Startup finding reality TV series The Vault makes debut

MUMBAI: The Indian version of Dragon’s Den – on which the iconic Mark Burnett show Shark Tank is based – is being readied to hit Indian TV screens come 1 October 2016. Called The Vault, the reality TV series is looking to fund start ups and nouveau entrepreneurial ideas.

Each wannabe entrepreneur will get a chance to pitch his idea before a six member strong investor panel and get his or her idea funded to the tune of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore.

The 12 episodic show spanning over 30 minutes will enable startups, household businesses, aspiring entrepreneurs with an extraordinary idea, or an established venture an opportunity to expand. The idea is to finance and mentor 36 entrepreneurs by the end of the show.

But even before The Vault has gone on the floors, it seems to have to run into some sort of controversy. Which is what its American predecessor- Shark Tank - is known for.

Jatin Goel, the creative brains behind it, says that it will air every Saturday at 7:30 pm on ET Now and every Sunday at 11:30 pm on Times Now. But the channel spokesperson told that nothing has been finalized yet.

However Goel says that he has a signed contract with the Times Group for The Vault.
Says he: “We have signed a contract with Times Group to discover the next big idea for startups to expand through The Vault. This show is a first-of-its-kind initiative in India towards developing a robust environment that fosters innovation and drives growth for promising business ideas irrespective of the sector they operate in.”

Goel added that he will be helming the show.

And he says the procedure to get a shot at the millions on the show has been kept very simple. Entrepreneurs have to register themselves on the show’s website by filling an application form with personal, company or idea related details and the funding expected by coughing up Rs 300 as a one time non-refundable fee. Applicants have to also mention how much equity they are willing to part and for what value. The last announced date of applications is 31 August 2016.

Accepted applications will be screened and will be shortlisted for the first round of auditions in which each entrepreneur will be grilled about his idea by experts telephonically. A total of 100 applications will be taken forward from this round.

The shortlisted 100 applications will have to upload a two minute video for the second audition round. From this, the list will be whittled down further to the final list of just 50.

Goel strongly believes that the Indian entrepreneurial landscape is currently at its peak. “India has the third-largest and the fastest-growing startup ecosystem in the world. The growth witnessed by SMEs and household and rural businesses also indicates that there are many more milestones yet to be achieved.”

The jury of six will - consisting of self-made millionaires who have already proven their mettle in various backgrounds- retail, technology, real-estate, FMCG, food, health, automobile industry- will judge the entrepreneurs on their idea or startup’s uniqueness and feasibility.

The investors will be revealed one-by-one on TV and social media through various campaigns.

A crew of 30 will be filming the show in Film City, Noida, starting the first week of September. An eight multicamera set up is being designed – with four cameras profiling the investors and their closeups when they are talking, two will zoom in on the entrepreneurs as they are pitching and their product showcase, and two will be used for long shots showing both the investor and entrepreneurs in one frame.

As far as marketing is concerned, Goel says the show will be promoted highly on digital and will have some brand integration involved in it. He and his team are currently in talks with seven or eight advertisers to hop on board for this show.

“We have not fixed any deals yet. There is no specific sector that we are targeting. Any company which can relate to our concept can be on board,” voiced Goel.

Plans are afoot to launch a YouTube channel post the show’s run. Apart from a big push on digital, the show will also be marketed on TV, radio, print with various hoardings in metros mainly Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. The anchors from various channels falling under Times Network will also talk about the show.

Will it do well in India? The wagers are on. The Subhash Chandra show on Zee Business has also been running for a couple of years . Shark Tank, which aired on Viacom18 English entertainment channel Colors Infinity earlier this year , met with a muted audience response according to reports. The challenge for The Vault does not only lie in securing advertiser backing but also in gaining its audience.

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