Tag: Mark Burnett

“Shark Tank” on ABC Teams up with Value Partnerships to Seek Entrepreneurs of Color

“Shark Tank” on ABC (photo via black enterprise.com)

article by Carolyn M. Brown via blackenterprise.com

Now in its 7th season, ABC’s Shark Tank has empowered entrepreneurs to strike deals worth over $70 million.

Since the beginning, black entrepreneurs have shined. Mr. Tod’s Pie Factory struck a deal with Barbara Corcoran and Daymond John on episode 1 with a near $1M valuation.

In Season 7, entrepreneurs like Sarah Ribner of Piper Wai, and Ben Young and Gregory Coleman of Nexercise, continue to inspire on Friday nights.  Nexercise’s $18.7M valuation is the largest to date on Shark Tank.

Joshua DuBois and Brandon Andrews of Values Partnerships are working to ensure the voices pitching on ABC’s Shark Tank reflect the diversity of audiences watching. With the support of producer Mark Burnett, Values Partnerships – a Washington, D.C., based firm engaging faith-based and diverse communities worldwide – leads a nationwide casting tour focused on bringing more diverse ideas and voices to the show, and supporting entrepreneurship nationwide.

“ABC’s Shark Tank and its producer Mark Burnett are committed to supporting entrepreneurs from every community in the nation. The power of seeing someone who looks like you successfully pitch a business on the show cannot be understated,” says DuBois.

In 2015, Values Partnerships held 11 casting events in 6 cities. Several entrepreneurs, including Sprëtz  and Piper Wai pitched at Values Partnerships events and were selected for Season 7 of Shark Tank. The 2016 tour kicks off this week in Miami (March 4).

Events are planned in other cities, including Austin, Texas; NYC; Washington, D.C; Detroit, Michigan; New Orleans, Louisiana; Cincinnati, Ohio; and San Francisco/Oakland.

Continue reading ““Shark Tank” on ABC Teams up with Value Partnerships to Seek Entrepreneurs of Color”

Pharrell Williams To Replace CeeLo Green As ‘The Voice’ Coach

Pharrell WilliamsGrammy Award-winning producer/musician Pharrell Williams will join NBC’s singing competition The Voice next season, the show announced on Twitter. He replaces original coach CeeLo Green who recently announced his departure.

“It’s been a huge year for Pharrell, with recognition for his contribution in the world of music — the ‘Despicable Me’ franchise soundtracks, his Oscar-nominated song ‘Happy’ and his Grammy-winning collaboration with Daft Punk on the breakout dance hit ‘Get Lucky.’ His dominance in record sales in 2014, coupled with his incomparable accomplishments in the world of fashion and design, make him an irresistible addition to ‘The Voice’ family,” said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment.

Said executive producer Mark Burnett: “I am thrilled to have Pharrell come back to ‘The Voice’ family, and this time … as a coach. Continuing in ‘The Voice’ tradition of having the biggest and most current music stars as coaches, Pharrell fits perfectly.” Pharrell, who was previously an adviser to team Usher on season four of “The Voice,” is a multi-platinum and international singer-songwriter, producer and fashion designer.

article by Nellie Andreeva via deadline.com

ABC’s “Shark Tank” Wants Black Businesses; Hires Rodney Sampson to Increase Diversity

The Shart Tank CastThousands of minority- and women-owned entrepreneurs will have the chance to audition to appear on ABC’s reality show Shark Tank, providing them an opportunity to gain much needed capital for growing their businesses. Casting directors will hold an open call on Friday, August 23, in Washington, DC during the Kingonomics Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Investment Conference. The event’s organizer, Rodney Sampson, recently signed on with Shark Tank Executive Producer Mark Burnett as executive in charge of diversity and outreach at One Three Media, a joint media and production venture between Burnett and the Hearst Corporation.

Kingonomics is the title of Sampson’s book, which is an interpretation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s economic vision for jobs and financial freedom for all Americans; through his lens as a serial entrepreneur and accredited investor primarily in technology and new media. The Kingonomics Conference, done in collaboration with the SCLC Poverty Institute, will bring together experts in capital raising strategies including crowdfunding, angel investment, and venture capital. The daylong forum and Shark Tank casting call also coincides with activities on Capitol Hill surrounding the 50th Anniversary celebration of the historic March On Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Now in its fifth season, Shark Tank is a competition reality-based television series that features a panel of self-made multimillionaire and billionaire entrepreneurs/judges who consider offers from aspiring entrepreneurs seeking investment capital for their businesses or products. The Emmy Award-nominated series features investor billionaire Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks; business mogul and brand expert Daymond John, founder of FUBU clothing line; inventor and “Queen of QVC” Lori Griener; real estate mogul Barbara Corcocran; technology innovator Robert Herjavec; and, venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary.

Sampson was tapped personally by Burnett (Survivor, Celebrity Apprentice, The Voice) to spearhead his television production company’s diversity efforts. The two had worked together on the hit television miniseries The Bible; the 10-hour drama that ran on the History Channel in March 2013. Burnett and his wife Roma Downey scripted and produced the show. Sampson served on the show’s advisory board in a diversity and inclusion role to insure conversations around people of color were authentic.

Burnett sought Sampson’s assistance when he learned the ratings for the Shark Tank revealed a larger African American and female audience on Friday night at 8 pm ET.

“The challenge he said is that most of the companies that pitch are white males,” recalls Sampson. “He decided that he wanted diversity and inclusion to be intentional not just on Shark Tank or one show but all of his properties. That is what led to me becoming the first head of diversity and inclusion inside of the organization.”

Sampson is charged with identifying and attracting a more diverse pool of inventors and entrepreneurs.  “Our goal is for at least 20% of the companies that pitch on the show to be minorities.”

The Shark Tank open casting call is a great forum he says especially given that access to capital remains the most important factor limiting the launch, expansion or growth of minority-owned businesses. Moreover, less than 3% of venture capital is invested in women owned and operated enterprises; less than 1% goes to African-American run businesses.

article by Carolyn M. Brown via blackenterprise.com