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American Reality-Show Shark Tank

Shark Tank

Shark Tank is a reality show on American television. It is a business show that has a certain impact on the development of new entrepreneurship. Its goal is to allow young entrepreneur-contestants to present their projects and, in case their business ideas are promising, they have a chance to receive an investment from the “sharks” of contemporary business. The show itself has been a topic of many research projects that will be included in this review. The show is not unique; it is a franchise. Baumann and Rohn (2016) analyze the branding practices of the Shark Tank and similar shows such as Dragons’ Den or Höhle der Löwen and make conclusions concerning global projects and their cultural branding.

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Thus, Haertel, Terkowsky, and May (2016) share the Shark Tank experience of engineering students. The way students to entrepreneurship are described. They state that experience similar to participation in the Shark Tank can teach students to think like entrepreneurs and develop creative and innovative ideas for their future start-ups.

Much attention is dedicated to a gaming aspect of the show. For example, Hall (2014) researched incorporating relevance and rigor in a game environment on the example of the Barracuda cove investment game which is analogous to the Shark Tank. The author claims that student learning outcomes can benefit from a “gamelike” environment because it provides students with an opportunity “to connect real-world activities to marketing and business concepts presented in a relevant and authentic manner” (Hall, 2014, p. 47). Arora and Saxena Arora (2015) explore an experiential lab game in interdisciplinary business education dedicated to supplying chain marketing. It is an example of how the show can be used for educating future entrepreneurs in business schools. Another education aspect is presented by Smith and Viceisza (2017). The authors provide an analysis of the opportunities for the participants of the Shark Tank show and give recommendations to new entrepreneurs. Such shows can provide educational material. Thus, Moy (2014) presents the opportunities of the Shark Tank which include videos that can be used as case studies for venture capital entrepreneurship. Bodnar, Clark, and Besterfield-Sacre (2015) suggest ideas for using the Shark Tank design challenge in forming and developing entrepreneurship and innovation skills in the conditions of students’ boot camp. The experiment proved that this approach was efficient and can be used for learning purposes.

The gender aspect was also of interest in the context of the show. Keren (2016) investigates the issue of feminism and the elimination of gender inequality as related to entrepreneurship. The show is a representation of female participation in contemporary business.

Security is an integral part of a successful business project. Banham (2017) provides tips on cybersecurity that can be applied to any business. Such pieces of advice as using a guard against malware and phishing attacks or the use of the cloud for security infrastructure are included. The conclusion is made that despite challenges faced by women in business, the representation of female entrepreneurs is increasing.

Investments provided by the ‘sharks’ are, in fact, an example of third-party funding. Sahani (2017) investigates the process of the reshaping of the third-party funding and describes the possible roles of an investor in a new company. The author states that the suggested reshaping can help to mitigate the existing risks of a third party involved in funding.


Arora, A., & Saxena Arora, A. (2015). “Supply Chain-Marketing Shark Tank” experiential lab game in interdisciplinary business education: Qualitative and quantitative analyses. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, 13(1), 21-43. Web.

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Banham, R. (2017). Cybersecurity tips from the ‘Shark Tank’. Journal of Accountancy. 

Baumann, S., & Rohn, U. (2016). The branding practices behind Dragons’ Den, Shark Tank and Höhle der Löwen. Meet the Predators, 5(9). Web.

Bodnar, C., Clark, R., & Besterfield-Sacre, M. (2015). Lessons learned through sequential offerings of an innovation and entrepreneurship boot camp for sophomore engineering students. The Journal of Engineering Entrepreneurship, 6(1), 52-67. Web.

Haertel, T., Terkowsky, C., & May, D. (2016). The Shark Tank experience: How engineering students learn to become entrepreneurs. Web.

Hall, S.E. (2014). Incorporating relevance and rigor in a game environment: Barracuda cove investment game. Marketing Education Review, 24(1), 47-51.

Keren, H. (2016). Women in the Shark Tank: Entrepreneurship and feminism in a neoliberal age. Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, 34(1), 75-123.

Moy, R.L. (2014). Swimming with the sharks: Case studies in venture capital entrepreneurship. Journal of the Academy of Business, 15, 56-65.

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Sahani, V.S. (2017). Reshaping third-party funding. Tulane law Review, 91(405), 405-472.

Smith, B., & Viceisza, A. (2017). Bite me! ABC’s Shark Tank as a path to entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics.

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