Tyra Banks is trading models for entrepreneurs.
The America’s Next Top Model host is joining Rob and Big’s Rob Dyrdek and “brand builder” Rohan Oza as a mentor on a new business competition show tentatively titled Funded, which has been ordered to series by NBC. On Funded, Banks, Dyrdek, and Oza will help “entrepreneurs with revolutionary and disruptive business ideas that are prime to explode” compete for a $1 million investment from a venture capital firm. NBC says this will be “the first competition series built around an investment fund.”
In each episode, Banks, Dyrdek, and Oza will pick one start-up with an exciting idea to mentor. However, there’s a twist. After working with the mentors and their business-savvy advisors, the nascent entrepreneurs will go before a live audience to pitch their idea to a venture capitalist, who will hopefully invest in their company. Sadly, only one start-up will get funded in each episode.
“I have spent my life encouraging people to BYOB — Be Your Own Boss,” said Banks in a press release. “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,” said Dyrdek. “At its core, Funded is a serial entrepreneur competition show where the winner is the American dream!”
Here’s hoping Banks will give us another iconic and viral “We were all rooting for you” moment and Dyrdek has some Ridiculousness up his sleeve. Casting for the series has already begun. More information is available here.