NBC has greenlit “Funded,” a new reality show that will feature entrepreneurs with start-up companies battling for an investment in their business, Variety has learned.
“Funded” is the first series to be picked up from Universal Television’s new alternative studio, which is run by president Meredith Ahr.
“Rob, Tyra and Rohan offer a level of business experience and expertise that is priceless to a burgeoning entrepreneur. 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,” said Ahr.
The trio of mentors will guide visionaries of young companies, as they fight for up to $1 million cash infusion in what NBC is called “the first business competition series built around an investment fund.”
In each episode, start-up companies will be paired with one of the three mentors — brand ambassador, media mogul and former supermodel Banks; venture capitalist Dyrdek; or brand builder Oza. At the end of each episode, the start-ups and their mentors will face a venture capitalist in front of a live audience and convince them that their company could be the next great company if they get the fund’s backing and that $1 million cash infusion. Only one start-up per episode can get funded.
“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,” said Dyrdek. “At its core, ‘Funded’ is a serial entrepreneur competition show where the winner is the American dream!”
Banks commented, “I have spent my life encouraging people to BYOB — Be Your Own Boss. Making everyday people’s dreams come true is what I live for. ‘Funded’ is the life-changing type of television power project that gets me pumped. We will enlighten and entertain audiences big time and encourage our viewers to attack their most outrageous goals with fierce determination.”
“Funded” hails from Universal Television Alternative Studios in association with SuperJacket Productions. Exec producers are Dyrdek, Banks, Kris Curry, and “The Voice’s” Lee Metzger.