The Austin-born “experiential marketplace” known as #besomebody will be joining the ranks of many other Austin businesses this Friday, November 4, as the company pitches their unique product to the investors on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” All of the sharks (including Dallas billionaire Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Lori Greiner, Kevin O’Leary, Robert Herjavec, and Barbara Corcoran) will hear a pitch from company founder Kash Shaikh, who started the movement based on his personal mantra.
The big pitch mostly focuses on the current iteration of the app, the one that Shaikh and co. have been focusing on for the past couple of years. The original version helps to link users with talented people around them, booking experiences that allow them to learn hands-on, peer-to-peer about things that they have an interest in. The hosts of the experiences, called Passionaries, get paid to teach what they love.
In addition to learning more about the original concept, this will be the world’s first opportunity to hear about #besomebody’s newest product that goes beyond one-off experiences and focuses on employment-driven learning. This will come to life through a series of vocational training paths that give people the skills they need to get jobs in growing industries.
“We’re creating a new path for learning that works backwards, starting with open jobs and the skills needed to fill them,” Shaikh said in a press release. “Candidates will be able to choose from a series of Paths in industries such as Food & Hospitality, Health Care, Energy and Automotive. We are building upon everything we learned about peer-to-peer and expert-led instruction, and applying it to a much bigger problem. We’re going to help get unemployed and underemployed people jobs in industries they love.”
Shaikh added, “the #besomebody Paths will replace current options for post-secondary education and training, saving people money, and guaranteeing them a job with partner employers. The new Path product launches to the public in early 2017.”
Early stage apps and technology platforms are rare pitches on the show, but as Shaikh says, the appearance on the show alone is valuable. With a primetime audience of nearly 6 million viewers and a strong global following, that’s a whole lot of new eyes checking out the app in the iTunes app store. According to a press release, the appearance also puts #Besomebody in exclusive company: less than 1% of applicants actually make it to pitch the sharks.
“No matter what happens in ‘The Tank’, we’ve come a long, long way thanks to our passionate community around the world,” Shaikh said. “Together we’ve taken a small idea with a big vision, and propelled it to a global stage. We’re excited to share the #besomebody app to millions of Shark Tank fans, and to continue to do our part to help people everywhere live their passion.”
Since creating the business and growing the marketplace in Austin, Besomebody recently moved most of its operations to Boston, in order to focus on product development and to scale the program nationally. The new Paths program will be the first big release that we’ve seen since the move. Though the team now calls the east coast home, we still love to see the success of anything started in Austin, especially since Austin Passionaries (those who use the platform to find clients to share their passions and skills with) made nearly $100,000 hosting experiences across the city in one year.
Featured photo courtesy of ABC