Shaan Patel, an Indian American, who had scored a perfect score on his SAT exam, is set to appear in an episode of “Shark Tank” on January 29th. Patel, a native of Las Vegas, Nevada, who first lived in a budget motel his parents owned, took the distinction of acing his SAT to start the company 2400 Expert, an educational test-prep startup that now runs six-week SAT and ACT prep courses online and in-person in 20 cities around the country.
Patel, 26, graduated from Clark High School in Las Vegas and then went on to earn his bachelor’s from the University of Southern California in biology and his M.B.A. in healthcare and entrepreneurship from Yale University. He is currently studying for his medical degree from the USC Keck School of Medicine.
At Clark High, Patel was valedictorian, homecoming king and a recipient of 20 college scholarships. He has sold more than 20,000 copies of his “McGraw-Hill’s SAT 2400 in Just 7 Steps” book, which is a bestseller on Amazon.com for SAT prep.
On the show, Patel will pitch his company to the “Sharks” to help take it to the next level. In an interview with CBSlocal.com in Las Vegas, Patel said the secret to getting on the show is to ignore “Shark Tank.”
“Every year 50,000 people apply to ‘Shark Tank’ and approximately 100 make it onto the show,” he said in the CBSlocal.com article published Jan. 19. “Entrepreneurs who would like to get on ‘Shark Tank’ should not focus on getting on ‘Shark Tank.’ Instead, they should focus on building their business.
“Every entrepreneur who has ever appeared on ‘Shark Tank’ has spent years working day and night to create value,” he added. “If you come up with an idea for the purpose of getting on ‘Shark Tank,’ then you are doing everything backwards. You should start with a great idea, but more importantly, great execution of that idea. Once you have done that, ‘Shark Tank’ will be much more interested in what you have to offer.”
Patel’s company touts that thousands of students who go through the program have received admission into Ivy League schools, won millions of dollars in college scholarships and have earned perfect SAT scores. Despite his book smarts, the Indian American told CBSlocal.com, “I was extremely nervous about pitching,” adding that he had never pitched his company before.
Additionally, he’s having a viewing party at his old high school where he will be giving away $30,000 worth of SAT prep books, and another $100,000 in prep courses. “Shark Tank” airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on ABC.
Patel is using the 2400 Expert Twitter account to ask people to help the Jan. 29 episode of “Shark Tank” be the highest viewed episode in the show’s history, using the hashtag, #breaktherecord.