Over 100 Startup Questions Asked by the Shark Tank Sharks

Questions the sharks will ask startupsIf you are like me you love to watch Shark Tank on ABC!  The cast are all real investors that use their own money (e.g. Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavek, Daymond John, Lori Greiner, and Kevin O’Leary) and they are serious when questioning aspiring entrepreneurs about their businesses.  These startups are seeking investments to help launch and grow their businesses so when facing the Sharks they had better come prepared to answer lots of questions.  The questions are typical questions that you would expect any investor to ask however to give you an idea I have listed over 100 of them below.  As you will notice there is a repeating pattern and some questions are the same only asked a different way.

If you are a new business, startup company, or entrepreneur trying to get funding, before you face the sharks or any VC for that matter be prepared to answer many of the questions below. The show Shark Tank has a lot of scripted drama however these are questions that venture capital firms ask early state businesses.

Shark Tank Questions Entrepreneurs Need to Ask

  1. Why are you different than your competition?
  2. What do you sell your product for?
  3. What does it cost to make your product?
  4. What are your projected sales?
  5. What do you sell them for?
  6. What are your sales like?
  7. What is your marketing spend?
  8. Where do you make your product?
  9. What is your upside?
  10. Why do you value your company the way you do?
  11. Why do you want this investment?
  12. Do you currently rent commercial real estate?
  13. What will you use the money for?
  14. What will you do with the money if I give it to you?
  15. Do you own a patent?
  16. What is proprietary about your product or service?
  17. What is your background?
  18. How long have you worked on your idea or concept?
  19. How long have you been working on this?
  20. What makes you think consumers want your product?
  21. Is there a proof of concept?
  22. How do customers order your product?
  23. Do you sell online?
  24. What made you want to get into this business?
  25. How long have you been doing this business?
  26. How did you come up with your valuation?
  27. Are you working on your business idea full time?
  28. How many subscribers are there?
  29. How much will membership cost me?
  30. What are your shipping costs?
  31. How long do I have to sign up for?
  32. Tell me about your acquisition costs?
  33. What is your cost of goods?
  34. What is your attrition rate?
  35. What is the lifetime value of your product or service?
  36. Who is your biggest customer?
  37. What are your sales in the last 12 months?
  38. How much does it cost to rent office space in your city?
  39. What is your conversion rate online?
  40. Do you make your product domestic or international?
  41. Who are your competitors?
  42. How do I get my money back and when?
  43. How big can you get?
  44. How does your service add value?
  45. How does your service work?
  46. How many locations and markets are you in?
  47. Did you design your product yourself?
  48. Is there a partner or partners currently involved?
  49. questions to grow your businessHow scalable is your product or service?
  50. How do you make it more scalable?
  51. How much of your own money have you invested?
  52. How much money can you make?
  53. Are there any samples you can show us?
  54. Where do you currently sell them?
  55. Where do the majority of your sales come from?
  56. How do you sell them?
  57. What were your sales last year?
  58. What are your logistics?
  59. How do you plan on getting the word out about your product?
  60. How did you come up with your idea?
  61. Where does it sit on the shelf?
  62. What are your cost of goods?
  63. How much have you sold and in what period of time?
  64. How will you do when the media frenzy dies?
  65. How many reorders from people are there that ordered in the past?
  66. Why give part of your company away right now?
  67. Are you a product or a company?
  68. Do you want money or a partner?
  69. What will sales be this calendar year?
  70. Why would a store carry your product?
  71. What do you make it for and what do you sell it for?
  72. When scaled what will you sell it for?
  73. Who came up with the design?
  74. Tell us how it works?
  75. Run us through the process on how your service works?
  76. Who is your target audience?
  77. What do you charge for your product or service?
  78. Is there a lot of competition?
  79. What is unique about your product or service?
  80. Is it easy for customers to understand?
  81. How are you going to turn this into a brand?
  82. Tell us about you business.
  83. How much is the package?
  84. What do you want the money for?
  85. Tell me how you become bigger
  86. How big is your team?
  87. How much product or service has been sold?
  88. What does it cost, what does it sell for, and how many do you sell?
  89. Why should I care about your product?
  90. Where is the secret sauce in your company?
  91. Can you license your product?
  92. Has anybody else offered you money?
  93. What is unique about your product?
  94. What do you do that makes this worth your valuation?
  95. Am I buying a service, product, or idea?
  96. Can anybody else do what you do?
  97. What makes your business investable?
  98. Who is your consumer so far?
  99. What do you sell it for and what does it cost to make?
  100. How much product has been sold?
  101. How much is each unit?
  102. Is there product in retail right now?
  103. Who did your packaging?
  104. Is your patent issued?
  105. Why did you pick that product name?
  106. What are your projections for next year?
  107. How much of your own money have you put into this?
  108. What problem does your product solve?
  109. Is there a learning curve for your product?
  110. Why are people buying your product or service?
  111. Is there enough money to build the inventory to put into retail?
  112. business financial questionsWhat has your financing been to date?
  113. What is your monthly burn?
  114. What is your breakeven point?
  115. What is the story on the service or product?
  116. Where do you see your sales growth coming from?
  117. Can you estimate how big your market is?
  118. How will you grow this product or service (e.g. sales, price, customer base, etc)?
  119. What percent of market share does your competition have compared to what you have?
  120. What is your run rate?
  121. Who is your biggest competitor?
  122. What is the reason I would want this?
  123. What does it cost you to make it?
  124. Do you have a patent?
  125. How do you scale that?
  126. How big do you think you can be in 2-3 years?
  127. Of all the products you have sold how many customers have purchased more?
  128. What are you going to use the money for?
  129. Have you done any corporate sales?
  130. Ho do you keep the information updated?
  131. Do you currently have a day job?
  132. How do you make your living now?
  133. How long ago did you upload it?
  134. Why are you better?
  135. If you were able to get us to invest what would you do with the money?
  136. How do you access the data?
  137. Is the product where you want it to be right now?
  138. Your business has been going for how long?
  139. How has business been the first 12 months?
  140. What sales do you think you could get in the 2nd year?
  141. What is your personal background?
  142. Were you profitable in the first year?
  143. How much money have you raised so far for your business?
  144. Why do you need our money?
  145. What are you expecting us to contribute?
  146. What all is included with your product?
  147. What’s your background?
  148. How much do you do in crowdfunding?
  149. How much does your product or service cost vs the competition?
  150. Where you making your product?
  151. What is your lead time?
  152. How did you determine valuation?
  153. Are you profitable?
  154. Why were you losing money?
  155. At what point do you become profitable?
  156. How much money have you raised so far, if any?
  157. What has ever happened to you that was beyond your control after you were 15 years old?
  158. Can your product idea be mass produced without reducing quality?

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