Business owners had been working together since meeting at mygooi contests.
Michelle Kaiser took her enthusiasm for gooikaraoke to the June networking event held in Des Moines, met additional enthusiasts and has been working with them since. Their cooperation led to her being the first in line to be interviewed at the July casting call held at the Iowa Event Center for ABC’s popular entrepreneurial reality show, Shark Tank.
Kaiser, owner of Alotta Brownies Bakery in Fremont, Nebraska, won the first ever gooikaraoke competition, held in Omaha in early May, before Big Omaha, the annual entrepreneurial and innovation conference. She went to the second gooikaraoke competition, June 24 in Des Moines, to talk about her gooi experience and connect with Iowa entrepreneurs.
“I went to Des Moines to cheer on the singers and congratulate the winners,” said Kaiser. “It was another great, fun evening, and I met a lot of great people.”
Through her Des Moines contacts, Kaiser found out about the July casting call. She arrived Saturday night and by Sunday morning, a day before its start, she had set up camp at the Event Center. Some of her contacts joined her in line.
“There was a lot of excitement,” said Kaiser, “with all the television channels interviewing people in line. I had my one-minute pitch ready with all the facts and figures about my new brownie and bar mixes: their distribution, manufacturing, production and development. And when it was time to go in, I was very nervous. But having a support network definitely helped. We were a team.”
gooikaraoke is a “disruptive” form of networking designed to move participants out of their comfort zones, says Des Moines networking expert Danny Beyer, who hosted both gooikaraoke events. He said the format encourages everyone to interact, whether they’re performing or in the audience.
“Singers pick their favorite song but write lyrics extolling their businesses instead of singing the original words,” Beyer said. “Winners are selected by the audience.”
Kaiser won singing “who bakes your brownies” to the tune of “Who Let the Dogs Out.”
“The gooiness of networking can’t be overstated,” said Paul N. Greenwood, CEO of mygooi. “People connect and continue to help each other in unexpected ways.”
As to appearing on Shark Tank? Kaiser is waiting to find out.