Check Out This Shark Tank-Like Dating Event in DC Where People Pitch Their Single Friends

Originally published on June 21, 2019, in Washingtonian. 

The art of romance has turned into the business of wooing thanks to dating resumes and tonight’s Shark Tank-inspired Pitch a Friend event at Franklin Hall off 14th Street.

The beer hall describes the event as “Shark Tank, but for your single friends,” a reference to the ABC reality show where entrepreneurs pitch products to a panel of investors. But instead of hawking sponges to Mark Cuban, attendees compile a three-minute PowerPoint presentation touting their eligible friend’s date-worthy qualities, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Franklin Hall managers selected the 12 bachelors and bachelorettes from nearly 90 submissions in a Google Form.

DC resident Olivia Duggan brought the event to the District, influenced by a similar series in Boston called Date My Friend. After seeing friends RSVP to the Boston event on Facebook, Duggan approached Franklin Hall with the idea in April.

Peter Bayne, co-founder of Franklin Hall’s parent restaurant group Tin Shop DC, appreciates that the event takes dating off Tinder and into real life. “I just felt like there’s a little bit of a backlash about the meaninglessness of swiping right these days,” says Bayne.

Haley Keegan submitted college pal Chris Gillespie and put together a slideshow with baby pictures, childhood stories courtesy of his mom, and details about his life in Columbia Heights.

The final presentation is a surprise, but Gillespie feels optimistic about finding his other half. “If I found my wife, I would be forever indebted to Haley,” Gillespie says.

The free event starts tonight at 8 PM at Franklin Hall.

Franklin Hall; 1348 Florida Ave., NW

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