‘Shark Tank’, the world’s most popular entrepreneurial competition show, will be dipping into Egypt’s energetic startup market with a new reality show, according to an announcement on the ‘Shark Tank Egypt’ Instagram account.
“The critically acclaimed and multi-Emmy Award-winning entrepreneurial-themed reality show by Sony Pictures is now taking place in Egypt,” reads the show’s social media post.
This is not Egypt’s first foray into a startup competition series, having been attempted before with El-Mashrou’ (The Project) in 2013, a reality show where entrepreneurs teamed up to succeed in their startup pursuits. The show, however, never gained popularity. The Shark Tank model, on the other hand, has been franchised in 10 countries across the globe.
The global reality show, which originated in the United States, also branches out to Australia, India, Mexico, Nepal, Israel, Malta, Colombia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Egypt’s spin on the show makes it the first Arab and African country to join the list.
The premise of Shark Tank is based on a televised business pitch by a startup in front of a group of experienced and affluent investors called ‘sharks’. Following the entrepreneur’s pitch, the sharks debate and decide whether to invest in the idea or reject the pitch.
If two or more sharks choose to invest in the startup, they either battle it out with opposing offers or partner up.
More often than not, as a part of the feedback process, the sharks pinpoint concerns and faults in the startup’s product, service, business model, or company valuation – which, depending on the shark’s personality, could be empowering or brutal. This is often considered the moment of drama and entertainment that’s made the reality show a global hit.
Egypt is recognized as one of the Middle East and North Africa’s largest hubs for startups, with a plethora of success stories – from shuttle bus commute app Swvl’s NASDAQ stock market inclusion to RiseUp’s landmark annual entrepreneurial event.
With over a thousand pitches made, over EGP 1.97 billion (over USD 100 million) invested, and over EGP 19.7 billion (over USD 1 billion) in post-investment business sales, Shark Tank will be hoping to tap into Egypt’s electric entrepreneurial ecosystem – potentially unleashing another successful Egyptian startup.
For aspiring entrepreneurs, startup registrations to the competition are expected to open soon, according to Shark Tank Egypt’s social media announcement.
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