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Bite me! ABC’s Shark Tank as a path to entrepreneurship

Author

Listed:
  • Baylee Smith

    (United States Navy)

  • Angelino Viceisza

    () (Spelman College)

Abstract

Abstract Business pitch competitions provide early-stage finance and mentoring for entrepreneurs. In this paper, we analyze data from the most public, high-stakes pitch competition in the USA: ABC’s Shark Tank. We construct a dataset comprising all entrepreneurs/firms that have aired between August 2009 and May 2016. Our findings: (1) funding on the show seems to relax an internal financial constraint, rather than signal the quality of the venture to potential outside investors; (2) to the extent that the latter is occurring, there is plausible evidence that the signaling effect works in an unexpected direction for women entrepreneurs—it may crowd out attention from potential investors; (3) while it is fairly clear that this pitch competition is associated with longer-run existence of firms, it has no significant impacts on innovation; (4) there are no consistent differential impacts on racial/ethnic minorities. These findings complement the literature on the impact of pitch competitions and (early) access to finance.

Suggested Citation

  • Baylee Smith & Angelino Viceisza, 2018. "Bite me! ABC’s Shark Tank as a path to entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 463-479, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:50:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11187-017-9880-8
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-017-9880-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; Pitch competition; Angel-to-venture capital financing; Shark Tank;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General

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