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Indie Rock Band Cab 20 Pitch For Funding On ABC TV's Shark Tank

Tom-callahanMembers of rock band Cab 20 and manager Tom Callahan took to the Shark Tank stage to pitch a deal to fund their band. When faced with the final decision, they turned down the offer, but gained a higher profile in the viewing audience and in the music industry. I spoke recently with manager Tom Callahan about Cab 20's experience on Shark Tank. 

Callahan had an upbeat take on things fueled by the fact that Cab 20 was just coming out of the studio with a new album and it was good timing for a marketing boost.

Cab 20 on Shark Tank 5-11-12

The ABC show Shark Tank features rich and famous business people like Mark Cuban and Daymond John deciding whether or not they're going to bid on a handful of startups each week in the style of a roast. Deals seem to keep happenening so we can assume their money is good but the rapid-pace presentation of moments chosen for dramatic impact seem a bit artificial.

I talked to Cab 20 manager Tom Callahan about the band's recent appearance on Shark Tank, most of which appears in the above video. He pointed out that the episode was filmed back in October and is providing a nice publicity boost.  They are getting more traffic on their band's website and more interest from industry people. Since they're currently coming out of the studio from recording a new album they're finishing that up while talking to labels about the possibilities.

Shark Tank does offer a real chance to get funding but the opening pitch from Callahan seems a bit odd, as he asks for $200,000 for a 20% share with publishing excluded. Exchanges were truncated from 90 minutes of negotiating but it seemed to get things off to an awkward beginning.

As it turned out, a producer encouraged them at the last minute to start with a smaller share for less as some kind of dramatic move and Callahan went along with that request.

Though it is tempting to armchair quarterback such a show, you see so little of what really happens in the process that it becomes kind of meaningless to second guess. Callahan says it's the first time Shark Tank has had a band on and the show's staff as a whole were very supportive. That included ample time the day before to get their sound right for the two songs they ended up recording.

Apparently getting Shark Tank funding wasn't crucial to Cab 20's ongoing development. So their unanimous agreement to not take the final offer was made from a strong position.  Nevertheless, the prospect of being the first band funded by Shark Tank is interesting to consider.

Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith blogs about business at Flux Research: Business Changes and about dance at All World Dance: News. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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