NBC has greenlit Funded, a new series that will feature entrepreneurs with start-up companies battling for an investment in their business. Tyra Banks will serve as one of the mentors alongside Rob Dyrdek and Rohan Oza. This series is the first series to be picked up from Universal Television’s alternative studio.
“Rob, Tyra and Rohan offer a level of business experience and expertise that is priceless to a burgeoning entrepreneur. They are perfectly suited to be at the helm of this series as it sets out to shine a light on extraordinary start-ups, provide invaluable guidance to innovators and give financial backing to the most deserving and revolutionary ideas that will shape our future.” – Meredith Ahr, President, Universal Television Alternative Studio
The mentors will guide visionaries of young companies, as they fight for up to $1 million investment. In each episode, start-up companies will be paired with one of the three mentors — brand ambassador, media mogul and former supermodel Banks; venture capitalist Dyrdek; or brand builder Oza. At the end of each episode, the start-ups and their mentors will face a venture capitalist in front of a live audience and convince them that their company could be the next great company if they get the fund’s backing and a $1 million cash infusion. Only one start-up per episode can get funded.
“I have spent my life encouraging people to BYOB — Be Your Own Boss. 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.” – Tyra Banks
The series will be produced by Universal Television Alternative Studios in association with SuperJacket Productions.
After making history by becoming the first black model on the cover of GQ, Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, and the Victoria Secret catalogue, Banks started Bankable Productions where she developed the hit 22 season series America’s Next Top Model and the syndicated program The Tyra Banks Show. Once Top Model ended, she self funded and launched her first cosmetic line titled, Tyra Beauty.