With the rise in popularity of shows like Shark Tank, The Profit and Restaurant Startup, funding a business may appear as simple as having a good idea and knowing your numbers. The unfortunate reality is that to get a “seat at the table” with millionaire and billionaire investors, it is still usually a matter of who you know rather than what you know. With more than 35,000 entrepreneurs vying for 100 spots on the Shark Tank annually, most will fail to make it past an audition. Those who do often offer niche products and services, making Shark Tank more of a variety show than a serious exploration of entrepreneurship. The American dream no longer consists of working for a corporation for 40 years and growing through its ranks. The founders of the Facebooks and Googles of the world are today’s Henry Ford. Entrepreneurship is no longer a profession of the few, but rather a widely revered path to success. However, the investor community must change its perspective to enable the continued growth and expansion of entrepreneurialism.

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