U.S. Cellular to Provide a Unique Opportunity for Aspiring Iowa Entrepreneurs
Des Moines, Iowa (June 30, 2014) – As part of its commitment to supporting small businesses, U.S. Cellular is bringing "Shark Tank" casting calls to Des Moines for the first time in the show's history. Iowa small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs will have an exciting opportunity to make their business dreams come true in the upcoming sixth season of the Emmy-nominated show.
"At U.S. Cellular, we champion small business owners and offer them access to tools to help them be successful," said Mike Adams, director of business sales for U.S. Cellular in Iowa and Nebraska. "By working with ABC's "Shark Tank," we are providing an unprecedented opportunity for people in our local communities to pitch their ideas to experts and have the chance to grow their business." The casting call will be held on Monday, July 14 at the Iowa Events Center, located at 730 Third Street. Aspiring businesspersons can begin arriving at 9:00 a.m. to receive a wrist band and interviews will begin at 10:00 a.m. The first 500 entrepreneurs who show up at the open call are guaranteed to be seen and will pitch the "Shark Tank" casting team with their products, services or ideas.
"We know great ideas come from everywhere, so we're excited to hit the road this summer with U.S. Cellular to hear from entrepreneurs in and around Des Moines," said Clay Newbill, "Shark Tank" Executive Producer. "We are eager to hear all of the unique ideas that will come through this casting call."
U.S. Cellular is also bringing "Shark Tank" casting calls to two other cities it has never visited before: Greenville, N.C., and Milwaukee. For further casting call information, please check out www.SharkTankOpenCall.com.
In September, consumers and business owners will also be able to enter a U.S. Cellular "Shark Tank" sweepstakes. More details will be available in the coming months.
Applicants selected to appear on the hit show will have the opportunity to seek investment funds from The Sharks — tough, self-made, multi-millionaire and billionaire tycoons who may choose to invest their own money in the best businesses and products that America has to offer, giving budding entrepreneurs the chance to make the American dream come true, and the potential to secure business deals that could make them millionaires in their own right. The Sharks are: billionaire Mark Cuban, owner and chairman of AXS TV and outspoken owner of the 2011 NBA championship Dallas Mavericks; real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran; "Queen of QVC" Lori Greiner; technology innovator Robert Herjavec; fashion and branding expert Daymond John; and venture capitalist Kevin O'Leary.
The entrepreneurs who dare to enter the Tank must try to convince the Sharks to part with their own hard-earned cash and give them the funding they desperately need to turn their dreams into million dollar realities. But the Sharks have a goal, too – to get a return on their investment and own a piece of the next big business idea. When the Sharks hear an idea worth sinking their teeth into, they're more than ready to declare war and fight each other for a piece of it.
About "Shark Tank"
In 2012 and 2013, "Shark Tank" received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Reality Program. The series won the 2013 Summer TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming. Additional nominations include the 2012 Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Reality Series and a 2013 Producers Guild Award.
Mark Burnett, Clay Newbill and Phil Gurin are the executive producers of "Shark Tank," which is based on the Japanese "Dragons' Den" format created by Nippon Television Network Corporation. "Shark Tank" is produced by One Three Media in association with Sony Pictures Television.
During the 2013-14 season, ABC's "Shark Tank" consistently won Friday among Adults 18-49, ranking as the night's No. 1 TV series on 26 of 28 original telecasts. In addition, the hit unscripted show dominated its 9 o'clock time period among young adults, qualifying as ABC's highest-rated program in the hour in 9 years – since the 2004-05 season. In its 5th season, "Shark Tank" surged by double digits year to year with Total Viewers (+16%) and Adults 18-49 (+14%), marking the series' best-ever season on both Nielsen measures.
About U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular rewards its customers with unmatched benefits and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier has a strong line-up of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by its high-speed network that has the highest call quality of any national carrier. Currently, nearly 90 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds, and more than 93 percent will have access by the end of 2014. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates Customer Champion in 2014 for the third time in four years. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.
Katie Frey, U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular/Shark Tank Casting Call Publicity:
Erin Weissman, Erin.Weissman@gmail.com
ABC Media Relations:
Susan Sewell, Susan.L.Sewell@abc.com