Soon everyone will be able to invest like a shark!
A new reality TV show will allow viewers to fund actual business ventures from the comfort of their living rooms.
THE START-UP HOUR begins filming pitches from hopeful entrepreneurs next month for episode that will air in six test cities (and on the Internet) starting May 13.
Viewers will be able to invest real money as they watch by using proprietary mobile web technology called “Textinvesting” which was designed specifically for the show.
“This is not something that you bake up in a college dorm room over a semester,” executive producer Jonathan Block tells TheTVPage.com in an exclusive interview. “It has taken years to develop.”
“We will be including the viewer in a much more interactive way than what traditional television has offered until now.”
At first, only pre-approved and accredited investors with liquid assets in excess of $1 million — a pool of approximately 8 million Americans — will be allowed to participate in deals.
“We have to physically target those kinds of folks and make sure they know about it,” Block says.
He is hopeful that anyone with an Internet connection will be able to get in on the action by 2016.
“As soon as the JOBS Act goes live, everyday Americans will be able to literally sit on their couch and participate in equity investing,” Block says.
The JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act is legislation designed to encourage funding of small businesses by relaxing various securities regulations.
Block says he expects there will be a lot of comparisons to SHARK TANK and other televised business programs.
“We are not reinventing the reality wheel at all,” he concedes. “But we are bringing in more of the high tech component.”
“We are much more interested in what happens after the show and bridging the viewers with the actual companies they are interested in.”
“Shark Tank is not in business to provide any kind of continuing communication between the viewer and the entrepreneurs they are presenting on the show and that is really a big part of what we are all about.”
Pitches from entrepreneurs will be filmed beginning March 13 at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival.
For more information on how to get your product involved, head here.
THE STARTUP HOUR will air on local stations in Orlando, Boston, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Austin and Kansas City.
Check local listings.
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