Shark Tank Australia is back for the first time since 2018, and this year, there’s an all-new panel of Sharks entering the Tank. One of the new Sharks is AI expert and founder of the Responsible Metaverse Alliance, Dr Catriona Wallace — but she certainly doesn’t think of herself as a Shark.
Speaking to The Latch over the phone, Dr Wallace says then when she was first approached to join Shark Tank Australia, she turned it down.
“I was a hard no, like ‘Nope, not a Shark, I’m a chair of an investment fund for AI and I’m the opposite to a Shark, I’m a dolphin or a mermaid, I’m super kind and caring, I support women and minorities, and I don’t really see — from what I’ve seen of previous seasons of the show — to be like that, so that’s a hard no from me!’” she recalls.
So what changed her mind, and what’s in store for us this season? Dr Wallace gave us the story.
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Shark Tank Australia Is Going to Be Different This Year
Dr Wallace says that it took “four or five months” for Network 10, Sony and Curio Pictures to convince her that Shark Tank Australia would be a good fit for her.
“[They] did a really good job of coming back to me and saying, ‘Look, we want the show to be a bit different, and the values that you have around the environment and diversity and inclusion and ethics are everything that we want to bring into the show’,” she recalls.
Over time, and with careful consideration, Dr Wallace began to see it as a great opportunity.
“The more I thought about it, the more I thought, ‘This is a great platform for the audience to see that investment doesn’t just have to be super Sharky and all about money,” she says. “It can actually be about making a difference in the world, and doing social good, protecting the environment.”
Soon enough, she’d signed on. Thankfully, she says, the experience was “absolutely true to what they promised” her, in that she was able to be her “authentic self” throughout the experience, and stay true to her values.
“I haven’t seen any episodes of the show yet!” she adds, “But I’m hoping that’s how it turns out.”
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What We Can Expect From Shark Tank Australia 2023
With an all-new panel of Sharks, Dr Wallace says that viewers should also expect “a couple of different dynamics” on Shark Tank Australia this year.
“I think there’s a real Aussie spin in the Tank,” she says. “Because we have Robert Herjavec, who’s Canadian/American, we’d just… it was just a gentle teasing of him. So for example, we’d call him Robbo — we don’t call him Robert!”
The experience of filming the series, she says, was made that much better by the fact that “all the Sharks get along really well together”.
“Even though we’re slightly competitive, we do co-invest and tease and gently sledge each other, so that’s a bit of the Australian feel to it,” she says.
Dr Wallace goes on to say that over the course of the season, we should expect to see “everything from full hysterical laughter though to mostly [her] crying”, and everything in between.
“There’s lots of great backstories of entrepreneurs that always have me in tears just listening to them, so there’s just this beautiful storytelling,” she explains. “And then I was super impressed with the diversity of the entrepreneurs who presented, it’s extraordinary.”
Finally, Dr Wallace says that another great thing about Shark Tank Australia this season is that it’s not just good entertainment — we’ll also learn a lot.
“We [as] the Sharks give the entrepreneurs really great coaching feedback, so the audience are going to learn just a whole bunch about how to pitch, how to run a business, what an investor looks for,” she says.
Shark Tank Australia airs at 7.30pm on Tuesdays, only on 10 and 10 Play on Demand. Miss an episode? Catch up on 10 Play.
Want more Shark Tank Australia? Read all our content here, and check out the stories below:
- Want to Dive into ‘Shark Tank Australia’? We’ve Got the Scoop
- ‘Shark Tank Australia’ 2023: Meet the Sharks Ready to Back Aussie Entrepreneurs
- “It’s Just Inevitable”: A Mildly Terrifying Conversation About AI With Dr Catriona Wallace
- ‘Shark Tank Australia’ AI Expert Dr Catriona on the Hollywood Strikes
- Dr Catriona Wallace on What’s in Store for ‘Shark Tank Australia’ Fans