CNBC announced LeBron James’s and Maverick Carter’s selection of local judges and globally recognized C-suite host for the network’s highly anticipated unscripted primetime series, “Cleveland Hustles,” premiering Wednesday, August 24 at 10pm ET/PT. The series teams four successful Cleveland business leaders with local entrepreneurs looking for an investment to launch their own brick-and-mortar stores. The series is set in the Gordon Square Arts District, a once troubled neighborhood that’s working to rebuild.
“This show is special to me because it’s about giving hard-working people a life-changing opportunity to make their dreams a reality while creating real change in the Cleveland community,” said Maverick Carter. “I’m proud that SpringHill Entertainment is behind a project like this that is more than a TV show – it’s a transformational series that can lift up all of Northeast Ohio and one that will resonate with people across the country.”
Host with Global Credentials
Hosting “Cleveland Hustles” is LeBron James’ and Maverick Carter’s hand-picked host, B. Bonin Bough, Chief Media & eCommerce Officer for one of the largest snack food companies in the world. Bough manages one of the world’s largest media budgets and is responsible for building the company’s billion-dollar eCommerce business. A leader among the youngest C-level executives within Fortune 50 today, Bough is highly regarded as one of the industry’s most influential marketers with his campaigns successfully growing some of the globe’s largest brands. The premiere of the show also corresponds with the publication of Bough’s new book “Txt Me,” which explores the increasing impact mobile devices have on individuals, companies and society.
Bough’s business savvy has earned him numerous accolades including an induction into the Advertising Hall of Fame, being named one of Fast Company’s most creative people, and earning a spot on Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list. In addition, he is a successful investor in startups and small businesses and created the very first corporate accelerator programs that have become instrumental in linking startups with other big brands to help them potentially realize their billion-dollar ambitions.
“I’m a lucky guy. For the past 15 years, I’ve worked in some incredible global organizations that share my passion for innovation and entrepreneurial endeavor and they have allowed me to act as agent provocateur by bringing some of the most enlightened innovators in the world into their well-oiled operations,” B. Bonin Bough says. “Sometimes to disrupt, sometimes to learn – always to challenge; the bridge between scale businesses and startups is forever challenging and worthwhile. And now, Maverick has offered me the chance to bring these learnings to Cleveland. I’m delighted to work with Maverick, and with this stellar mentor panel, but above all, I’m ecstatic to be working with the entrepreneurs themselves. ‘Cleveland Hustles’ promises to be a new front-line for innovators and I’m honored to be part of it.”
Mentor and Investor Panel from the Heart of Cleveland
LeBron James and Maverick Carter have enlisted the help of four successful local business leaders to give the fledgling entrepreneurs the chance of a lifetime – financial backing investing their own money, expert guidance, and a storefront to launch their enterprise. The panelists have a wide range of experience, but share common ground in the Cleveland marketplace. The business leaders include:
- Kumar Arora – CEO Aroridex, Ltd.
Serial entrepreneur and investor behind many notable Cleveland startups and brands, Arora has mentored over 500 startups and works with the Cleveland LauchHouse and Jumpstart Cleveland to consult and mentor local businesses.
- Kathy Futey – Certified Private Wealth Advisor®, CPWA®
Futey advises high net worth individuals, business owners, and families throughout the United States; serves as a Director on many boards throughout Cleveland; and additionally is a mentor to fellow investor Kumar Arora as well as an investor in a Jonathon Sawyer restaurant. She is also an owner of a Napa Valley winery called SonkinCellars making nationally renowned Syrahs called Persona and Unmasked since 2009.
- Alan Glazen – Founder of GlazenUrban, LLC/Neighborhood Developer
Born and raised in Cleveland, this former advertising innovator is often referred to as the “Mad Man” of his time. In recent years, this AAF Advertising Hall of Fame inductee has shifted his talents toward revitalizing the urban neighborhoods of Cleveland.
- Jonathon Sawyer – Team Sawyer Restaurant Owner
A James Beard Award Winning chef, whose company is all about training chefs and giving them the tools they need to run their own successful businesses. Team Sawyer has graduated at least 12 chefs, who have moved on to start their own endeavors.
Cleveland Entrepreneurs Competing for a Chance of a Lifetime
After a local search, eight up-and-coming entrepreneurs were selected from a group of 25 who pitched the investors. Each investor has chosen two businesses to investigate further. They’ll put these eight businesses through a series of tests before ultimately deciding on the four small companies they want to invest in and support as they take on the enormous challenge of opening storefronts in an underserved neighborhood.
Over the course of the season, viewers will see if the entrepreneurs have the ambition, creativity, and hustle necessary to succeed — and in so doing, help a neighborhood rebuild.
The eight Cleveland-based entrepreneurs include:
- Old City Soda – Sean Adkins & Mike Gulley
- Randy’s Pickles – Andrew Rainey
- Styles of Success – Chareen Fountain
- The Cleveland Bagel Co. – Geoff Hardman & Dan Herbst
- The Proper Pig – Ted Dupaski & Shane Vidovic
- Groundswell – Anne Harnett
- FOUNT – Jaclyn & Phillip Wachter
- Akron Honey Co. – Brent Wesley
“Cleveland Hustles” is produced by SpringHill Entertainment and Magical Elves with LeBron James and Maverick Carter as executive producers for SpringHill Entertainment and Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz as executive producers for Magical Elves. Jim Ackerman and Marshall Eisen are the executive producers for CNBC.
For more information, visit clevelandhustles.cnbcprime.com.