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Meet Akeem

Entrepreneur, Pitch Pastor, Inc 5000 CEO, Dog Dad, and Motivational Speaker

​​Akeem Shannon has had more than his fair share of failures, fall downs, setbacks, and hurdles. But through failing again and again, he found himself inching his way toward success. From college dropout to CEO of an Inc. Magazine, Top 50 Fastest Growing Consumer Brand, Akeem has shared his story on the stages of antsy 3rd graders to the walls of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. While Akeem's story has inspired many, and may just inspire YOU, his ultimate goal is for YOU to write your own story that inspires YOU.

When you expect the impossible, you'll experience the extraordinary.

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Bio

Akeem Shannon was born in St. Louis to Lamont and Katrina Shannon, both artists and entrepreneurs. After graduating from DeSmet Jesuit High School, Akeem would earn a Full Tuition scholarship to Howard University to study Chemical Engineering. In just his second semester Akeem would find himself on Academic probation due to poor academic performance. As an only child, he dreaded having to admit this failure to his parents, he had lost his scholarship and was coming home. 

 

Upon returning home, Akeem was determined to redeem himself, and started working in retail for a major wireless carrier he found a lot of success in sales and was quickly promoted. He worked at several Fortune 500 companies and a major FinTech company where he was a top sales associate, and in 5 years he saved up over $90,000 dollars. But he realized he still wasn’t fulfilled working to make others rich, he wanted to build generation wealth for his community.

 

So he quit his job and read a book given to him by his manager called The Alchemist. In this book, he would learn the importance of “Omans” or signs from the universe to follow your dreams. Mere days later the first of these signs would show up in the form of a late-night phone call with his uncle a NASA engineer of 20 years.

 

His uncle would tell him about a reusable adhesive based on the feet of geckos that NASA had invented in the 70s, Akeem began to obsess over this NASA adhesive and eventually would sketch the idea for the Flipstik, a gravity-defying phone accessory.

 

In 2018 Akeem taught himself to write a patent, file trademarks and launched his product on Kickstarter. The next few years would be an incredible journey of ups and downs.

 

After achieving his Kickstarter goal Akeem produced the first units and would eventually launch a kiosk in the local mall which proved very successful. He applied to Shark Tank in 2019 but did not make it on the show after months of talks with producers, while disappointed he decided to find another path, he chose to pitch his product to billionaire Rapper Sean Diddy Combs.

 

He applied to Diddy’s pitch competition but was not chosen to pitch, so instead he participated in the Music competition and pitched his business in a rap. His Rap impressed and would ultimately help him land a deal with Diddy who would introduce him to executives at AT&T and to the Rapper Snoop Dogg. They would help him connect with the Shark Tank producers in 2020 and he landed a spot on Shark Tank.

 

In November 2020, when Akeem Aired on Shark Tank, the week of the election, his segment was interrupted by a speech by then Candidate Joe Biden, stating that the country still didn’t know who the president would be.

 

Akeem was devastated that his big moment had been preempted by a news segment out of his control. But as fate would have it, the Show producers felt for him and would choose to re-air his segment a few weeks later.

 

He would also win several Pitch competitions in St. Louis garnering him cash and support in 2021. In 2022 Flipstik would grow 1000% landing distribution nationwide in Target, BestBuy, AT&T, T-Mobile, QVC, and others. Flipstik is now sold in over 3000 retailers and launched 5 new products in 2023.

 

Despite many ups and down’s Akeem has never given up on the opportunity offered by the American Dream and is working to make it accessible to more Americans, particularly those of color and women through his work volunteering as a mentor and biz coach at Big Brother Big Sister, UMSL Accelerate, Arch Grants, and NFTE. He also partnered with The Brookings Institute on the Olin Brookings Commission to level the playing field in Venture capital for unrepresented minorities and women.

 

Akeem's story is currently featured at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s “Cellphone: Unseen Connections” exhibition in Washington D.C. and he is featured in INC Magazines top 50 fasting growing consumer product companies in 2023.

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