Cable TV

VC fund to support 'Business Baazigar' winner

MUMBAI: A venture capital (VC) fund with a corpus of Rs 200 million will support the compelling business ideas from contestants of a reality show on Hindi general entertainment channel Zee TV.

Business Baazigar, which will decide the fate of budding entrepreneurs through 24 episodes, will finance the business project of the winner of the show through the VC fund. The extent of funding will be decided by the jury comprising Zee Telefilms chairman Subhash Chandra, Passionfunds CEO Mahesh Murthy and Prof. Anil Gupta of Indian Institute of Management.

"Subhash Chandra has tied up a VC fund, the size of which is Rs 200 million. It is floated by a consortium, but we can't disclose the promoters. The fund will support the winner of Business Baazigar, the amount of which will be decided by the jury," said 25 FPS managing director Alankar Jain, the producer of the show.

Will the winner have the power to negotiate with the VCs on the amount of equity it wants to dilute and at what value? "Yes. This will also be shown on the final episode of Business Baazigar," said Jain.

Can the contestants negotiate with other VCS who will have access to the business ideas as the episodes progress? "There is a lock-in period during which period they can't start approach other VCS," Jain said.

The VC fund may also extend seed funding to other contestants apart from the winner. "Based on the viability of the project, the fund may decided to finance some innovative ideas and support it at the seed level," said Jain.

Business Baazigar will have 50 finalists which will be further scaled down to 20 contestants. They will be put through grueling tasks that will test their business acumen and team spirit.

Audiences will be allowed to SMS their preferences in the final episode so that they can predict the winner. "But there is no voting system and the winner will be decided by the jury," said Jain.

Business Baazigar debuts on 31 March, airing one-hour episodes on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm.

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