Filipino ingenuity takes centre stage in the seventh season of The Final Pitch, a business reality TV show that searches for the next big thing in the Philippines’ vibrant startup industry.
Slated for an October premiere on CNN Philippines, the 10-episode series will be hosted by show creator John Aguilar. With the theme “virtual edition,” the new season offers a hybrid setup where the show’s investor judges will virtually interact with the contestants as they pitch their businesses on-location at The Final Pitch studios.
Aspiring entrepreneurs and startups with business solutions equipped for the country’s transition to the new normal will have a chance to pitch their innovative ideas to a diverse panel of investors looking to fund and back their initiatives.
John said, “We want to make a statement with this season that just because there is a pandemic and a delta variant out there, it doesn’t mean that we should stop conducting businesses, trying to look for solutions, and even making a living. This is also a very aggressive call out for entrepreneurs with solutions for all of the challenges we face and to those who had their businesses particularly adapted to the new normal.”
John will be joined by five of the Philippines’ most distinguished investor judges, including Dennis Uy, Chief Executive Officer of Converge ICT Solutions; Bernard Dy, Cauayan City Mayor; Ricky Villarante, Chairman and CEO of 8Ventures; Rose Ong, Senior Executive Vice President – COO of Wilcon Depot; and David Almirol, Founder & CEO of Multisys Technologies Corporation.
All contestants will go through a virtual business mentorship with selected business mentors, namely Dean Bernales, Managing Director, Uniquecorn Strategies; Patt Soyao, Managing Director, Icon Executive Search; and Hiyasmin Neri-Soyao, Managing Director, Shoppertainment Live.
To join The Final Pitch, applicants will be required to fill out and submit an online entry form through this link via its official website www.TheFinalPitch.ph. The deadline for submission of applications is until September 17, 2021. Filming begins on Sept. 24.
From “nation-building” to “nation rebuilding”
The Final Pitch ultimately aims to continue its mission to make an impact in nation-building. However, considering the pandemic’s current dilemma, the show now wants to focus on nation rebuilding.
“Before, we used to always emphasize nation-building, but with the challenges we continue to face, we realize that it is first and foremost a collective nation rebuilding effort. That’s the focus of this season—to give a break to these entrepreneurs and introduce them to the right people who may be in a position to help them, whether it’s through funding, resources, or network,“ shared John.
The Final Pitch intends to help the nation through entrepreneurship. Aside from giving breaks and opportunities to these startups and entrepreneurs through potential funding, the show can also be their bridge to create strategic partnerships and provide access to the market in a multitude of ways. All of these are in the hope of solving the big problems that the Filipinos find in their day-to-day lives.
‘The Final Pitch’ ASEAN coming soon
John mentioned that a Southeast Asian version of The Final Pitch is in the works. He said, “The end goal of the show is really, at least for the ASEAN version, is to be able to foster cross-border investment and collaboration,” John shared with Television Asia Plus.
The show’s creator said that the goal of the ASEAN version of the show is to ensure that deals get done. For instance, if a Filipino startup wants to expand to Vietnam, joining The Final Pitch will not only get you the funding but the potential to find a strategic partner to expand to that territory.
“I believe there have been no shows so far that has made this possible. We’d like to be pioneers in that space we’re in,” John said. “The world is looking at Southeast Asia and it’s an emerging tech region. There are so many problems here in the region and there are also many opportunities. And there are a lot of these future unicorns that are being born as we speak.”
John added that the beauty of The Final Pitch is that with the introduction of mentors, they’ve found that a lot of entrepreneurs were face-to-face with their biggest fears in business. He said, “It’s a learning experience not just for the viewers, but also the entrepreneurs who are joining the show. If you take a look at this hero’s journey that these entrepreneurs go through, you see the hero’s journey of our investor judges, and you see the hero’s journey of the mentor. It is a show that allows you to take a glimpse into the successes of the big players, and also these emerging startups. We hope that a lot of people learn from and eventually inspires them to be able to put up their own enterprises as well.”