Shark Tank to Call on Kentucky in Run for the Unicorns

April 18, 2019 11:13:22

With award-winning ABC reality TV series Shark Tank set for an imminent call on Kentucky, the state may soon be as well known for fast-paced unicorns (i.e. rapidly growing billion-dollar startups) as it is for speedy horses.

Kentucky’s pedigree for equines is well known. The city of Lexington has been called the ‘Horse Capital of the World’, while Louisville, Kentucky, is, of course, home to the celebrated annual Kentucky Derby. The Shark Tank open call will be part of Run for the Unicorns, a nexus of networking gatherings, discussions, presentations and social events that is scheduled to take place from Monday, April 29, to Saturday, May 4, 2019. The event aims to demonstrate Kentucky’s virtues as an incubator for startups.

Run for the Unicorns, held to coincide with the Kentucky Derby Festival, which culminates on Saturday, May 4, with the famous race, will explore and discuss developments in fintech and the way that these technologies are changing business and society. Topics will include initial coin offerings (ICOs); blockchain technology; augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR); artificial intelligence (AI); and the internet of things (IoT).

The Shark Tank open call is scheduled to run on Monday, April 29, at the University Club in Louisville ( Throughout the casting event, entrepreneurs will get one minute to pitch their products or ideas to a member of the casting team. Since its inception in 2009, over $100 million in deals has been offered in the Tank, which is now in its tenth season. The show has been credited with reinvigorating entrepreneurship in America, and its well-documented Shark Tank effect can boost a business’ revenues by 10-20 times.

Run for the Unicorns begins with a pre-conference Hackathon & E-Sports Game Jam on April 26-28, followed by the Shark Tank casting call and a VIP investor dinner on April 29. Other events include a trip on the ‘Bourbon Trail’, a poker tournament, a visit to the ‘Run for the Fillies’ (a race for three-year-old female horses held on the eve of the Derby) and a day at the world-famous Kentucky Derby – the Run for the Roses – on May 4.

For more information, visit the event’s website at

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