'Shark Tank' Investors to Gather in D.C. for 50th Anniversary of MLK March
Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. led a historic march in Washington, D.C. to advocate for civil rights for black Americans. In front of the Lincoln Memorial, King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech to a crowd of hundreds of thousands. The march was a watershed for the civil rights movement and put pressure on Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act in the months that followed.
Later this month, a gala and conference will mark the 50th anniversary of this defining moment by shifting the focus from civil rights to economic empowerment. Mark Cuban and Daymond John of Shark Tank and Londell McMillan, owner of the Brooklyn Nets, are among the celebrities and business leaders slated to attend, according to a media release.
For startup founders and would-be entrepreneurs, the real draw will be the Kingonomics Entrepreneurship and Investment Conference that follows, which focuses on access to capital through crowdfunding and other means. Investors and other experts will provide instruction about starting up and raising money.
Like the gala, the conference is the brainchild of Rodney Sampson, the head of diversity and inclusion for ABC's startup pitch show Shark Tank. No surprise, then, that the conference will host the first Shark Tank auditions specifically for minority- and women-owned businesses.
The gala is scheduled to take place on August 22, and the conference will be held the following day.
Brian Patrick Eha is a freelance journalist and former assistant editor at Entrepreneur.com. He is writing a book about the global phenomenon of Bitcoin for Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It will be published in 2015.