casting Call.

Mindy Zemrak, seven-year veteran Casting Manager for “Shark Tank”, coordinated the production side of the Casting Call with 47 ABC’s Creative Services Manager, John Ebert.

Ebert and his team, photographers Don Gaul and Brian Bonsteel, shot a 10-question clip of every entrepreneur that came to participate.

Zemrak, standing on a chair in the Atrium, briefed the group on the format to be followed:  ten questions, in the same order for everybody to ensure that all were on a level playing field of opportunity.  She told the group exactly what the “Shark Tank” executives would be looking for:  product, enthusiasm and personality.

Casting Call pitches ranged from “Boobilicious” to male pattern baldness to presentations involving snakes and lizards.  And, of course, there was a wide array of food and food related products.

Local business people and investors worked the crowd, passing out business cards and encouraging the entrepreneurs to give them a call to chat about local partnerships.  The Perdue School of Business, led by Dean Bob Wood and Professor Bill Burke, provided the perfect venue.

They suggested the coordination of the Casting Call with their own Shore Hatchery event for local and student entrepreneurs.  The School of Business also supported the event with overnight building security for the early arrivals, multiple-rooms, a hospitality room, promotional support and students to serve as hosts, guides and information sources.

DBED and MCE, among others, were on site to provide additional information on grants and financial opportunities.

To further assist local partnerships and entrepreneurial visibility, 47 ABC will be posting edited presentations on their website www.47ABC.com where everyone can see the exciting products and ideas in development pitched at the Casting Call.

Website visitors can vote for Delmarva’s Choice for Entrepreneur up to once a day every day for a three-week period beginning May 19.

Maryland Capital Enterprises will join 47 ABC in presenting a check for $4,000 to the entrepreneur getting the highest number of votes at the conclusion of the three week period.

Entrepreneurs from this Casting Call are being considered by show executives for the September production of “Shark Tank”.  “Shark Tank” currently airs on Friday nights on 47 ABC.

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