A business-themed reality program “The Startup Hour” will be recording and broadcasting entrepreneur pitches — and allowing investors to put money into the companies through the program.
The show will debut in six television markets in May, including Sacramento, Kansas City, Boston, Austin, Orlando and Pittsburgh. Stations have not yet been named.
Pitches for the show will be filmed starting with three days at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin from March 13 through March 15. The filming will continue with stints in Kansas City, Boston, Pittsburgh, New York City, Orlando, San Francisco and Sacramento. The Sacramento filming will be March 29.
“We wanted to have entrepreneurial cities, and we wanted a cross section of the country,” said Jonathan Block, executive producer of the show.
In addition to being on broadcast television in May, it also will be streamed simultaneously for people watching on computers, tablets or phones.
In addition to featuring the startup pitches, the show is set up to allow crowdinvesting and crowdfunding.
Currently, only accredited investors are allowed to make equity crowdfunding investments. Accredited investors are people who have $1 million in addition to the value of their home, or an annual income in excess of $200,000. The show has a portal for accredited investors to register and be approved to make investments. It also has a way for non-accredited investors to offer money to startups in a non-equity crowdfunding method, which works like Indiegogo or Kickstarter.
And those investments can be made while watching the show, Block said.