By Dawn Nolan
The Charleston Gazette, W.Va.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Did you ever wonder how entrepreneurs make it on to the “Shark Tank”? This article takes a peek inside one West Virginia couple’s experience in applying and being accepted for the show. A good read for women in business who want to swim with the sharks…
Eighteen months ago, if you’d asked Angie and Dee Cowger their thoughts on the reality show “Shark Tank,” there wouldn’t have been much of a conversation.
The hot dog chili-cooking husband and wife team behind West Virginia’s popular Custard Stand Food Products had never heard of the ABC hit series on which entrepreneurs pitch business deals to a panel of high-profile investors in hopes of securing the funds they need to make it to the next level.
“We had several friends and customers asking, ‘Hey, have you seen that ‘Shark Tank’ show?’ and we told them, ‘No, we don’t know anything about it,” Angie said.
That happened so many times that Dee had a “Shark Tank” marathon, watching show after show while he was out of town on a solo hunting trip.
“He called me and he said, ‘I really think we ought to give this ‘Shark Tank’ show a try.’ And I said, ‘Are you kidding?'” Angie said.
Dee had to convince her that it was the right move to make.
“I told my wife, ‘If we can just get on the show, that’s going to help our company — deal or no deal,'” he remembered.
On Feb. 21, viewers from West Virginia and across the country were watching as Angie and Dee took a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
Into the tank
“We submitted a one or two paragraph online email to a ‘Shark Tank’ email address. We did that around the first week of March,” Angie said.