Monday, October 15, 2012

Shark Tank Boston to Feature Local Angels, Entrepreneurs

On Oct. 25, a panel of Boston’s best known early stage investors will invest $100K among six competing companies, using a distinguished format derived from the Shark Tank reality TV show.  A list of 70 applying companies will be pared down this week. Panelists include:

Katie Rae (Techstars)
Lucy McQuilken (Intel Capital)
Mike Troiano (Techstars Mentor)
Joe Caruso (Top Angel)
Dharmesh Shah (Top Angel)
Fred Destin (Atlas Ventures)
Jen Lum (Top Angel)
Nicole Stata (Boston Seed Capital)
Dave Balter (Top Angel)

Should you be unfamiliar with the Shark Tank TV format, you can find it on the ABC web site. “The panel of five Sharks will hear pitches of the best business and product ideas from some of America's brightest entrepreneurs, ranging from start-ups from stay-at-home moms and dads, to simple yet brilliant ideas in a wide range of areas including children's products, music, sports, automotive, and even the nightclub scene.” A couple of these brilliant ideas that went unfunded included a Human Powered Monorail System and Beer Flavored Ice Cream.

TV Sharks include billionaire Mark Cuban, owner of HDNet and the Dallas Mavericks, Lori Greiner, inventor of retail products considered the "Queen of QVC,"  real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran, technology innovator Robert Herjavec, fashion and branding expert Daymond John and venture capitalist Kevin O'Leary, who we all know has also been called Mr. Wonderful (by himself, of course). These panelists are quite rude, both to the entrepreneurs and to one another.

If you don’t believe me, you can view this with your own lying eyes on ABC at 8PM Fridays (Ch. 5 in MA, 9 in NH).

Let us now praise famous Angels.  You might have noticed that I identified four of our local panelists as “Top Angels.” That was because Xconomy recently named them among the 34 top angel investors of New England.   You can see their photos in the  slideshow here. 

So what can we expect when we pair local our very qualified local angels with the reality TV format? According to the Sponsors, “it’s going to be a fun and wild and a hot mess – and not without its fair share of nail-biting, sweat-inducing drama. The Sharks don’t invest lightly and companies who dare to enter the tank must be on their game.”

Was Oscar Wilde right when he held that "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life"?  Is reality TV Art? We’ll all find out on October 25. If you are a panelist, wear your sharkskin suit.

A question that arises: if Shark Tank becomes our model for angel investing might Jersey Shore set the tone for our summer vacations?
The Boston Shark Tank was conceived by BzzAgent and is being hosted as part of MITX’s FutureM week. The event will be held from 4-6 PM at the Microsoft NERD Center on October 25th. You must have a FutureM ticket to attend.

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