By Sahil Patel
The Wall Street Journal has premiered “WSJ Startup of the Year,” an online reality-competition series that pits 24 startups against each other as they vie for the top prize, which also serves as the title of the show.
The show will document entrepreneurs who are trying to build a business “from the ground up,” while also providing mentorship from business leaders like Sir Richard Branson (founder, Virgin Group), Tony Hsieh (CEO, Zappos), and Ray Kurzweil (director of engineering, Google). The show will also feature musicians-turn-businessmen M.C. Hammer and will.i.am.
The program is overseen by WSJ managing editor Gerard Baker, head of video production Andy Regal, and WSJ Digital Network’s deputy managing editor Gabriella Stern. As announced before, it is WSJ’s “most expensive” foray into original online video programming, though the company has not disclosed how much it has committed to the series.
Available on WSJ Live, the Journal’s online video platform, which currently averages anywhere between 20 to 25 million streams a month, the series will run through to November, when one business will be crowned WSJ’s “Startup of the Year.”
Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal unveiled the 24 startup companies it plans to feature over the next five months.
The New York Stock Exchange is on board as the series’ exclusive sponsor.