Apple’s upcoming TV show about apps now has a venture partner to invest in app makers.
The idea behind “Planet of the Apps,” which will probably run on A&E, is that budding software developers will create an app for iPhones and iPads on reality TV.
As the show progresses, they will be mentored by celebrity-entrepreneurs like Will.i.am and Jessica Alba, and if their idea is good enough, their app will get featured placement in the Apple App Store.
But if their idea is really good, they could get funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners, one of Silicon Valley’s top-tier VC firm — famous for finding great investments like Snapchat.
Simply getting a pitch meeting with Lightspeed is a big goal for many Silicon Valley startups, and that’s exactly the opportunity “Planet of the Apps” contestents will have.
“There will probably be three or four of us that will meet with the companies together, hear their stories, deliberate about a potential investment and make a decision,” Lightspeed partner Jeremy Liew told Business Insider.
Lightspeed is committing over $10 million dollars to fund the winning companies in “Planet of the Apps.” Lightspeed is a good fit as a VC firm for the show, because it has had a lot of success finding consumer software companies.
“For us, it’s less about making a documentary about what Silicon Valley is about. It’s more about encouraging a new generation of entrepreneurs that can really reach massive scale. That there is access available to funding for those people. There is access to promotion for those people from Apple within the App Store,” Liew said.
Contestents haven’t been selected yet. An earlier casting call suggested that filming for the show will take place starting in October and run through early 2017.
The show is looking for contestents nationwide, not just in the Bay Area, but having big-name tech entrepreneurs, as well as the platform the show will provide, could entice some hot early-stage startups to try to join the reality TV show. Applications are currently open.
“Planet of the Apps” was first announced by Apple’s senior vice president of internet software, Eddy Cue, in the New York Times. The show will likely be distributed through Apple-owned services, but the show’s producer, Propagate, hasn’t commented on whether it will air on a TV channel as well.