By Dan Snierson
September 21, 2020 at 01:31 PM EDT

It's time to take another dip in the Tank.

But in case you're wondering if it's safe for the sharks and the entrepreneurs to go back into the water given the pandemic, Shark Tank would like you to know that it has created a safer, socially distanced environment. In this first look at season 12, which kicks off Oct. 16 at 8 p.m. on ABC, you will see the sharks' chairs spaced apart, and their hair-and-make-up crew masked up while putting the finishing touches on them.

Season 12, which brought the show to Las Vegas for the first time (filming took place at the Venetian), doesn't shy away from the fact that these are challenging times for businesses, too. "It's been really difficult with COVID, scaling the business the way we want to," one entrepreneur tearily tells the sharks, "but most importantly, how do we keep ourselves and our employees safe who are putting their heart and soul into this product?" As shark Robert Herjavec reminds: "The streets here are still paved with gold."

More than a few entrepreneurs believe that they have a golden ticket and a can't-miss business idea that is just missing a few hundred grand from a shark. Among the products being pitched this season: a self-cleaning water bottle that purifies water on the go, a 100-percent sustainable charcoal that is made from repurposed sawdust, and a portable modular and ultra-fast EV charger.

Season 12 also welcomes two new guest sharks: TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie and designer Kendra Scott, and welcomes back guest sharks including Alex Rodriguez and KIND founder Daniel Lubetzky. Marc Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Kevin O'Leary, Barbara Corcoran, and Herjavec are back as your regular sharks.

Check out the first trailer for the new season that contains all sorts of trying and triumphant moments, and then decide for yourself if for those reasons, you are in.

Related content:

Shark Tank

  • TV Show
  • 10
  • ABC