Five years after the TV company itself went bankrupt, Network 10 is bringing its startup investment show, Shark Tank Australia, back for a fifth series.
The move comes at a time when the term “startup” is much more deeply embedded in the public psyche than it was eight years ago, when it originally started in 2015 with Red Balloon’s Naomi Simson, Boost Juice’s Janine Allis, Talent 2 International’s Andrew Banks, Dr. Glen Richards, founder of vet empire Greencross, and River City Labs founder Steve Baxter, now of syndicate VC fund Ten13.
The “five corporate superstars” who will act as sharks for the new series, which will air this year, have yet to be announced. Their role is as competing investors in the startup companies pitching for money, supposedly closing a deal on the show. The original series ran for four seasons until 2018.
The most spectacular moment was when Banks was poised to put $2.5 million into a coffee pod company called iCapsulate in mid-2017, but then backed out after due diligence.
A year later, the company was transferred to administrators. Channel 10 knows what that feels like – it was voluntarily managed in June 2017 and is now owned by US entertainment giant Paramount (which is ccurrently denying rumors that the station will close).
One of the most famous participants was Car Next Door, which was acquired by Uber last year.
The first episode featured Rent Resume’s paid live death, with the founder in his own tech bubble valuing the company at $2.5 million. As Startup Daily founder Mat Beeche said at the time, “essentially we saw his entire company euthanized on national television”
The second roll, Rent Resume, was the tech play of the night. The field was kind of like watching someone shoot a puppy. It was horrible to watch, and you couldn’t help but feel sorry for the man.
The field that generated the most interest of the evening as far as the sharks were concerned was an electric skateboard product called Case Boards. It was a rather shaky roll, but once the entrepreneur got going, the “novelty” of the product became apparent and the potential it has in the US market was enough to attract four sharks to make offers.
The Shark Tank format evolved from the Japanese series Dragon’s Den, which became UK reality TV in 2005 and changed to Shark Tank in the US in 2009.
“If you’re a budding entrepreneur with a great business idea and you want to jump at the chance to change your life, casting is now open,” 10 said when announcing the show’s return.
“It could be the most important pitch of your life. Are you ready to enter the tank and face our sharks?
If you are interested in being eviscerated on national TV and looking for cash rather than a spouse, application details are available at 10play.com.au/casting
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