Variety reports that Tyra Banks, former Top Model host and proud owner of one very exaggerated certificate from Harvard Business School, will star as a “mentor” to would-be entrepreneurs on Funded, NBC’s answer to Shark Tank. Hopefully this time nobody ends up addicted to meth or murdered in a triple-homicide!
Banks will be joined by former professional skateboarder/venture capitalist Rob Dyrdek and “brand messiah” Rohan Oza, a trio that offers “a level of business experience and expertise that is priceless to a burgeoning entrepreneur,” NBC exec Meredith Ahr told Variety. According to Banks, “We will enlighten and entertain audiences big time and encourage our viewers to attack their most outrageous goals with fierce determination.”
The trio of mentors will guide visionaries of young companies, as they fight for up to $1 million cash infusion in what NBC is called “the first business competition series built around an investment fund.”
In each episode, start-up companies will be paired with one of the three mentors — brand ambassador, media mogul and former supermodel Banks; venture capitalist Dyrdek; or brand builder Oza. At the end of each episode, the start-ups and their mentors will face a venture capitalist in front of a live audience and convince them that their company could be the next great company if they get the fund’s backing and that $1 million cash infusion. Only one start-up per episode can get funded.
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