Which Show Inspired ‘Shark Tank’ and Where Can You Watch It?

There are a lot of reality shows in America that actually got their start in other countries. Shark Tank happens to be one of them and there were some small changes made when the show was brought here.

So what was the show that inspired Shark Tank and where can you watch it? Also, which shark can be found on one of the foreign versions of the show? Here is everything you need to know.

Alli Webb, Kevin O'Leary, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec on "Shark Tank"
Alli Webb, Kevin O’Leary, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec on “Shark Tank” | Eric McCandless via Getty Images

Money Tigers is the original show that had this format

The Japanese show got the ball rolling by having the same format. There were five entrepreneurs who were presented with business ideas by entrepreneurs. The successful pitches were offered money in exchange for a stake in the company.

It ran for three years, and clips can be found on YouTube. Similar shows began getting produced in other countries. The Shark Tank we know today is inspired by Dragons’ Den.

The U.K. version, Dragons’ Den is what inspired Shark Tank

The BBC show started back in 2005. It has the same format and is actually the version that Shark Tank is based on. Instead of “sharks” there are “dragons” making deals.

The latest cast includes six people. Arlene Dickinson, Jim Treliving, Lane Merrifield, Manjit Minhas, Vincenzo Guzzo, and Michelle Romanow currently make the cast.

The show is currently airing Season 16. Fans can watch episodes of the show on BBC America. There are also multiple episodes found on YouTube.

Other foreign versions of the show share the name Dragons’ Den. There is an Irish and Canadian version. Fans can also find a familiar face in the Canadian version as a dragon.

Kevin O’Leary has been on Canada’s Dragons’ Den

The shark is a producer on Shark Tank and has been on it since Season 1. He also has appeared on Dragons’ Den. Kevin O’Leary had an interesting answer for whether there is a difference between Canadian and American entrepreneurs.

One is not better than the other — the platform is different,” he explained to Financial Post. “In the U.S. the producers spend a tremendous amount of time digging into the backgrounds of the people presenting, so as a shark I get a pre-pack of where they came from, history, what school they went to. I know more about them as individuals. I’m not saying that’s good or bad.”

He continued, “On Dragons’ Den, we focus more on what happens in the Den and the deals. The other difference is in Canada we essentially have three sectors: financial services, commodities and energy, and much of what we see on Dragons’ Den fit into one of those three in some way.”

O’Leary is no longer filming on the Canadian show. “As Dragons’ Den did in Canada, Shark Tank has grown and each year more shows are contemplated,” he told Financial Post. “It became impossible to shoot 46 shows and keep my other commitments. At some point, you run out of runway and that’s what happened.”

So a Japanese show is what truly created more shows like Shark Tank. However, the American show is modeled after the U.K. version.