The three-time founder--most notably of FUBU--has been a star on the show since it premiered nearly 10 years ago, and has made deals with some of its most prominent companies, among them Bubba's-Q Boneless Ribs, Mo's Bows, and Mission Belt. But to get a deal with John, entrepreneurs must target their pitches and show they've done their homework.
"They can say something that they know about me personally, one of the Sharks or a reason why I resonate with the product," John told Inc. in December. "They could say, 'Did you ever think that if you have this in your portfolio, that whether this worked out or not, it would be a great addition?'"
John also looks for partners who willingly admit what they don't know and what they hope to gain by teaming up with a Shark. "I can help with the account, licensing, whatever the case is," John says, however, entrepreneurs should know the fundamentals of their business. "But if you're asking how to bake a cake, and I don't know how to bake a cake and you don't know, then I'm not going to invest in it because it's the blind leading the blind."
John says "any kind of sales [figures], doesn't have to be large" will pique his interest. But make sure not to mention how big the market is, or, as John has said, he'll start thinking about his next meal.