Shark Tank vs Dragons Den

shark tank vs dragons den

Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den are the go-to shows for viewers looking for exciting ideas and captivating business negotiations. However, your viewing experience will vary significantly depending on which show you decide to watch. So, which show is better when comparing Shark Tank vs Dragon’s Den?

The Origins of Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den

When comparing Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den, it’s always important to discuss how the two shows originally came to be. Dragon’s Den is the forerunner of Shark Tank. The former debuted back in 2005 and it was based on the Japanese TV show known as The Tigers of Money.

Since its debut in 2005, Dragon’s Den has spawned numerous international versions. Different versions of the show air in countries such as Australia, Canada, and Turkey and those are just a few of the notable examples.

Shark Tank hit television considerably later as it aired its first episode in 2009. The show has proven to be both a commercial and critical hit as it has taken home several awards.

The Rules for the Entrepreneurs and the Investors

Before we discuss some of the more significant differences between Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank, let’s first highlight some notable similarities. For example, the entrepreneurs and investors who appear on both shows have to follow certain rules.

Dragon’s Den outlines its rules on its website. After reading through those rules, you’ll quickly realize that they are similar to the guidelines that govern Shark Tank.

Entrepreneurs go into a presentation with a target amount to secure and they can negotiate until they reach that point. If they fail to hit that mark, then they will walk away from the show with no investment. The entrepreneurs can also solicit investments from multiple investors to reach their goal.

Deals that are agreed to on the shows are not binding as both sides can still back out if they do not like the offer presented. The deals can also be tweaked further until the entrepreneurs and investors are fully onboard.

The rules play a huge role in determining how negotiations for both shows. Regardless of which show you decide to watch, you will notice those rules come into play consistently.

The Presentation of the Shows

Sit down to watch a few episodes of both Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den and you will likely pick up on a key difference quickly. We’re talking about the ways that the two shows are presented.

Dragon’s Den is presented in a more straightforward manner. The entrepreneur arrives, they make their pitch, discussions take place, and a final decision is ultimately made on the pitch. It’s a no-nonsense approach that shines the light brightly on the presentation and not much else.

In contrast, Shark Tank utilizes Hollywood-style presentation. Viewers can learn more about the entrepreneurs before they present to the Sharks. Because of that, audiences end up getting more invested in the success or failure of the entrepreneurs.

You may also notice that the hosts handle the shows differently. The host for Dragon’s Den has a habit of explaining everything that occurs over the course of a presentation. While that approach may be useful for new viewers, it can be a bit annoying for long-time fans who already understand what the show is about.

Shark Tank’s host is more content to step out of the way and let the show play out. They play a smaller role compared to their Dragon’s Den counterpart.

The two shows also differ quite significantly from each other in terms of pacing. Dragon’s Den is a slower-paced show that allows viewers to fully understand everything going on. Shark Tank tends to have a more chaotic energy and pace that also amps up the excitement level of the show.

The Behavior of the Investors

As fun as it is to learn about the great ideas that the entrepreneurs come up with, both Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank also lean heavily on their investors to draw viewers in. Viewers are eager to learn how these highly successful individuals think so they tune in regularly to hear them discuss various products and services.

That said, the investors on Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank tend to behave differently. The difference in behavior greatly affects both shows.

The investors on Dragon’s Den tend to be more cordial. They give each other ample time to discuss matters with the entrepreneur and they rarely talk over one another.

Shark Tank’s investors are not quite as polite. They will joke around with each other, but they will also get competitive if they see a business they like. They will not shy away from using tricks or gimmicks to land an investment.

You will also find that the investors approach the entrepreneurs differently. On Dragon’s Den, the investors are more likely to offer the entrepreneurs pointers for improving their business model. Shark Tank’s investors are more likely to chide the entrepreneurs for failing to come up with a sound business model ahead of their presentation.

Shark Tank’s investors can also be more erratic when they negotiate with the entrepreneurs. If they don’t get their way immediately, they may refuse to negotiate completely. Entrepreneurs are able to engage the investors on Dragon’s Den more consistently.

Is it better to have the investors act a certain way? That’s up to the viewers to decide.

The Entrepreneurs and Their Pitches

Lastly, Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den also differ from each other when it comes to the entrepreneurs who appear on the show. The difference is most notable when you focus on the pitches.

The entrepreneurs on Dragon’s Den tend to present products and services that fall under a few general categories. The products and services themselves may be diverse, but the industries represented are mostly the same.

Entrepreneurs on Shark Tank come from highly diverse industries and backgrounds. Thanks to that, viewers are more often treated to unconventional products, services, and presentations.


Both Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank are built on the same premise, but the final products that make it to TV are very different from one another. If one show is not to your liking, you may find that the other suits your preferences better.