In a bid to promote the startup culture in India, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has given a green signal to a government-run reality show like American TV show Shark Tank. The programme will be broadcasted on Doordarshan, entertainment channel, radio and digital mediums.

For better outcomes, the DIPP intends to partner with a TV production house to oversee the implementation, production and execution of the TV show. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) probably will be the coordinating agency for managing daily operations.

To facilitate greater engagement of the audience, the DIPP is also planning a provision for public voting, which would decide the ‘Most Popular Startup’.

According to the reports published in The Indian Express, in the first round of evaluation will take place in seven cities of the country— Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Guwahati, Bangalore, Indore — where they would present their business plan. 440 participants would be selected, out of which 35 would be declared as “regional winners”. These winners would further proceed to the second round of evaluation or the “grand finale”.

The Secretary of the DIPP, Ramesh Abhishek said, the department is facing finance issues. During the discussions, NASSCOM told the government the show would require a budget of Rs 64 crore. While Rs 34 crore may be raised from states and sponsors, the DIPP would have to invest approx Rs 30 crore from their side.

According to the DIPP note, “after a week-long workshop for the participants, the 35 winners will compete in front of an investor panel. The selected startups will again pitch to a panel of investors, who will assess the business potential of the startup and may choose to offer funding in lieu of an equity stake in the company. This round will be shot in studio and will go on-air.”

What is Shark Tank?

The popular American television show features a panel of potential investors, called “sharks,” who consider offers from aspiring entrepreneurs seeking investments for their business. The sharks or the investors are paid for their participation in the show, but the money they invest is their own. The entrepreneur can make a deal on the show if a panel member is interested.