On this Friday’s seventh season premiere of ABC’s Emmy winning Shark Tank, they’ll be a new shark in the water, Ashton Kutcher.
If you thought Kutcher is being brought into the tank to be strictly for entertainment value, you’d be wrong. Kutcher explained in an article for his website A Plus that it was his friend, the outspoken Shark Mark Cuban, who convinced him to audition for a guest role this season. He was initially reluctant, wondering if he’d be able to add value to investors outside of his expertise in consumer-tech startups, and he had reservations about how authentic the deal-making would be. Cuban convinced him it was not only real but that he could introduce some of his fans to a new side of him.
Kutcher made a deal, imparted valuable insight to entrepreneurs, and even got into a feeding frenzy with Mr. Wonderful. When Kevin O’Leary was condescending to an entrepreneur, Ashton stepped in and confronted Mr. Wonderful about belittling the nice lady.
Like many of the show’s fans, Kutcher had questions about how authentic what you see on TV actually is. Typically, the negotiations and decisions to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars happens so quickly that it almost isn’t believable. But to Kutcher’s surprise, he said it was “100 percent authentic.”
“I was really surprised that it all happened pretty much in real time,” Kutcher said. “There was some editing in the show, obviously, to make the segment fit in the time allotment of the show, but it actually isn’t that much longer than what you see on the show, which is crazy to me.”
Beyond the entertainment world, Kutcher is also a successful venture capitalist. Kutcher has also successfully invested in several high technology startups. Some of his investments include Skype, Foursquare, Airbnb, Path and Fab.com. Kutcher is a co-founder of the venture capital firm A-Grade Investments. In 2013 Lenovo announced that it has hired Kutcher as product engineer.
Kutcher is the Creative Director of Ooma, a Voice over Internet Protocol business. Kutcher is an investor The Dolce Group, a restaurant venture that includes Geisha House LLC, and other enties started by Lonnie Moore, Michael Robert Carri AKA Michael Robert Malin AKA Mike ‘Boogie’ Malin. Another in addition to Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Wilmer Valderrama, and Big Brother star Dr. Will Kirby are also invested in the Dolce Group.
Shark Tank airs on ABC, Fridays @ 9|8c