Who Wants To Be A Funded Start-Up? –

BOSTON – In a programming move that would smell of a ratings stunt were it not taking place on public television, MoneyHunt plans to offer 26 lucky entrepreneurs the opportunity to compete for $100,000 of private equity financing and other related prizes.

The “Wow! What A Great Idea” contest marks the first time that the venerable series has handed out actual cash rather than just its usual 10 hours of free consulting services.

“We’re looking for a lot of the same things we usually look for in a business, but now the stakes are higher,” said Cliff Ennico, co-host of MoneyHunt. “They need to have a compelling story, a drop-dead management team and strong alliances.”

While those hurdles are not surprising when it comes to venture capital fundraising, there is one additional factor that may make some management teams cringe: telegenic viability.

Indeed, the management team must not only be bright, but must also make a presentation that can play well on the small screen.

“We are running a television show here,” Ennico said.

The winning company will be officially funded by MoneyHunt Properties, a recently-formed vehicle supported, in part, by early-stage investment firm Capital Express.

“If this goes well, we’ll try and beef up our relationships so that we can offer around $1 million down the road because most start-ups need a lot more than what we’re offering this time,” Ennico said.