How Shark Tank is Popularizing Entrepreneurship [infographic]

ABC’s hit reality series “Shark Tank” has created a new wave of excitement for entrepreneurship. One of the show’s producers, Clay Newbill, explained how they find participants: “My goal is to find the best people with the best ideas. Whether it be for a business or a product, I look first for something that makes me and my team say, ‘Wow!’ We actually call them ‘wow’ ideas.”

In the fourth season of the show, producers received 36,079 applicants. Of those, 140 were selected and 96 of them are expected to pitch on air. What’s really incredible is that with only six “sharks,” or investors, participating in the show, they’ve pledged an astounding $12.8 million in funding during the fourth season alone. Season 3 pledges totaled $6.2 million, with Season 2 being the lowest at $4 million and Season 1 at $5 million.

The amount of entrepreneurs who received funding from the sharks totaled 29 in Season 1. Season 2, there were 19 recipients, 28 in Season 3 and six in Season 4 (which only accounts for three episodes of the show’s expected 24-episode run). This means big numbers for ABC’s viewership. Season 1 saw 5 million viewers per episode, with Season 6 raking in as many as 6.5 million.

Check out the infographic below for more revelations on “Shark Tank” and entrepreneurship.

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(Photo credit: Entrepreneur)