On Sunday, October 14, on ZEE TV USA, Canada, Caribbean premiered the first episode of Break Through The Crowd – a brand new reality show where contestants compete for the opportunity to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into a reality by pitching their ideas to some of the sharpest minds in business. In the end, only one hopeful will “break through the crowd” and walk away with a team of prestigious marketing and crowdfunding gurus.

After narrowing down submissions from more than 100 hopeful contestants across the globe, eight lucky entrepreneurs were selected to compete on the show. Over the course of the next six episodes, we will follow the journeys of these aspiring moguls, who must undergo a series of real-life business challenges. But unlike American classics. ZEE TV’s Break Through The Crowd immediately stood out for it’s behind the scenes take at the cut-throat world of business.

On Sunday’s world premiere, audiences tuned in to watch the first four contestants showcase their business concepts to a panel of judges, including Alan Brody, Founder of Blockchain Breakthroughs; Sandford Wollman, Co-Founder of Westchester Angels; Nick Adams, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Differential Ventures; and Ramit Arora, President and Co-Founder of Biz2Credit. As seasoned investors with big stakes across a number of successful industries, none of the judges are strangers to hearing pitches, which can often make or break a company.

It isn’t long before viewers realize that Sandy, Nick, Ramit and Alan are not afraid to tell it how it is. And even though they often make facing American Idol’s Simon Cowell seem like a walk through the park, their brutally-honest feedback is meant to help contestants perfect their pitches, where every word counts. The first entrepreneur to learn this tough lesson is Adrienne Meisels, Co-Founder of MyPlanit – a personalized predictive service mobile app.

Adrienne, a self-described tenacious techie, started coding when she was just 11-years-old. Her enthusiasm for the world of computer science, coupled with her experience at AOL, would eventually kickstart her passion project, MyPlanit. To those of us with no business background whatsoever, her pitch doesn’t seem to need a lot of work. But the same could not be said by the judges, who were quick to point out what crucial details were missing.

“We see this alot. Your presentation was 100 percent about your product – no dollar signs and how much you’re charging, how much you’re looking to raise – so, you lost me,” Sandy bluntly said.
David and Jenni De Pola were the next entrepreneurs to pitch their business, Jump Drum – a drumming instrument that doubles as exercise equipment. The musical couple remained in sync while explaining their product and demonstrated their sincerity for the product, but much like Adrienne, David and Jenni had a difficult time giving the judges the full understanding of their business model – most notably – how Jump Drum would be profitable for investors.

“We want to know how to drum up money, and getting leases and starting clubs is not the way to do that,” Alan explained.

Kish and Vanessa Vasnani were the next team of entrepreneurs hoping to persuade the judges that their lifestyle brand is poised to be the next big thing. Having visited more than 40 countries together, the well-traveled couple realized there was something missing in the market. Their product, Nomad Lane, aims to fill that void by offering adventure seekers stylish, reliable and affordable travel accessories.

The judges were overall impressed with the product and sales, even offering Kish and Vanessa a congratulations. But as viewers begin to catch on early into the season, no business model is perfect at first. After an intense round of questions, judges voiced their concerns about Nomad Lane after learning the accessories were manufactured in China. There also seemed to be concerns about the product’s originality – or lack-thereof.

The final contestant viewers meet in the series premiere is Om Kundu, Founder and CEO of Inspirave -a personal financial platform that helps users save for big purchases. Om, an endearingly awkward genius who immigrated from India, failed to give the judges a confident delivery. During behind the scenes deliberations, Nick even says that Om’s pitch is the worst he’s ever heard. The judges also had a difficult time understanding how the product could make investors money – a challenge that seemed to be a theme among the first batch of contestants.
Even still, the panel recognized the potential of Om’s money-saving concept.

As deliberations behind closed doors ensued, viewers got a real “fly on the wall” look at how investors would discuss new business ventures. Ultimately, they all judges seemed to that, while Adrienne’s MyPlanit has the potential to bloom into a marketable product, the app didn’t fit the mold and would likely not benefit from the next crowdfunding phase.

Tune in next week, on Sunday, October 21, to see the next four contestants face the judges on Break Through The Crowd, airing exclusively on ZEE TV.

Latest News