April 4, 2018 4:17 pm

William Grupp heard about the Shark Tank auditions on a television commercial and knew that he had to pitch his product. The inventor of Living Monuments used his InventHelp video brochure to help him explain his invention to the staff at the Shark Tank casting call, held at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 28, 2018.

More than 300 people lined up for their chance to pitch their products with the hope of taking the next step with their inventions. Prospective contestants were given one minute to pitch their ideas to producers and were told they would be contacted in three weeks if they were interested. This is the first time that Shark Tank has visited Pittsburgh for an open casting call. According to Shank Tank representatives, they shoot the show twice per year, so it may be a long journey for prospective contestants. The show receives 40,000 applications each season and only 90-100 people make it on the show.

Grupp used InventHelp’s Virtual Invention Presentation (VIP) in his pitch. The VIP is a video containing 3D renderings and computer-generated animation highlighting the main function or use of an invention idea. It provides viewers with a more tangible understanding of how your invention may work in practice.

Here is an example of the VIP. This is not Grupp’s invention.

“Having the video InventHelp made me was very helpful,” said Grupp. “It showed them that I was serious about my invention; that’s what the casting woman said. It was a great visual reference.”

Grupp’s invention, Living Monuments, provides grave site visitors with access to information about the life and accomplishments of the deceased. It allows the living to celebrate and appreciate the life efforts and accomplishments of a deceased individual.

“Most grave stones contain limited information on the deceased individual. Relatives will visit the grave site to honor and remember the deceased, but the visit is limited to just the visitor’s personal memories of the loved one. I developed an improvement to this,” said Grupp.

His invention is currently patent pending.

“I’m happy I got there early,” said Grupp. “There were hundreds of people there with the line wrapped around the building!”

After waiting in line and getting a wristband, the entrepreneurs were given a time to come back for their pitch. Four people pitched simultaneously to four different groups of producers, and the room remained calm and organized throughout the event. After an inventor’s pitch, they were asked questions like how much money they were seeking and what their business plans included. Shark Tank producers encouraged the entrepreneurs to share the story of how they created the product and let their passion shine through.

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