Singapore’s Mediacorp is launching The Big Spark, a new business reality show for CNA in which startup teams from across Southeast Asia pitch breakthrough ideas as they vie for seed funding.
Developed in collaboration with Elevandi and TiE Global Summit, the eight-part The Big Spark, premiering across CNA platforms in February 2024, was co-created with producer and director Jonathan Glazier (Asia’s Got Talent).
Over eight episodes, the shortlisted teams will pitch their business ideas to venture capitalists as they seek more than S$1 million in seed funding. The show’s mentors include Roshni Mahtani Cheung, founder and group CEO of The Parentinc; and Lim Wai Mun, founder and CEO of Doctor Anywhere; with further guest judges every week.
Parminder Singh, chief commercial and digital officer at Mediacorp, said, “Even amid the challenges of recent years, innovators in Southeast Asia have never stopped imagining the impossible. It is with this exciting prospect in mind that we conceived The Big Spark as a platform for them to connect with investors and raise the capital needed for their ideas to lift off. At the same time, we are harnessing our creative and production strengths to tell their stories of grit, passion and determination to a wider audience. We thank all our partners for their support in enabling us to spark a new wave of entrepreneurship and innovation across the region, and we trust that viewers will enjoy and be inspired by watching the series.”
Glazier, executive producer and director of The Big Spark, added: “I was delighted to be asked to develop this new business reality show with Mediacorp for CNA. It is always a pleasure to experience the industry I love through the lens of another culture. I know national broadcasters and large media corporations well, and it is a great experience to be back in this environment at Mediacorp.” He added, “The Big Spark is very much in the new breed of reality show. Rather than being about conflict and drama, it’s about supportive communities; a series for good, if you will. To create a new show in one of the most creative parts of the world, full of innovation and ideas, has been a joy. Unlike other business reality shows, we aim to reflect the reality of the entrepreneurial journey, to support and to inspire. Anyone with an idea or a dream of starting their own business should get some really interesting tips from leaders in the business world by following The Big Spark.”
Hosting its third Creatives Assembly this week—the Singaporean broadcaster’s annual call for new ideas—Mediacorp also announced the winners of its Unscripted Formats and Bloomr.SG Multi-Channel Network Accelerator Pitch Competitions. Mediacorp has awarded development funds of up to S$50,000 to Beach House Pictures in the Unscripted Formats Pitch; and S$20,000 to Wagon Collective for the Bloomr.SG Multi-Channel Network (MCN) Accelerator Pitch Competition, with an additional $20,000 promised for series expansion.
Beach House Pictures won for Wingman, a reality dating competition. Jessica Lee, head of development, noted: “We are delighted to have won this year’s live pitch. Our idea began from a casual conversation—as most great ideas do—and was formed over hours of brainstorming and research. We feel that it is timely, entertaining, and hopefully a breath of fresh air in an otherwise saturated reality dating space. We look forward to developing the idea further with Mediacorp and bring it to life in a not too distant future.”
Angeline Poh, chief customer and corporate development officer at Mediacorp, said: “Creatives Assembly 2023 underscores Mediacorp’s commitment to being at the forefront of content development and innovation. In gathering the brightest minds across the creative ecosystem through our open call for ideas and competitions such as the Unscripted Formats Pitch, we continue our search for impactful stories, leveraging diverse talents to produce content that is not only relevant but also resonant with the evolving tastes and preferences of our audiences.”