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Bikini entrepreneur reveals 'Shark Tank' secrets

Pitching to the sharks is never easy, especially if you're a television newbie.

"You get on TV and all the bright lights are on you," Mix Bikini designer Frank Scozzafava said. "There's cameramen with a camera here in your face and all these lights and the sharks." Before entering the tank, he received a word of warning from a producer.

"'They're going to come after you, and if you stand there like a deer in the headlights, you're not going to make a deal,'" he remembered the producer saying. "'So you need to get out there and you need to bite back, and you need to get feisty and you need to stand up for your idea and you need to give it back to them.'"

Barbara Corcoran being kissed by the founders Frank Scozzafava and Adam DiSilvestro at the Mix Bikini launch party
Source: Sophie Versus Emily
Barbara Corcoran being kissed by the founders Frank Scozzafava and Adam DiSilvestro at the Mix Bikini launch party

That's just what the entrepreneur did, and he landed a deal with Barbara Corcoran. But that wasn't where the story ended.

"After that, they put you on a little golf cart and they take you through the studio, and they take you back to basically get debriefed by a psychiatrist," he said. "To ask you questions like, 'Do you feel any ill will towards the contestants?' 'Do you feel like you want to harm yourself?' 'Do you feel like you want to harm the contestants?'" But he was anything but upset. Quite the opposite.


Mix and match and reverse all bikinis from Sophie vs. Emily.
Source: Sophie vs. Emily
Mix and match and reverse all bikinis from Sophie vs. Emily.

"No, I'm super happy," he said. "I just made a deal with Barbara, who was the coolest one and that's who I wanted to make a deal with." The sharks may perform due diligence financially, but the producers likewise take precautions with their guests.

"They thought maybe because one of the other sharks turned me down, that I might want to hurt them or was depressed about something and might want to hurt myself," he said. "But that certainly wasn't the case."


—By Liza Hughes, Special to CNBC.com. Follow Liza @Liza_Hughes

Tuesdays have more bite with back-to-back episodes of "Shark Tank" on CNBC every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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Meet the Sharks

  • Mark is the highly successful entrepreneur and investor who founded HDNet, Broadcast.com and MicroSolutions.

  • Barbara Corcoran parlayed a $1,000 loan into a five-billion-dollar real estate business.

  • Lori Greiner started with one idea and turned it into a multi-million dollar international brand.