New Reality Show “Dorm Biz” to Feature College Entrepreneurs

April 8, 2013

3:00 pm

“Within the poster-strewn walls and pizza-covered floors of America’s college dormitories, there are thousands of businesses being built as we speak.”

So reads the casting call for a new reality show produced by Alloy Digital, the creators of YouTube channel Smosh with 8.8 million+ subscribers. Dorm Biz is looking for eight startups from across the country to compete in a two-week challenge that’s “Shark Tank meets The Apprentice,” says Doron Ofir of the Doron Ofir Casting agency.

Ofir, who has done casting for such shows as Jersey Shore, Amazing Race, and The Bachelor, has been charged to find studentpreneurs who have a captivating idea and an interesting dynamic with their cofounders. They’ll get mentorship along the way and, for the lucky winners, some funding as well.

Plans for Dorm Biz come just four months after reality show Start-Ups: Silicon Valley debuted on Bravo, following six startups hoping to make it in San Francisco. That show wasn’t renewed for a second season, but Ofir dismisses it as a “docu-soap.” He likens Dorm Biz more to the successful series Shark Tank, a competition where hopeful entrepreneurs pitch to investors (which has spawned a variety of international versions). His target is a young audience, those who are inspired by the lore of Mark Zuckerberg starting Facebook in his dorm room.

Selected students will participate in three to fourteen days of filming, likely between the spring and summer semesters. Alloy Digital may even fly them out to the studio location for a few days. Once the show is produced, it will debut on digital platforms like YouTube and Hulu Plus; if it captures public attention, it might make its way to bigger networks, says Ofir.

If you’re between 18 and 25, apply here by April 29. If Ofir can’t find a suitable cast, the show may fail to launch – but then again, that’s the #startuplife.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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