Most of us would never have guessed reality TV shows built around businesses and budding entrepreneurs could work, but shows like The Apprentice, Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank have proven that there is interest in business-focused reality programs. Soon, Asia will get one of its own – Angel’s Gate is set to air on Singapore-based broadcaster Channel NewsAsia from next week.
Comprising of eight episodes, season one of Angel’s Gate features 24 aspiring entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas to some of the region’s top investors representing the “Angel’s Gate Fund”, pooled from various investors and sponsors from around the region.
The program will take the concept of the ‘elevator pitch’ pretty literally, and will see Asia-based entrepreneurs a chance to ride an elevator with one of four ‘Angels’ and make a 30-second business pitch. If the Angel takes to the idea, he’ll let the entrepreneur through to the next round to pitch to all four Angels – judges Patrick Grove, co-founder and CEO of Catcha Group, William Klippgen, founder and managing director of Tigris Capital, Ken Mandel, managing director of Buddy Media Asia Pacific, and Karan Singh Thakral, executive director of the Thakral Group of Companies.
“The programme is more than just a reality TV show. It is a deal-making, game-changing stage for investment transactions. To succeed in business, an entrepreneur needs money, the right connections, and the right exposure,” says Ash Singh, CEO of digital media company and new business accelerator Interactive SG, and co-producer of Angel’s Gate. “Angel’s Gate builds that bridge. Anyone with a great idea can come forward, get instant exposure in mainstream media, and win over financial backers and business mentors.”
The first season of Angel’s Gate will showcase business ideas coming from across Asia and straddling diverse sectors including bio-technology, gaming, mobile applications, and travel – during the press conference, we spotted GameMaki boss Keith Ng (who used to do SOCIALICO) and John Fearon of DropMySite.com.
There’s a corporate social responsibility element to Angel’s Gate as well. Sponsor CapitaLand will, through its CapitaLand Hope Foundation, donate S$1 for every “like” received by business profiles on AngelsGate.com, with winning business ideas earning bonus donations. The donations will go towards four selected children’s charities, namely the Infant Jesus Homes & Children’s Centres, Jamiyah Children’s Home, Melrose Home and Sunbeam Place.
Angel’s Gate airs on Channel NewsAsia every Monday, 8pm SG/HK time from 6th Feb.