Three Techstars Portfolio Companies Enter the Shark Tank

Apr 24, 2024

During April alone, three Techstars portfolio companies entered the tank and pitched their businesses to the Sharks on ABC's Shark Tank. Two Techstars founders share their experiences filming the television show and offer tips for other founders looking to enter the tank.

Did the Sharks make an offer? Watch the episode recordings linked below to find out!

Dawn Myers (pictured above), Founder and CEO of Richualist (Techstars 2023):

  • I filmed a few months after Techstars, so my pitch was rock solid. Not having to worry so much about the pitch freed me up to focus on letting my personality and mission come through. I was able to pivot and improvise because my foundation was strong.

  • I met with investors ahead of time to let them know about the opportunity, gauge their comfort with the possibility of giving up equity, and model out different scenarios. Even with all that prep, the pressure on stage was intense! If I could go back in time, I would have done more mock negotiations ahead of time.

  • Overall, I had a blast and you should too! Only between .3 and .4 percent of applicants get to that stage, so if you make it, you are ready and have earned it. Remember to have fun, relish the moment, and pat yourself on the back for all your hard work.

Veon Brewster - Shark Tank

Veon Brewster, Founder and CEO of Veba Baby (Techstars 2023):

  • It can definitely be intimidating to think of answering questions from Sharks in a rapid fashion, with bright lights surrounding you and hi-definition cameras at every turn. This isn't your average business meeting. But within 30 seconds of starting my pitch, the nerves subsided and I was in a zone — I actually forgot about the cameras! The experience in the tank felt like an out-of-body experience where time was no longer a factor. As the doors opened to walk into the tank, I whispered to myself, "I got this." If you're fortunate to make it to that point, remind yourself that you know your product and market more than anyone else — remember to be your biggest cheerleader!

  • Nailing the pitch naturally involves lots of practice and knowing your numbers, but an important component is remembering the reason why you started to build your product in the first place. What was the human need you are solving for? Focus on the user story and their pain point. Telling that story from your user's perspective places the Sharks in their shoes and weaving that narrative into your pitch creates a compelling story. Your pitch becomes more than the features you're bringing to the market and more about the human need you're solving.

  • Having worked closely with my Techstars pitch coach while in the program was a tremendous advantage for feeling more prepared when entering the tank! My Demo Day was just four months before filming and I tapped into several presentation tips that we had practiced together, like planting my feet and feeling "grounded" before I started speaking, particularly practicing my pacing — which made me feel more comfortable and confident in front of the Sharks.

Episode Recordings

S15 E19 · Episode 19

Aired April 5, 2024

The episode features Dawn Myers, Founder and CEO of Richualist (Techstars 2023), and Veon Brewster and Sean Brewster, Founders of Veba Baby (Techstars 2023).

S15 E20 · Episode 20

Aired April 12, 2024

The episode features Rumaiza Ali and Anas Ali, Founders of Wedy (Techstars 2024).