NBC has ordered business competition series Funded (working title), a show built around an investment fund that gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to compete for $1 million cash. Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Rob Dyrdek, businesswoman and model Tyra Banks and marketing guru and investor Rohan Oza will serve as mentors. Dyrdek and Banks executive produce with Kris Curry and Lee Metzger (The Voice).
Funded is the first series ordered from NBC’s newly formed Universal Television Alternative Studios.
In each episode, Dyrdek, Banks and Oza will select from a fresh crop of startups, each choosing one to champion and mentor. These are no ordinary startups — they represent the best and most promising new companies in the world, with the potential for exponential growth and the chance of become global brands. NBC says the companies will get game-changing expert advice from our mentors and their elite advisers, and viewers will get priceless business insight previously only known to CEOs and successful entrepreneurs.
At the end of each episode, the start-ups and their mentors must face a Venture Capitalist in front of a live audience, and convince him their company could be the next great company if they can get the fund’s backing and that $1 million cash infusion. Only one start-up per episode can get funded, and only one mentor can claim bragging rights as the savviest visionary entrepreneur.
“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!”
Said Banks: “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.”
Added Meredith Ahr, President of Universal Television Alternative Studios: “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.”
The series will be produced by Universal Television Alternative Studios in association with SuperJacket Productions.