Kevin O’Leary, Blake Mycoskie talk filming ‘Shark Tank’ in pandemic bubble, inspiring entrepreneurs

NEW YORK — Not even a pandemic could stop the 12th season of ABC’s Shark Tank!

Shark Kevin O’Leary and this week’s Guest Shark Blake Mycoskie of “TOMS Shoes” talk about filming the premiere, inspiring stories, and the amazing deals they made.

O’Leary said that making sure the set was safe and COVID-free for the Sharks, crew, and entrepreneurs was a huge undertaking.

“No one had ever created a bubble that big, a million square feet, the Venetian Hotel being completely sealed off, over 280 people being tested every 72 hours including 80 plus entrepreneurs who had to quarantine for 11 days in Las Vegas near us but not with us,” he said.

The good news is that it was a success and no one got sick.

Mycoskie said that being a part of Shark Tank was an amazing experience for him.

“I was able to make some investments and give some advice that I hope will help these entrepreneurs in the way that many mentors and advisors have helped me throughout my entrepreneurial career,” he said.

During the pandemic, unemployment is very high and many businesses have been forced to close. Still, the sharks say they’ve seen businesses adapt and new ideas emerge.

“When the business environment is tough, a lot of the big companies are pulling back from innovation, pulling back in marketing, and that leaves shelf space and consumer mind space for the start-up for the entrepreneur,” Mycoskie said.

“They figured out that I’m going to reach my consumer online, directly in their home and sell my product to service that way. That was the hallmark of the deals this year, they had come and absorbed the impact of COVID already, we know how to beat this thing and become much more fluid and better storytellers and much more online driven,” O’Leary said.

The 12th season of ABC’s “Shark Tank” kicks off Friday, October 16th at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.

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