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We followed a fledgling business through the Shark Tank casting call


Business Insider recently followed fledgling small-business owners hoping to pitch their ideas on “Shark Tank.” Though some colorful characters were expected, none of them matched the wacky vibrancy of Banana Guy.

Banana Guy, also known as Brandon Vassallo, was a fruit-themed mascot for one of the 350 small businesses pitching at a “ Shark Tank” open casting call at the Javits Center in New York. We followed him and his company’s founders through the pitching process to see what it was like to get a venture onto the hit show “ Shark Tank.”

Banana Loca, the business Banana Guy dressed up for, pitched a product that could core a banana and fill it with a spread of the user’s choice. The company was founded by Renee Heath and Bechara Jaoudeh two years ago, when the latter realized there was no kitchen appliance that combined his two favorite things: bananas and Nutella.

Here’s what their pitching process looked like, as well as their advice for other small-business owners.



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