Any entrepreneur knows that their pitch can make or break the success of their company by attracting the right investors. And pretty soon, local startups will be able to put theirs to the test with a new crowdfunding reality TV program.
Right now, entrepreneurs from all cities as well as accredited investors are invited to apply for “The Startup Hour,” a show that enables viewers to fund companies right from the comfort of their own living rooms. What sets this show apart from “Shark Tank” is the fact that viewers can actually interact with the show and engage with the companies via mobile text voting and investing as well as an online portal that will enable equity and rewards-based crowdfunding.
For the first season, the team is traveling to six states to film startups’ pitches. The first step to appearing on the show is submitting a video. Entrepreneurs based in the U.S., and investors worldwide, can apply on the program’s website. The first round of pitches will be filmed at the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas on March 14-15. Then, the Startup Hour will head to the following cities for filming pitches: Kansas City, MO (March 17), Boston (March 19), Pittsburgh (March 21), New York City (March 23-24), Orlando (March 26), San Francisco (March 30), and Sacramento (March 31). In Boston, shooting will take place at WeWork South Station between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The first 11-week season will be filmed in April at View Lounge in the heart San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood. “The Startup Hour” will then debut at 10 PM EST May 13 on Hearst Television stations in Boston, Pittsburgh, Orlando, Kansas City, and Sacramento, and via the MeTV Network in Boston. It will also be featured on Roku, YouTube and other digital and social streaming channels.
“The Startup Hour” Executive Producer Jonathan Block noted that while he grew up in Washington D.C., he attended the Brooks School in North Andover and has spent a significant amount of time in Boston over the years.
“The entrepreneurial and tech community is so strong here and the mobile space, one that is particularly important to me, is huge,” he said in a news release. “We hope to help local startups foster new avenues to getting funded and job creation.”