Grab your scuba gear, because it's time to jump back into the tank. Entrepreneur hopefuls from around the country gather for Season 7 of Shark Tank hoping one of the "sharks" will want to invest in their product, invention, brand, and often, dream. The first episode back welcomes a familiar face — but not a familiar shark — to the tank, when Ashton Kutcher joins Shark Tank Season 7's premiere as a guest shark. Robert Herjavec, an incredibly successful businessman and main shark on the show, also returns to Season 7, and spoke about the upcoming season premiere's guest star, and how the attendance of crew spiked during Kutcher's appearance. "The amount of people that wanted to be on set the day he was there was very high," Herjavec tells Bustle in an interview.
"Apparently he's very good looking," Herjavec says of Kutcher, playing ignorant to the possible correlation of the amount of people on set ("predominately women") and Kutcher's presence. But Kutcher's good looks doesn't mean the main sharks are going to go easy on him. "We don't treat him any differently than we do anybody else," Herjavec says. "We're as mean to him as we are to Lori [Greiner]."
Herjavec, who has teamed up with Deluxe to tell the stories of small businesses around the country through the Small Business Revolution, says that there were 50,000 applicants to Shark Tank last year. Of those 50,000, only 200 came to Los Angeles to pitch their ideas. The sharks only heard 180 of them (according to Herjavec, they tried to hear all 200 "but Barbara [Corcoran] talks too much.").
So out of the 180 hopefuls that came through Shark Tanks production last year, is there ever a moment that Herjavec thinks he missed out on not investing? "No," he says, quoting fellow shark Kevin O'Leary, "When they leave the tank, as Kevin says, they're dead to me." Obviously joking, Herjavec makes a point of saying that great ideas are abundant, "I don't invest in ideas, I invest in great entrepreneurs."
You can catch the new season of Shark Tank on September 25, on ABC. For more information about the Small Business Revolution, or to get involved or nominate a small business, visit smallbusinessrevolution.org.