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Today, most people will know the show as Dragons' Den (UK) and Shark Tank (US). However, the format, created by Japan’s Nippon TV, originally aired in Japan in 2001 as "Money Tigers". It emerged in the UK two years later, and the UK version has been the longest running adaptation, currently in its 15th season. In 2009, the Dragons became Sharks, and the US version, Shark Tank started. Shark Tank has now been made in the US, Australia, Portugal, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, Mongolia and Vietnam.

Over the 17 years since it first launched, the show has become a global phenomenon with the format selling into more than 35 territories across all continents of the world.It has won multiple awards in every country in which it has aired, including the prestigious Emmy Award in the US for Outstanding Structured Reality Programme (4 consecutive years); the Annual Critics’ Choice Award in the US for Best Reality Series (3 consecutive years) and in the UK, the Royal Television Society North West Awards (5 times) in different categories.

Entrepreneurs pitch bold new ideas and inventions to five millionaires, the investors, in search of investments to fund the growth of their business ideas. The entrepreneurs must convince one or more of the investors to invest a specific amount of their money – or they fail. They will need to prove themselves with hard facts and figures, and answer the investors probing questions. If the investors are impressed by a pitch, they negotiate aggressively to own the biggest possible share in the venture in exchange for cash. The show makes compelling viewing, especially when the investors start competing with each other to be the sole investor in a truly promising venture.
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