Brandon Andrews Discusses Casting Black Entrepreneurs on ‘Shark Tank’


Entrepreneur and Gauge co-founder Brandon Andrews was a guest on the latest episode of Bloomberg’s Black Business Beat podcast.

On the podcast, Andrews discussed working with the social impact agency Values Partnerships, which facilitates a leading nationwide casting tour for NBC’s Shark Tank. Andrews told Bloomberg that the show has been holding virtual and in-person events across the U.S., ensuring that those watching at home can see themselves in the entrepreneurs pitching their ideas on the show.

“I believe in going where the entrepreneurs are versus making them come to us,” Andrews told the podcast. “Going to the local coworking spaces, Black-owned coffee shops, Black-owned coworking spaces.”

Past casting events have been held at The Gentlemen’s Factory in Brooklyn, NY; La Create Space in Los Angeles, CA; The Gathering Spot in Atlanta, GA; The Hattiloo Theatre in Memphis, TN; Rainbow PUSH Coalition HQ in Chicago, IL, and other locations.

Andrews also talked about his desire to feature Black entrepreneurs on the show and to positively impact each business beyond the show— something that Shark Tank producer Mark Burnett supported.

“We always do pitch prep with the entrepreneurs. Andrews added. “We always invite folks from the local entrepreneurship ecosystem to share info with the entrepreneurs.”

Black businesses and entrepreneurs have enjoyed a huge boost during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020. Black people — especially Black women — used the pandemic to reset their lives and take control of their future by starting their own businesses. The Black Lives Matter movement brought significant focus on social equity and the struggles Black Americans face in business and the banking industry, including access to credit, seed money, and more. As a result, there has been a 30% increase in Black-owned businesses compared to before the pandemic.

Click here to listen to Bloomberg Black Business Beat.

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