High-profile booster

Austin startup courts Texas billionaire and Shark Tank star as new spokesperson

Austin startup adds Texas billionaire and Shark Tank star as spokesman

Mark Cuban on Shark Tank
The shark and Mavericks owner goes Zen. Shark Tank ABC/Instagram

Austin-based ZenBusiness, whose software-powered platform helps entrepreneurs start, run, and grow their businesses, has added some star power to its marketing efforts.

Entrepreneur and investor Dallas billionaire Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and a “shark” on ABC’s Shark Tank, has joined ZenBusiness as what it calls “a passionate advocate and spokesperson to accelerate the company’s transformation into a trusted and beloved brand for entrepreneurs.”

“Known worldwide as one of the sharpest minds in business, Cuban will work with ZenBusiness to turn the brand into a household name synonymous with entrepreneurial success,” ZenBusiness says.

Cuban tells CultureMap he is a ZenBusiness shareholder, but he declines to provide details about his stake in the company.

The announcement of Cuban’s new role with ZenBusiness coincides with that news that the company just scooped up $200 million in venture capital. With that money in the bank, ZenBusiness is now a “unicorn” valued at $1.7 billion. Unicorns are startups valued at $1 billion or more.

To date, ZenBusiness has raised $274.5 million in venture capital.

“As a serial entrepreneur, I understand the challenges that come with launching and running your own business,” Cuban says in a ZenBusiness news release. “But business owners don’t have to do it alone. They can have an expert every step of the way to guide them on their journey towards business success.”

“ZenBusiness is that personal business coach, helping hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground,” Cuban adds. “I am proud to be an advisor to this inspirational team and serve as a brand advocate, representing the future of entrepreneurism in the U.S.”

Austin Inno reports Cuban inked a two-year deal with ZenBusiness to be its spokesman.

“We sat down and we said, ‘Gosh, who would be the best spokesperson we could think of?’” says Ross Buhrdorf, founder and CEO of ZenBusiness. “And the team came up with Mark Cuban. I reached out to Mark in my network, and we had some conversations. He loves the product and is sold on it, and he’s using it with his companies, and that’s where it started and ended. It’s just that simple.”

ZenBusiness says its platform currently helps more than 200,000 U.S. entrepreneurs, including gig workers, real estate investors, artists, and freelancers. Among other things, ZenBusiness’ tools assist entrepreneurs with setting up legal structures for their businesses and with creating an online presence.

“ZenBusiness has revolutionized the process of launching and running a successful business,” says Buhrdorf, who started the company in 2017. “We handle the ‘business stuff’ so our customers can focus on their passion and build the life they want, stress-free and without sacrificing their well-being.”