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Shark Talk: Wooing Venture Capitalists.. Without Getting Eaten Alive!

Shark Talk: Wooing Venture Capitalists.. Without Getting Eaten Alive!

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Shark Talk: Wooing Venture Capitalists.. Without Getting Eaten Alive!

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Aug 27, 2013


If you've ever watch Shark Tank on TV and dreamed about launching your own business and finding sharks (venture capitalists) to fund it, then look no further. Phil Randazzo's Shark Talk walks readers step-by-step through everything they need to know, whether to appear on the show or just launch a successful business.
Aug 27, 2013

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Shark Talk - Philip Randazzo

Praise for

Shark Talk

"Phil Randazzo and I have had the chance to teach entrepreneurship to many groups in the past years. One of the over-riding impressions we have of budding entrepreneurs is their lack of fundamental business knowledge and skills. Often their ideas are terrific; however, they are not capable of presenting these ideas in a logical and thorough fashion. This was abundantly clear in our E-Star contest—good ideas, poor presentations. Phil’s book Shark Talk presents a tremendous opportunity to someone with a great idea: figure out how to present it and you will be ahead of the crowd (your competition)!"

— Stuart Engs, Entrepreneur

"Entrepreneurship is the driving force behind innovation, employment, and wealth creation. Despite its critical importance, there is very little information about the specific steps that must be taken for successfully funding early stage companies that may someday become great economic drivers. In Shark Talk, Phil has provided invaluable and specific guidelines about the capital raising process from someone who has been in those meetings, faced those questions and been successful. Shark Talk will help entrepreneurs better prepare themselves for meetings with capital providers and should be studied by anyone wading into those shark-infested waters."

— Ken Wiles, CEO AlertID

Phil and I have known each other for many years. Over the years, I have seen firsthand Phil’s individual efforts to start and grow businesses in our community. See, not unlike Phil, I too am afflicted with the ‘E’ disease—entrepreneurship. If you are lucky enough to have this ailment, then you will appreciate Phil’s comments and directions of ‘how to’ in the following pages.

— Maury Gallagher, Venture Capitalist,

and CEO & Chairman of Allegiant Airlines



Wooing Venture Capitalists…

Without Getting Eaten Alive!


New York

Shark Talk

Wooing Venture Capitalists…Without Getting Eaten Alive!

Copyright © 2013 Phil Randazzo

All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the expressed written permission of the Author.

Address all inquiries to:

Published by:

Aviva Publishing

Lake Placid, NY


Print ISBN: 978-1-938686-04-7

Library of Congress Control Number:  2013906006

Edited by: Tim Polk & Tyler Tichelaar

Cover Design & Interior Layout: Fusion Creative Works,

Printed in the United States of America.

First Edition

For additional copies, please visit:


To my parents, both natural and stepparents. How you guys put up with me is beyond me. THANKS!!

To my dad, who didn’t make it to see or read the book. Thanks for pushing me. We all miss you. Say, Hi to everyone and continue to protect our families.

To my sisters. You have the most positive attitudes of anyone I know. To all my stepbrothers and stepsisters whom I consider part of my family—you guys are awesome! I still remember sharing that one shower among seven of us. (Pretty disgusting, now that I think about it!)

To everyone I’ve worked with—having a great team is critical to success! I’ve learned from every one of you.

Finally, to my children—you guys are awesome and put up with so much from me, including moments of my craziness, bouts of anger and frustration, competitiveness (ping pong, pool, business, you name it). I’m so proud of all of you kids; you’ve done remarkably well! Remember, family first, then pursue your passions. Money will follow. Have FUN! You guys grew up too fast! I wish I could go back to when you were all under the age of five.

To my wife, Jennie—crazy, we did so well! From a Honda Civic with no air and living with friends in Las Vegas, delivering newspapers and magazines at night, to owning all that we have now…. It seems surreal even to think about it. We are blessed. Thanks for putting up with me and offering to get more adventurous in our old age. We’ll have some fun!

