Regional broadcaster Channel NewsAsia (CNA) will be airing a new entrepreneurship TV reality series, Start-UP, from March 18, 2014. The show will follow the journeys of eight entrepreneurs, as they give the pitch of their lives on multiple platforms — TV, blogs, web portal and ‘live’ web chat.

With this programme, CNA hopes to lift the veil over the venture capital world, giving viewers insights into the competitive and relentless chase for seed funding. With the guidance of two leading venture capitalists, Leslie Loh of Red Dot Ventures and Eddie Chau of TNF Ventures, the finalists will be taken through the processes of seeking private capital, avoiding the traps and pitfalls of the deal-making world.

The first episode will see a fast-paced and intense elimination round, where a pool of 20 contestants will be whittled down to eight finalists. The finalists will then go through multiple challenges each week, leading up to the finale, which will see them pitching for more than S$2 million (about US$1.6 million) in seed funding.

Viewers can get to know the contestants better through a Google Hangout session, which will take place immediately after the show is aired. Behind-the-scenes information and exclusive news from selected contestants will be shared during the session, with Mohan Belani, e27‘s CEO, being the connector in the programme. Aspiring entrepreneurs can also log on and pose questions to the mentor to gain more insights into the world of venture capital.

Viewers will also be able to vote for their favourite contestant online at the Start-UP website. The top 20 contestants will each maintain a microblog, where they will write about their experience and thoughts on entrepreneurship. The contestant (who may not necessarily be a finalist) who generates the most traffic to his microblog and garners the most ‘likes’ will win an ad slot on CNA, enabling him to reach nearly 50 million households and hotel rooms in 25 territories across Asia.

Start-UP premieres on March 18, 2014 at 8.30PM (Sin/HK/MNL time). More details are available on the Start-UP website.

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