First call soon for Indian version of ‘Shark Tank’

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on January 15, 2018


About 50 start-ups to get a chance to showcase their ideas at reality show

It is time for start-ups scouting for investors to tighten their seat-belts. The first call for applications for participation in the great Indian reality show designed specially for them could happen as early as next month.

“A decision has been taken on allowing at least 50 start-ups to showcase their innovative ideas and pitch for investors in the show. We are on the verge of freezing the entire programme by the month-end and start implementation,” a government official told BusinessLine.

Grand finale in Oct-Nov

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), which is steering the exercise, hopes to do the screening of applications by June, get the regional shows off the ground by August and hold the grand finale in October-November, according to an official involved in the preparatory process.

“There is always the possibility of things getting delayed by a few weeks, but we will more or less try to stick to the time schedule,” the official said. The grand finale will be telecast on Doordarshan as well as one general entertainment channel.

Industrial bodies including the CII, FICCI, TiE and Nasscom have been roped in to implement the programme region-wise. “While Nasscom is the overall coordinator, the other industry associations will be given charge of one region each. They will be in charge of carrying out the entire operation,” the official explained.

The industry bodies will work on awareness building, organising events around the show, pitching events in different cities, screening applications, mentoring, organising workshops and broadcasting.

A similar reality show in the US, Shark Tank, targeted at promoting the start-up culture, has been very popular, but officials say that the Indian show will be different and have a local flavour.

The television show aims to spread awareness about start-ups in the country in line with the ‘Start-up India Action Plan’ launched last January with the objective of empowering start-ups to grow through innovation and design and accelerate spreading of the movement.

While the DIPP will contribute part of the funds required to carry out the show, the industry bodies will help the government bring in as many sponsors as possible.

Each of the seven regional shows that have been planned in Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati, Indore, Chandigarh and Bengaluru will have participation from all States in the region.

Allowing lateral entry

While there will be five final participants in each of the regional shows, the DIPP is also planning to allow lateral entry for about 15-20 participants.

“There are various reputed organisations including the Indian Institute of Management that organise various events for start-ups. We could allow some of the selected candidates from those events to enter the reality show,” the official said.

DIPP will also write to various State governments to participate in putting up the reality show. “While we do not want States to contribute financially, their participation in implementation is important for the success of the show,” the official added.

Published on April 16, 2017

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