Professor Teaches How to Tame Sharks

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Have a business idea? Professor Sean Wise's latest book "HOT or NOT: How to Know if Your Business Idea Will Fly or Fail" is a tool to help evaluate the viability of your idea, and improve it.

Last Friday, more than 6.2 million Americans tuned into the hit business reality show, SHARK TANK on ABC. The show sees entrepreneurs from coast to coast pitch their business ideas to 5 multimillionaires. Some pitchers will get the cash they need to succeed, but most will feel the pain of biting remarks as these seasoned investors rip apart their so-called “great” ideas.

For 5 seasons, Prof. Sean Wise helped coach entrepreneurs behind the scenes on Dragons’ Den (the show’s name outside of the US). In total Wise has heard more than 10,000 hours of pitches. “Most were terrible” says Wise, who served as Online Host and Industry Advisor to the show. Great ideas change the world, but how do you know if your idea is truly great? That’s the goal of the latest publication from the Ryerson Entrepreneur Institute (REI). “So many entrepreneurs are focused on bad ideas,” says REI Associate Editor, Yanina Chevtchouk “That is why we decided to publish Professor Wise’s 3rd Book: HOT or NOT: How to know if your Business Idea will Fly or Fail”, available now at online and traditional bookstores.

Wise’s views are not his alone. Kevin O’Leary who stars as a judge on the reality show, and who wrote the foreword to Wise’s book, agrees: “It pains me to see good entrepreneurs chase bad opportunities. After all, time, energy, bandwidth and, most of all, M-O-N-E-Y, are all scarce resources. Today, there simply isn’t enough time, money, or energy to pursue every idea.”

Wise, who serves as a Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Ted Rogers School of Management, spent 10 years in the venture capital industry listening to business pitches. Wise estimates that between that decade and the 5 years he spent behind the scenes of the show he has heard more than 20,000 ideas. “This book is meant to help entrepreneurs spend their time on only the very best ideas,” says the 41 year old author who has worked in both Silicon Valley and New York’s venture scene. The book contains 44 elements that investors (Sharks, Dragons, Angels) look at when they decide to fund a startup. It also contains the 8 pitfalls which will scare potential investors away. The book is now available in print and digital formats and is already being adopted by several business schools worldwide.

Shark Tank can be seen weekly on ABC, Fridays at 8 p.m.

To order a complementary review copy please contact: Amanda Hutteri at ahutteri(at)ryerson(dot)ca
For interviews, please contact the author directly: Sean Wise at sean(dot)wise(at)ryerson(dot)ca
For more information on the book: http://hotornotthebook.com/
For more on REI: http://www.Ryerson.ca/REI

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Amanda Hutteri

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