ABC’s hit show Shark Tank has far exceeded the expectations of ABC producers and the Sharks themselves. All of the ABC Shark Tank Sharks have had plenty of experience in venture capital and understand the fundamentals between wins and losses, but to be part of such an epic win on Friday night television wasn’t in the cards, at first. Now there are other shows and other concepts that revolve around startup companies that wouldn’t have been possible without Shark Tank or it’s European and Canadian counterpart, Dragon’s Den.
A new show, which is currently in production, plans on taking advantage of the large convergence of startups in Austin Texas for SXSW interactive.
The Austin Business Journal reports that The Startup Hour, will be filming startup pitches at the WeWork building on Congress Avenue, during the middle of SXSWi, March 14th and 15th. Startups interested in pitching can signup atTheStartupHour.com
The difference between The Startup Hour and existing shows like Shark Tank, Restaurant Startup and Dragon’s Den is that producers are using new crowdfunding legislation (which ABC Shark Tank Shark Mark Cuban hates), to allow viewers to help fund the startups on the show in real time. Now, viewers can interact with the program much in the same way that viewers can vote on American Idol contestants and at the same time they can invest in that startup.
“We’re chasing the need we all face, the challenge of getting a company funded and there’s funding out there that’s just looking for a gateway,” Jonathan Block, a producer with the Startup Hour told the Austin Business Journal. “We have a very broad profile when it comes to the kind of company we’re looking for, and we’re open to all (business) verticals. We want a company where an infusion would take them to the next level.”
The shows website says they are filming in San Francisco, Sacramento, Austin, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, New York, Boston and Orlando.