Executive Producer, COO at America’s Real Deal
The first time Adam Brandley watched the ABC reality show Shark Tank, he was struck by this fact: He couldn’t help an entrepreneurial company the Sharks rejected — either to provide capital or to buy the mango-mango Preserves the entrepreneurs were pitching.
Brandley, a former mergers and acquisitions and financial services executive, is now poised, with his team, to launch that reality television show, America’s Real Deal. On Oct. 18, 2018, it will begin spotlighting young entrepreneurial companies that will be part of the upcoming season of America’s Real Deal on Facebook Watch, AMGTV and potentially more networks.
America’s Real Deal is giving entrepreneurs a platform to tell their stories, show their products and get audience members to invest in their businesses. So how did it get its start?
The story goes back eight years, after the broker-dealer firm where Brandley was a partner closed and he was conceiving a new way to bring together private investors and entrepreneurs. Brandley was hosting symposiums and running Kickstarter campaigns to help young companies sell products. He knew finance, and, spurred by changes in federal law — the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012 — that opened up the possibilities for equity crowdfunding, he founded the Independent Stock Market. It took the Securities and Exchange (SEC) until 2017 to write the regulations, and that’s when Independent Stock Market partnered with a company that is registered with the SEC and listed as a funding portal member of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
While he knew finance, Brandley was not as experienced with marketing or new media. In fact, he’d not heard of Shark Tank until someone suggested he take a look. One night, he and his oldest son, Elijah, watched the reality show where entrepreneurs pitch their business plans to millionaire and billionaire “sharks” who decide whether to invest. He fell in love with the three women entrepreneurs and their mango-mango sauce company, but the sharks were uninterested. Brandley began thinking: He had the platform for financing people with good business ideas — Independent Stock Market — and noted that the Sharks didn’t even have a mechanism for helping businesses sell their products. “I turned to my son and said, “I’d put money in those gals.” Then the realization struck: “All I need is a TV show!” Brandley remembers thinking.
The next day, in what Brandley considers a miracle of good timing, two women came to his office seeking business mentoring, and one happened to mention she was a family friend of Kevin Harrington, one of the original Sharks on the reality show. She hooked the two up, and Brandley was soon in Los Angeles, meeting with Harrington. The latter agreed to be part of Brandley’s project, and will be on America’s Real Deal reality show as well as a partner and director in Independent Stock Market. Motivational speaker and queen of infomercials Forbes Riley also is a partner and director.
For Brandley, the Independent Stock Market and America’s Real Deal have come about “miracle after miracle,” creating a place where investors can put money in companies they believe in and where entrepreneurs can get the mentoring and capital to succeed without losing control of their companies. In other words, a place where the American Dream can once again be realized.
Learn about how America’s Real Deal and ISM began. The first time Adam Brandley watched the ABC reality show Shark Tank, he was struck by this fact: He couldn’t help an entrepreneurial company the Sharks rejected — either to provide capital or to buy the mango-mango Preserves the entrepreneurs were pitching.