Despite admitting that they made only about $4,000 and only had 1,120 people signed up, brothers Rodolfo and Alexis Saccoman still landed a deal with "Shark Tank's" Kevin O'Leary and Robert Herjavec for MyTherapyJournal, a website that helps people gauge their emotions online. Read the Q&A with former CEO Rodolfo Saccoman below.
What do you think it was about your pitch that got the sharks to bite?
We studied for "Shark Tank" as if we were Ph.D. students defending our theses. We watched every episode of "Dragon's Den," and analyzed several aspects of which participants won and which ones lost. We learned how they entered the room, their body language, how they responded to questions, how they reacted to criticism, how they told stories, how they connected to the investors. Since it was the first season (five years ago), yet to be aired, we had to position ourselves to be in the best possible scenario to get a victory, which we did.
What was it like going into "Shark Tank" on season one?
It was a surreal experience. We knew Mark Burnett was involved and his track record is solid. The suspense was definitely intense. We did not know if we were going to be selected or win, and if winning, would the show actually air. Like Kevin O'Leary said during our episode, "destiny intervened," and we won and the show aired successfully. We knew the recipe of the show had the potential to become a hit and it did.
Were there any scenes that were shot that didn't make it onto the show?
I can remember one scene in particular. We waited for about three hours in a dark room behind the studio. The room was huge and we could hear the sharks interacting with other participants, and after each participant finished, we could see the sharks walk behind the studio to their dressing rooms and then return to the studio. Then they called us in. They had us stand in front of them for about seven minutes, lights in our faces, adrenaline off the charts, in complete silence. We had rehearsed our three-minute pitch hundreds of times (no exaggeration) and had to count the minutes, keep our cool, before they gave us the green light. When we got the green light, it was as if a dragon was unleashed.
What has been the impact of being on "Shark Tank"?
Amazing. We grew over 150 percent overnight, got thousands of new users, revenues catapulted, dozens of interviews, and we became the brand for online journaling focused at healing, therapy and well-being.
What's the state of your company now?
MyTherapyJournal has done fantastic. We actually just opened a new round of funding and are actively seeking new investors, strategic partners and open to buyout or merger opportunities.
Alexis Saccoman continues to manage MyTherapyJournal and is also a program director at iThrive.
Tuesdays have more bite with back-to-back episodes of "Shark Tank" on CNBC every Tuesday night.