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Portland group to launch reality TV show about... crowdfunding?

posted Sep 18, 2014, 1:53 AM by J Shaw   [ updated Sep 18, 2014, 1:54 AM ]

There’s an open casting call for a new reality show designed to follow several entrepreneurs through their crowdfunding journey.

“It’s ‘Shark Tank’ meets ‘American Idol’ meets ‘X-Factor’,” said Mark Grimes, founder of the Portland coworking office Nedspace and one of the people behind the show.

Grimes, and business partner Perry Gruber, are creating the show to offer an accurate portrayal of what it’s like to go through a crowdfunding campaign and then build a company.

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“I love ‘Shark Tank,’ Grimes said, of the ABC show that features entrepreneurs pitching a group of investors. “But just getting the money is barely step one. After you get the month is the interesting thing.”

With crowdfunding, entrepreneurs are building an audience, there is marketing and actual execution after the campaign. Many companies stumble in the post-campaign execution stage.

“Just getting $50,000 won't make a business a success,” Grimes said, adding he wants to accurately show the path of building a business.

The show itself is being developed in a lean startup kind of way. Organizers are still finalizing if it will be a 25-minute or 50-minute show and they are still in discussions for distribution. At the very least, it will be a web series. The production is being handled in-house, and

Participants will audition before a panel of mentors and judges who will select the final group that will be documented through show. As part of the show, these entrepreneurs will receive coaching from business experts as they ready and launch crowdfunding campaigns. The show is planned to air while these campaigns are live and help with getting the word out about those campaigns.

“All the mentors and coaches are people that have built multi-million dollar companies and have experience in that area,” Grimes said.

The taping for the show will start at the auditions and then follow the entrepreneurs through the campaigns and the coaching.

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