Entrepreneur reality show Angel’s Gate, airing 6th Feb, sees $500k investment offer
October 19, 2011 by Terence LEE
Updated: 2nd February, 2012
Angel’s Gate, Asia’s very own version of such entrepreneur programs, is set to air next Monday (6th February) on Channel NewsAsia at 8pm Singapore time. Ash Singh, founder and CEO of InteractiveSG, which produced the show, revealed that the judges have offered a deal of as much as half-a-million on the program.
No reality show is complete without auditions. For Angel’s Gate, the auditions come in the form of elevator pitches. Quite literally, entrepreneurs enter an elevator where an angel investor stands waiting, and they have only 30 seconds to impress or go home.
One such entrepreneur who passed the test is Chee Yen Lim, CEO of Micropoint Technologies. His product is a drug delivery needle so small that it’s invokes no pain when pressed on a person’s skin. He made the ultimate sacrifice — by demonstrating it on himself.
Chee is appearing on the first episode of the show.
Another entrepreneur that will make an appearance is John Fearon, founder of DropMySite.com (see product feature), the audition was a true Mother-of-God, nerve-wrecking experience. He told me that his mind was a total blank when he went into the elevator, and he had to rely on his countless rehearsals to get the pitch done.
“The cameras in the elevator made it a different experience,” he said.
The Angel’s Gate judges are not half-past six investors who are just out to make a quick buck — they’re the real deal.
They include the likes of William Klippgen, founder of Tigris Capital; Patrick Grove, ranked one of Asia’s best young entrepreneurs; branding and marketing guru Ken Mandel; and Karan Singh Thakral, a veteran entrepreneur in consumer electronics.
They’re all decked in spiffy white suits — in keeping with the show’s name, but don’t be fooled into thinking that they’ll always be nice and smiley. This is a reality show after all, and the judges are there not just to dispense wisdom, but also to entertain and provoke.
And see which entrepreneur has guts and resolve.
Philippa Lett, the British-accented host of the show, promised that we can expect “more than one Simon Cowell on the program.”
I’m hoping for some fireworks.
From the looks of it, there’s no rehearsed bullshit on the show (aside from the entrepreneur’s pitches) — the investors came in with their eyes wide open and learnt how to judge on the fly.
“We never sat down together before… we just came into the studio and started shooting. Which makes even better reality TV,” said Grove.
While the show’s format is familiar, there are some important innovations too. Ash said that Angel’s Gate is taking a 360 degrees approach. Besides television, the show will come to life on both the web and mobile.
Viewers can expect a total of eight TV episodes, as well as 30 webisodes, which will be made available on YouTube.
Another innovation was that entrepreneurs had to sign up on the website, which was launched last October, to canvass for votes and source for crowd-funding, which works on an all-or-nothing system. They can even seek team members online.
The most popular entries then appear on the show, where they’ll to pitch to the Angels, who’ll decide on the spot if they should receive an investment from the AngelFund, which is contributed by a mix of high net-worth individuals and venture capitalists. One of the firms involved is Crystal Horse Investments.
Entrepreneurs that got rejected could refine their business idea and resubmit it through the website.
Investment decisions were made on a majority basis. Meaning, if three of the judges like the business idea but one investor strongly hates it, that one judge is overruled.
So far, about 30 percent of participants are Singaporeans, another 30 percent are PRs and expats in Singapore, with the remaining coming from the rest of the world.
“There’s even one guy from Dallas, Texas,” said Ash at the launch event last year.
Where ever the participants are from, I’m sure the judges and viewers are looking forward to brilliant pitches that will set the screen on fire.
This Singapore-made show, perhaps, signals how perceptions towards entrepreneurship has changed in the last decade in the island state.
Said Grove: “As an entrepreneur who started out in Singapore 12 years ago, back then, being an entrepreneur is a taboo subject, it was not a career option that your parents would be proud to say that you have chosen. But today, it’s so exciting and people are mobilizing to support the show and I’m really proud to be a part of it.”
Catch the trailer for Angel’s Gate here.
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE