Tyra Banks, Rob Dyrdek and Rohan Oza to star in new 'Funded' NBC start-up business reality competition
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/14/2016
Tyra Banks and Rob Dyrdek are returning to reality TV along with brand builder Rohan Oza for a new reality business competition tentatively-titled Funded on NBC.
NBC has announced it's ordered Funded, a new reality business competition series that will feature the former America's Next Top Model host, Rob and Big star and Oza helping entrepreneurs develop their revolutionary and disruptive business ideas and -- similar to ABC's Shark Tank -- land funding for their companies.
The entrepreneurs will compete for a $1 million investment from a venture capital firm. According to the network, this series will be "the first competition series built around an investment fund."
During each episode, Banks, Dyrdek and Oza will each pick a company from a fresh crop of start-ups to mentor. The start-ups have the potential for exponential growth and the chance to become global brands. These companies will receive expert business advice from the show's brand ambassadors and venture capitalists, as will viewers at home.
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 the person to provide the fund's backing and that $1 million cash infusion. Only one start-up per episode will be funded, meaning only one mentor will have bragging rights at the end of the day.
"I have spent my life for encouraging people to BYOB -- Be Your Own Boss," Banks said in a statement.
"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."
"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," added Dyrdek. "At its core, Funded is a serial entrepreneur competition show where the winner is the American dream!"
Casting for the series has already begun. Funded is being produced by the newly-formed Universal Television Alternative Studios.