And finally, to our veterans—we all owe you a debt of gratitude. I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done to keep this country great.

Legal Disclaimer

This book and its corresponding website are not affiliated in any way with the ABC television show Shark Tank.

This book is presented solely for educational and entertainment purposes. The author and publisher are not offering it as legal, accounting, or other professional services advice. While the best efforts have been used in preparing this book, the author and publisher make no representations or warranties of any kind and assume no liabilities of any kind with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents, and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness of use for a particular purpose. Neither the author nor the publisher shall be held liable or responsible to any person or entity with respect to any loss of incidentals or consequential damages caused, or alleged to have been caused, directly or indirectly, by the information or programs contained herein. Every company and idea is different, and the advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation.

You should seek the services of competent professionals before launching any business. Or, you could also study the 87,000 pages of the Internal Revenue Service code, as well as all the business related laws, regulations, and codes produced by the Federal Government, your state government, and all local cities and municipalities as they apply to your business.

Good luck!



A Note to Veterans from the Author


Introduction: What is Shark Tank?

PART ONE: Getting Ready

Chapter 1: So, You Want to Be an Entrepreneur?

Chapter 2: Putting Your House in Order

Chapter 3: Preparing for the Sharks… and Those Who Act Like Sharks

PART TWO: Talking to the Sharks

Chapter 4: Your Presentation

Chapter 5: Negotiation Skills

Chapter 6: Mistakes to Avoid


Chapter 7: What If You Don’t Get a Deal?

Chapter 8: What If You DO Get a Deal?

APPENDICES: Help for Presenting to the Sharks

Appendix 1: Resources for Further Study

Appendix 2: Free Pitch Review Coupon

Appendix 3 The Application Process

Appendix 4 Your Elevator Pitch/The Napkin Test

Appendix 5: Local Entrepreneurial Activities

Appendix 6: Business Plan Contests and Angel Investors

Appendix 7: List of Angel Investors by Region

About Phil Randazzo




I have known Phil for many years. Over the years, I have seen firsthand his individual efforts to start and grow businesses in our community. See, not unlike Phil, I too am afflicted with the E disease—entrepreneurship. If you are lucky enough to have this ailment, then you will appreciate Phil’s comments and directions on how to in the following pages.

The key to a successful, enjoyable life is to be able to live your passion(s)—both in your personal life with a soulmate who is sharing life’s journey, and just as importantly, in your professional life. Whether you are a professional performer, a professional athlete, a professional businessperson working for a company, or an entrepreneur, if you get up every morning anticipating the day, the upcoming week, and the years thereafter, contemplating how you are going to attack this or that problem, you are fortunate. As I have told my kids many times, the fun in life is in the journey—the Pursuit of Happiness as outlined in the Declaration of Independence.

I have been a serial entrepreneur since I was a youngster. One of the tests I believe strongly in asking yourself is: What do I find myself thinking about when I daydream—what occupies my mind, what thoughts do I twist this way and that when I have idle time? In my case, I was always thinking of this and that business opportunity. Even today, when I go out to eat, shop, you name it, I am continually looking at how other businesses are conducting themselves—are they efficient, do the people deal with customers efficiently, quickly—with a positive, good attitude? These are many of my default thoughts.

Individual efforts by entrepreneurs, who have built businesses over the past two hundred-plus years, have been the backbone of our nation’s success. It is a special breed of person, one who can live with risk, with the possibility of failure, yet who has the optimism, the belief that he or she can succeed where many others have failed, who can be an entrepreneur.

Make no mistake about it—going out on your own is a risky business. Just as you typically only see the best athletes on television playing baseball, football, etc. and not the others who have failed in their efforts to get to the big leagues, so too is the case in the entrepreneurial world. We all know about Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and others, and you probably know some who have had success developing businesses in your community. But there are many who do not make it, who invested time, money, and their passion only to come up short. There are many reasons for failure—poor planning, insufficient demand, lack of financial resources, and poor execution, to name a few.

This is where Shark Talk™ can help. For those of you who have had success, but

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