Let's start out this way: We detest Reality TV in almost all of its forms. And we're sort of on the Senate's side in believing that the CBC ought to exit the business of competing in the open market for lowest-common-denominator programming.
But we got an email this morning from the good folks at Kingston's economic-dev office, KEDCO, with a description of a new project our national broadcaster is trying out:
"It's a TV version of a venture fair : entrepreneurs and inventors pitching for capital in front of a panel of investors. Only the investors are accomplished Canadian entrepreneurs: articulate, experienced, hopeful, but notoriously skeptical.
The "pitchers" are real Canadian innovators , looking for $50,000, $100,000 or more to fund development or expansion of their products or businesses. At a rehearsal I saw a few weeks ago, the products ranged from an incomprehensible computer service to high-end fashion to a Web 2.0 twist on the age-old jukebox.
The trick, by the way, is that these judges, the dragons, are committed to what they're doing. They have to put up their own money to be on the show, and if they deem a deal worth doing, they invest their own money."
Edit: The note from KEDCO was actually taken verbatim, and without any seeming attribution, from Rick Spence's blog, Canadian Entrepreneur.
Gagglescope also saw some of the pitches, including an antibacterial lotion dispensing unit for hospitals, an entrepreneurship program in Africa, a warning system for slowdowns in upcoming traffic, and a weird three-wheeled car that is better seen than described.
Sure, we're jaded about reality TV (especially after having our spirit ground into a fine dust by a forced hour of viewing 'How To Get The Guy'), but this sounds kinda cool. It's a terrific idea to have judges with a personal stake in their pick (versus, for instance, the doomed hopefuls of Canadian Idol, whose inevitable career spinouts don't lose Farley Flex a thin dime.)
Entrepreneurial types in Kingston can audition for the show by shilling for five minutes this Thursday at St. Lawrence College. Good luck, pretties!