On the last stop of the 2017 nationwide Shark Tank Diversity Tour, the casting team for ABC’s Shark Tankvisited the National Urban League Conference in St. Louis. Entrepreneurs pitched their businesses at the annual Small Business Matters Summit.
Brandon Andrews of Values Partnerships sat down with Chris Motley, founder and CEO of Better Weekdays; a mobile job matching platform that helps universities improve and measure job placement outcomes of its graduates.
Brandon Andrews: What do you want to be when you grow up? How does Better Weekdays help students answer this question?
Chris Motley: What I wanted to be changed when I was exposed to more and more things. It started off as a drug dealer, then cop, then lawyer, then Wall Street trader, now entrepreneur. The point is that my association to what I could do to be successful changed. When Better Weekdays is successful, I will invest in entrepreneurial companies that want to build off of our platform.
We help students answer this question by aggregating jobs, internships, mentors, and continuous learning opportunities in a single application that has been curated and personalized to each student based on their coursework, interests and strengths. The job search shouldn’t be a search because people are only aware of what they are exposed to.
Andrews: Why are you passionate about personalizing career pathways?
Motley: Many people don’t know what they don’t know. They can’t be what they haven’t seen. This lack of visibility, awareness, and access holds many people back from a fulfilling life. I grew up on the South Side of Chicago and my mom was 13 when I was born.
Despite being a single mother—both she and my grandmother knew that it was important for me to be in situations (whether the church, school, or various community organizations) where I would have visibility and awareness of opportunities, and access to resources to help me seize them. That took me from a very rough neighborhood to boarding school, Columbia University, Goldman Sachs, building a manufacturing company in Africa, to founding a technology company. I want to make it easier for college kids—especially the most underrepresented—to have visibility and access to opportunity. It changes lives.