SOURCE: Kingonomics


July 01, 2013 10:00 ET

Hit ABC TV Show "Shark Tank" to Hold Casting Call for Minority Owned Businesses During Kingonomics Conference for 50th Anniversary of the Historic March on Washington

"Kingonomics" Author, Business Leader and Economics Rights Activist Dr. Rodney Sampson Joins Shark Tank as Head of Diversity and Inclusion and Hosts Economic Empowerment Initiatives in DC for the 50th Anniversary

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Jul 1, 2013) - Kingonomics author Dr. Rodney Sampson will join Mark Burnett's One Three Media, as Head of Diversity and Inclusion -- becoming the first person to be appointed to this role. As part of his new role, Dr. Sampson's first initiative will be to identify and attract more minority and women owned businesses to appear on ABC's Shark Tank. Shark Tank's casting directors will be holding an open casting call on Friday, August 23, during the Kingonomics Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Investment Conference. All Kingonomics conference registrants will receive priority consideration for a chance to be a part of this casting call.

The Kingonomics philosophy is Dr. Sampson's twenty-first-century 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 investor. To bring the Kingonomics experience to life for community leaders and business owners across America, Dr. Sampson is hosting the Kingonomics Entrepreneurship & Investment Conference on Friday August 23rd in Washington, DC during the 50th Anniversary of The SCLC's, Dr. King and The Big Six's historic "March on Washington" activities.

The Kingonomics conference, done in collaboration with the SCLC Poverty Institute, will bring together experts in innovation, entrepreneurialism, crowdfunding and in investment from all over the world to train minority business owners, start-ups, investors, youth entrepreneurs and veterans how to access capital, invest and obtain personal and business wealth. This event addresses the Poor People's Campaign, the last rallying call towards fulfilling Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream prior to his death. Now thousands of minority and women entrepreneurs will have the chance to fulfill their own dreams with a chance to audition for ABC's Shark Tank, providing an opportunity for them to gain the much needed capital for growing their businesses.

"I was honored to be chosen for this position by Shark Tank Executive Producers, and it fits in perfectly with my definitive purpose and mission to educate and elevate promising minority and women entrepreneurs," said Dr. Sampson. "The Kingonomics conference during the 50th Anniversary celebration will focus on emancipating capital and liberating the resources needed for accessing investment and job opportunities for minorities and all Americans. Moreover, the Shark Tank auditions are an excellent way to bring attention to these important causes, especially given the latest economic disparity statistics for minorities."

Some of those statistics include:

  • Capital access remains the most important factor limiting the establishment, expansion and growth of minority-owned businesses. (Minority Business Development Agency)
  • Minority-owned firms are more likely to be denied traditional loans with loan denial rates for minority firms being about three times higher, compared to non-minority-owned firms, grossing under $500,000 in receipts. (Minority Business Development Agency)
  • Less than 5% of traditional capital and less than 3% of venture capital is invested in women owned and operated enterprises.

The Shark Tank is an ABC reality-based television series that features a panel of very wealthy investors who consider offers from aspiring entrepreneurs seeking investments for their business or product. The Emmy Award nominated series features investors such as billionaire Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, serial inventor Lori Greiner and Kevin O'Leary -- one of the more aggressive sharks who is always looking for the next "big" lucrative business deal.

Kingonomics registrants will receive priority pitch opportunities at the casting call. Details are available at All attendees will be able to attend the Kingonomics opening general session for free however tickets are available for the interactive boot camp sessions.

In the spirit of the SCLC's work, many business leaders and community influencers will come together in Washington, D.C. on August 22nd and 23rd for these 50th Anniversary celebration events in honor of the historic March on Washington. There will be a number of activities taking place during the 50th celebration in DC, however, there are two center stage events that are at the heart of this modern day economic movement...

The Emancipation of Capital Gala is the first of its kind gala designed to celebrate access to capital and crowdfunding. This formal affair will honor innovators, entrepreneurs and investors that have emancipated and transformed their respective industries -- AND -- will also benefit the causes and initiatives that address poverty and the wealth gap for underserved communities. During the gala, the "I Have a Dream: A 50th Year Testament To The March That Changed America with Bob Adelman" commemorative photo journal will be unveiled for the first time along with a Graphic Novel called "March: Book One" by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell. The gala will also feature awards presentations, dinner and entertainment.

The Kingonomics Conference and Boot Camps will bring together over 100 experts in business and investment teaching thousands of entrepreneurs from across the United States and around the world to engage in an intense and interactive learning experience, where timely knowledge about access to capital, business growth and investments will come from leading entrepreneurs and active investors. The Kingonomics Curriculum is divided into four tracks: Start Up (for entrepreneurs and business owners); Invest Up (for investors and persons building wealth); Sprout Up (for youth and young adults) and Expose Up (for persons interested in and involved in Crowdfunding). Companies will also have the opportunity to participate in a casting call for ABC's Shark Tank, Executive Produced by Mark Burnett, a 50th Anniversary Co-Chair.

For more information on both events or to purchase tickets or tables visit