Tyra Banks, Rob Dyrdek and Rohan Oza are set to host the new NBC reality series “Funded,” TheWrap has learned.
The series will see the hosts select from a group of start-ups, each choosing one to champion and mentor. At the end of each episode, the start-ups and their mentors must face a venture capitalist in front of a live audience.
If they convince him their company could be the next great business, they can get the fund’s backing and a $1 million cash infusion. Only one start-up per episode can get funded.
“I have spent my life encouraging people to BYOB — Be Your Own Boss,” Banks said. “Making everyday people’s dreams come true is what I live for. ‘Funded’ is the life-changing type of television power project that gets me pumped. We will enlighten and entertain audiences big time and encourage our viewers to attack their most outrageous goals with fierce determination.”
“Funded” marks the first series from the newly formed Universal Television Alternative Studios. The series will be produced by Universal Television Alternative Studios in association with SuperJacket Productions.
Banks is known for being an original Victoria’s Secret angel and the first African-American model to be featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. For the last decade, she has been the creator and executive producer of “America’s Next Top Model.” She is also the CEO of the Tyra Banks Company.
Dyrdek made his name as a professional skateboarder and, later, reality star on MTV. In addition to various entrepreneurial endeavors, he also operates the Rob Dyrdek Foundation, which aims to build skate parks for kids.
Oza left the Coca-Cola Company in 2002 to become partner and chief marketing officer of then-fledgling beverage company Glacéau. From this position he built the brands Vitaminwater and Smartwater.
In 2016, Rohan became a co-founder of CAVU Venutres, along with Sweat Leaf Tea & Deep Eddy Vodka founder Clayton Christopher, and former Thematic Capital Partners managing member Brett Thomas.