Money Tigers is a reality TV show that started in Japan in 2001 and is owned by Sony Pictures. Several versions of the show with different names but still under the umbrella of Sony Pictures is airing or has aired in more than 30 countries. The two most popular versions and names of the show are Dragon’s Den that airs in the United Kingdom and Canada, and Shark Tank that airs in the US. In Kenya we are familiar with the Shark Tank version thanks to NTV that re-airs the show every Monday between 8 and 9 PM. Starting September this year, a Kenyan version of Shark Tank called Lion’s Den will be airing on NTV every Monday evening between 8PM and 9PM.
Lion’s Den, just like Shark Tank, will feature aspiring entrepreneurs making business presentations to a panel of Lions (venture capitalists and investors), and if the Lions are convinced that the idea is viable, will decide to invest in the business in exchange for equity in the business. Kenya Commercial Bank is sponsoring the show under its 2jiajiri programme that has set aside shs 50 billion to invest in viable business ideas from entrepreneurial Kenyans in the next five years.
“We are proud to be part of this exciting phase as the youth increasingly take up greater sway in the revolution and pace of the economy in the coming years. They are the holders of the greatest ideas, the energy, and the commitment that is needed to drive the transformation. As a Bank we are committed to ensure they realize their dreams through providing platforms that will create an enabling environment for these opportunities”, said Angela Mwirigi, KCB Marketing & Communications Director.
If you have watched Shark Tank, then you will agree with me that the show is filled with tension, drama, suspense, humour, and more importantly businesses operation and product innovation ideas that will spike curiosity in anyone who cares. According to Linus Kaikai, the Managing Editor of NTV, Lion’s Den will bring the same level of excitement and entertainment to Kenyans, and if that be true, then I expect Lion’s Den to awaken Kenyans into a new level of entrepreneurial thinking. “Lion’s Den will be the ultimate milestone Kenya’s reality television had been longing for”. “We are truly delighted that Lion’s Den will find a perfect home on NTV Kenya”, said Linus Kaikai.
If the show becomes successful in Kenya as it has been in the US, then we expect the show to impact Kenyans in at least three ways. Foremost, we expect Kenyan entrepreneurs to wake up from their sleep and start searching for brilliant business ideas they too can invest in. As as been found elsewhere, there are a number of young Kenyans with viable business ideas but they lack funding. In the US Shark Tank has inspired many investments forums and from coast to coast we here of business pitches happening almost in a weekly basis.
The second impact Lion’s Den will have on Kenyans is inspiring many Kenyans to rethink entrepreneurship, businesses execution and innovation. If you have watched Shark Tank, I believe at one point you were challenged to also come up with an idea that can equally be creative and as inspiring as those featured in Shark Tank. The ideas that have featured in Shark Tank ranges from technological innovations to fashion to catering to education to entertainment to manufacturing to anything else you can legitimately make money from.
Lastly, Lion’s Den will provide Kenyans with an opportunity to start thinking of equity, company ownership, and how to make business deals that make sense. From experience and from experience of many of my friends, there are very few Kenyans who understand the concept of investing in a startup in exchange for equity. Even fewer are Kenyans who understand the concept that they can start a company, have the businesses running, and sell some of the equity in exchange for capital and formidable partnership.
May September arrive here soonest.