On April 13th we brought the casting team for ABC’s Shark Tank to Atlanta, Georgia for the third stop in a nationwide tour focused on bringing more diverse ideas and voices to the show. I joined the Values Partnerships team in hosting four events with number of partners in the Atlanta area.
In Atlanta we hosted four events, a breakfast casting with the Dekalb County Chamber of Commerce, a lunch casting at Atlanta Tech Village, an afternoon casting at Opportunity Hub. and an evening casting at Morehouse College.
Format: Each event lasts about 3 hours, beginning with a short kickoff including event partners and quickly moving to pitch sessions. With two members of the casting team and a good flow, we get to hear around 60 pitches in that time. Each entrepreneur gets up to 3 minutes for their pitch and short discussion; about triple what they would get at a large open call casting. We follow up with everyone who applies to pitch at our events, and each entrepreneur we send to the Shark Tank team gets a follow up call.
Dekalb County is the most diverse county in the State of Georgia. It encompasses a significant portion of the Atalanta suburbs and small portion of the City of Atalanta. We kicked off our day in Atlanta with a breakfast casting event at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts & Community Center. In addition to the Dekalb County Chamber of Commerce, we partnered with the Dekalb County Government and Opportunity Hub on th event. Rodney Sampson (Co-Founder and CEO of Opportunity Hub, Lee May (Dekalb County. GA CEO), and Katerina Taylor (President and CEO of the Dekalb County Chamber of Commerce) encouraged the entrepreneurs before they pitched to the casting team.
— Lee May (@LeeMay) April 13, 2015
After a great morning in Dekalb County, we headed into the city for events at Atlanta Tech Village and Opportunity Hub.
Atlanta Tech Village
Atlanta Tech Village (ATV) is a co-working space and community for technology-related companies. The mission of ATV is to support and inspire entrepreneurs to achieve success through a community that promotes faster connections between talent, ideas and capital. Over 800 entrepreneurs and 230 startups call ATV home. At ATV, we heard great pitches from companies using technology to change the world.
It is always incredible to see how entrepreneurs leverage technology to solve problems. After lunch at ATV, we headed to Opportunity Hub for a second afternoon session.
Opportunity Hub (OHUB) is a co-working space and accelerator in Atlanta that provides entrepreneurs, small and growing businesses, service providers and investors the opportunity to connect and work together.
— Brandon Andrews (@brandontalk) April 13, 2015
We heard pitches from a diverse group of entrepreneurs at OHUB….
After OHUB and a quick recharge. we headed to Morehouse College for our final event of the day in Atlanta!
Morehouse College is a historically black college located in Atlanta, GA. We were excited to partner with Dr. Tiffany Bussey, founding Director of the Morehouse Entrepreneurship Center, to present the Shark Tank casting opportunity to entrepreneurs in the Atlanta University Center and the surrounding community.
— Dr Angelino Viceisza (@aviceisza) April 13, 2015
The Morehouse Entrepreneurship Center is a resource to development small businesses founded by entrepreneurs in the community.
We stayed late to hear all the pitches in Atlanta. Thanks to all of our partners and to the entrepreneurs, next stop, Detroit!