Biz Buzz: Shark Boot Camp comes to Balboa Bay Resort

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graphic-shark (hi-res)A shark tank is coming to Balboa Bay Resort next weekend, but instead of water, these sharks are swimming in cash.

On November 9, more than a dozen alumni from the reality TV show “Shark Tank” (which features a panel of investors listening to and critiquing business pitches from entrepreneurs hoping to secure backing for their projects) will share their experiences of being on the show and becoming an overnight success during Shark Boot Camp, held at Balboa Bay Resort from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Shark Boot Camp offers panel discussion with “Shark Tank” veterans, plus individual presentations covering everything from how to get on the TV show to guerilla marketing and social media.

Real-world pitch sessions to potential investors (and the audience) provides feedback to individual entrepreneurs hoping to hook an investor while serving as a learning experience for the audience.

Local entrepreneur Norm Bour, a “Shark Tank” fan, helped create Shark Boot Camp when he became friends with a “Shark Tank” alumnus. They held their first event a year ago in association with the Guppy Tank, a less carnivorous version of “Shark Tank” that used the show’s alumni as judges. Last June they held another event with more alumni from the show. The November 9 event is the third and largest Shark Boot Camp to date.

“I’d call ‘Shark Tank’ the most successful show on television because more millionaires have been created from this show than any other show out there,” said Bour. “Even if your idea does not get funded, just the exposure to five or six million viewers is a shot in the arm. I have been an entrepreneur my whole life and have always been enamored with the idea of overnight success—businesses that suddenly come out of nowhere but in many cases took years to get to that point.”

One of those overnight success stories that was years in the making comes from keynote speaker Shelly Ehler with ShowNo towels (showno.com), who will talk about the lessons she learned in businesses and in life. According to Bour, Shelly’s “Shark Tank” pitch has aired five times, and is one of the most popular “Shark Tank” segments.

“She has quite a story,” stated Bour. “She went through a lot of difficult times with her business. She talks about what got her on the show and how she got through it. She’s an amazing speaker.”

Ehler’s address comes at the start of Shark Boot Camp. Following her is a “Shark Tank” alumni panel discussing what happened before, during and after the show, and what works and what to avoid when seeking capital. Afternoon sessions include working with podcasters and bloggers, using a smart phone to maximize profits, and crowdfunding techniques and tips.

Bour expects up to 150 people to attend Shark Boot Camp, which he says is a combination of entertainment and information.

“This is for anyone who is a fan of “Shark Tank,” anyone who wants to pitch to an investor and get a really good education on how to do that,” he said. “Many people think they have a brilliant idea, but when you share it in public you find out it’s maybe not so brilliant. It’s a great way to get a reality check.”

The Shark Boot Camp idea is taking off. Bour already has one scheduled for January in Las Vegas, and wants to take the concept national and have Shark Boot Camps held across the country.

“I want to turn it into a two day workshop and have 25 people from the show come in and have breakout sessions. They’ve been on television in front of millions of people and in many cases have become millionaires in a short period of time afterwards. It’s a great motivator and very inspirational.

Registration for Shark Boot Camp is $97. A VIP package is available for $147 which includes personal one on one conversations and coaching from the alumni as well as a MasterMind lunch session.

For information or registration, call (949) 495-6162 or visit SharkBootCamp.com.

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