Have you ever watched Shark Tank and thought, “You know who would make better decisions for a company that puts socks on kittens? Tyra Banks.”
Well, Funded may finally accomplish that thought and dream. NBC ordered the new business competition program from Banks, as well as from professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek and millionaire Rohan Oza, Variety reports. The reality show is to spotlight entrepreneurs as they pitch start-up companies to win over an investment, the total of which would be more than enough to solidly lift a young business off the ground.
The competitors will be fighting to win one million dollars–per episode.
Rob Dyrdek made his own millions in his venture businesses alongside his skateboarding, notably Forever Brands and Media with Entrepreneurial Do-or-Diers. Said Dyrdek, “We set out to create a highly entertaining show for quality business ideas with innovative entrepreneurs who, with a little bit of guidance and capital, will have explosive growth.”
He continued, “At its core, Funded is a serial entrepreneur competition show where the winner is the American dream!”
He and Tyra Banks and Rohan Oza will serve as mentors for the entrepreneurs in the episodes, telling them what to do and what not to do to make their business the most solid and appealing. The three also bring their own unique sort of capitalist savvy to the table. Banks’s list of ventures could roll off the table and hit the floor; they include modeling, her fruitful time as judge on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra Beauty cosmetics, and more. Rohan Oza was called one of “the most successful marketing men in the US;” his capitalist ventures are splashed famously all over the world, from Vitamin Water to Pop Chips to Vita Coco.
There will be three business hopefuls per episode, assigned one mentor each. The three capitalists, along with guiding the entrepreneurs along in planning and reshaping their business model, will help defend the start-up to a panel of investors, but by the end of the episode, only one start-up will survive. Think of the way The Voice works, except instead of Blake Shelton gaining a winning singer, Banks, Dyrdek, or Oza will have gained a winning avocado-toast-maker or what-have-you.
Funded is the first sprout in the spring of a new NBC as well. It’s the first show picked by new Universal Television alternative studio president Meredith Ahr to make it to the green light.
“Rob, Tyra and Rohan offer a level of business experience and expertise that is priceless to a burgeoning entrepreneur,” said Ahr. “They are perfectly suited to be at the helm of this series as it sets out to shine a light on extraordinary start-ups, provide invaluable guidance to innovators and give financial backing to the most deserving and revolutionary ideas that will shape our future.”
Executive producers for the show are Banks, Dyrdek, Kris Curry, and (of course, as befitting the style) Lee Metzger of The Voice.