16 May 2016

Shark Tank Tour Header

In 2016, Values Partnerships is leading a nationwide ABC’s Shark Tank to Detroit for the fourth stop in a nationwide tour focused on bringing more diverse ideas and voices to the show. Values Partnerships partnered with Hajj Flemings and Brand Camp University to host a casting call at Grand Circus Detroit!

Last year, Jess Sanchez-McClary of McClary Brothers pitched at our Detroit casting call. Jess appeared on the first episode of Season 7!!!!!

Despite very public setbacks in the city, the Kauffman Foundation included Detroit in the top 40 of metropolitan areas for startup activity in the U.S. in 2016.  Each year, the Kauffman Foundation publishes the Kauffman Index that measures startup activity in major metropolitan areas.

Detroit Startup Week highlighted the growth of the small business community in Detroit.

According to the Minority Business Development Agency,  The state of Michigan has over 108K minority-owned firms, representing over 122K jobs. Starting new small businesses is a hallmark of healthy local economy.

We were excited to see the growth in Detroit since our last visit in 2015.

(Pitch Prep at Grand Circus Detroit)

We began our day in Detroit with a full day casting call at Grand Circus Detroit. A Google for Entrepreneurs partner, Grand Circus delivers 10-week coding bootcamps, focusing on the skills most in demand, to address the disparity between Detroit’s tech workforce and the exploding demand for tech talent.

In addition to training, Grand Circus  provides technology, mentoring & connections to Detroit’s startup ecosystem.

On the day of the event, entrepreneurs showed up early for pitch prep.  Business owners pitched to Values Partnerships staff and our event partners to get feedback before pitching to the Shark Tank casting team.

(Entrepreneur practice pitching at Grand Circus Detroit)

Following pitch prep, each entrepreneur pitched to the Shark Tank casting team. Entrepreneurs get up to 3 minutes for their pitch and short discussion; about triple what they would get at a large open call casting.


(Entrepreneurs Pitching at Grand Circus Detroit)

Following the casting call in Detroit, Brandon Andrews from Values Partnerships moderated an access to capital panel discussion  at Brand Camp University featuring:

Damien Rocci – Grand Circus
Hajj Flemings – Brand Camp University
April Boyle – Build Institute
Anisitia Thomas – Walker’s Legacy
Carolyn Castin – Michigan Women’s Foundation 

(Access to Capital Panel)

At each of our casting calls, we work to add value for entrepreneurs. Organizing access to capital discussions is one way that we ensure every entrepreneur leaves our casting calls better than they came.

We had an exciting day in Detroit. We look forward to seeing the ecosystem continue to grow and hope to see entrepreneurs from Michigan on Season 8 of the show! Next stop, SF!

Visit http://www.valuespartnerships.com/sharktank for more information on our 2016 casting tour, and to sign up to pitch in your area!

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