The TV show that helped make investing in wild and innovative startup ideas a household conversation is looking for new talent and opportunities in Kansas City.
ABC’s “Shark Tank” is planning an official casting call 10 a.m. to 5 pm. Friday, Feb. 21 at the OHUB.KC Ecosystem Lab in the historic 18th & Vine District. The newly launched ecosystem lab is powered by the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City.
“‘Shark Tank’ occasionally features entrepreneurs who have a ‘good idea,’ but the vast majority of entrepreneurs that appear on the show display traction through user acquisition, sales, and/or intellectual property protection,” according to the casting team.
Click here to apply to pitch.
While the event is part of the Shark Tank Diversity Tour, February’s casting call is open to would-be entrepreneurs of all kinds, noted Rodney Sampson, founder of Opportunity Hub, which established OHUB.KC with the EDC in 2019.
Sampson — a nationally recognized ecosystem builder, serial entrepreneur and author of “Kingonomics” — previously worked on the production team for Mark Burnett Productions, which produces “Shark Tank.” He led diversity and inclusion efforts for the show, helping to establish its first minority casting calls across the country and negotiating to get guest shark and music mogul Troy Carter on the popular program, opening the window for other minority guests, Sampson said.
“Brandon Andrews now leads the minority casting call, but he’s bringing the whole casting team, the casting producers — so the event is for everybody, anyone in KC who wants to pitch their idea or their business or product or an opportunity to potentially be selected,” he said. “Hundreds or thousands could pitch that day and then they go through the process that could lead to someone from KC ending up on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank.’”
Entrepreneurs will pitch on a first come, first serve basis throughout the day, said Lyndon Breckenridge, KC ecosystem building lead for OHUB.KC, emphasizing the need for prompt pitch applications and timely arrivals.
‘It is important to us that those who support our ecosystem and events have a priority opportunity to register so please do so at your earliest convenience,” Breckenridge encouraged in a message to OHUB.KC supporters and members.
The casting call is set to be followed by OHUB.KC’s monthly 3rd Fridays Entrepreneurship Series, which is set to feature Sherrell Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of ThePlug.
Click here to register for the February 3rd Fridays event.
Click here to learn more about OHUB.KC’s 2020 cohort and its path to SXSW.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.