‘Shark Tank’ judge makes return visit to campus

Author: The Observer

Kevin O Leary 800 X 450

University student entrepreneurs pitched their best business ventures to “Shark Tank’s” Kevin O’Leary, following a presentation on his life and tips for success in entrepreneurship in the Mendoza College of Business on Monday.

The talk, sponsored by the Mendoza College of Business and the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship, filled the 350-seat Jordan Auditorium, as students and faculty came to hear O’Leary’s insights on entrepreneurship.

“After nine years and thousands of pitches, there’s a lot to be learned about what goes right and what goes wrong, and how you present your ideas to investors,” O’Leary said. “I don’t care whether you are an entrepreneur, a leader, a politician — these lessons matter in terms of your ability to communicate with people.”

In his experience judging pitches on “Shark Tank,” O’Leary said all of the successful pitches had three aspects in common: They articulated the opportunity in 90 seconds or less, they convinced their potential investors they’re the right person for the business and they knew their numbers, or found someone who did.

“The whole deal with a small business is to find out what makes your story compelling to your customer and stay in touch,” O’Leary said. “ … That actually is the secret to ‘Shark Tank.’ If you ever get there and you get to pitch to the sharks, and they offer you a very aggressive deal, it’s because they’ve figured out how valuable you are.”

Read the entire story on The Observer website.