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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Initial public offerings are getting the reality TV treatment, with a new show that will track five established companies on their path to the Nasdaq. And viewers will be able to buy-in.

Program guide: It's called "Going Public," and will stream via Entrepreneur.com. The host is Lauren Simmons, who was the youngest full-time equities trader on the NYSE, and the floor's second Black woman trader.

What they're saying: "My partner first suggested this idea three years ago and I cut him off because I'd seen half a dozen decks like it and they all looked dumb," says Darren Marble, executive producer and a veteran crowdfunding executive.

  • "But then we began talking about putting together the domain expertise to really executive, banking, compliance, distribution, a host with financial experience... And it began coming together."

How it works: Each of the five companies will have at least $20 million in annual revenue, primarily in the direct-to-consumer sector.

  • Marble says the first company cast is a VC-backed Y Combinator alum that went on "Shark Tank" but didn't get a deal.
  • The companies will be followed for 10 weeks, as they work toward a Reg A+ offering underwritten by Roth Capital.
  • Beneath the streaming video box on Entrepreneur.com will be a link that leads viewers to a page whereby they'll be able to invest at the IPO price (assuming that it closes). It's effectively what Reg A+ was designed to do, albeit not necessarily by the imagined mechanism.

"You saw what Massachusetts just did with Robinhood," Lauren Simmons told me last night, before the SEC filed its own suit. "Platforms like that can be great, but they're not really teaching the next generation of investors how to be smart investors. My job is to give viewers the facts and resources to make educated decisions."

The bottom line: This may represent peak IPO. Or the future of small-cap offerings. Or both.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Jan 15, 2021 - Economy & Business

Creating a path for Black venture capitalists

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Venture capital last summer began finally reckoning with its lack of Black investors, as part of the country's broader conversation on racial inequities.

The big picture: The relative handful of existing Black venture capitalists were deluged with recruiting calls from brand-name firms, both to poach and to solicit introductions. But many felt there was a pipeline problem.

1 hour ago - World

Sudanese government says it put down coup attempt

Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok (L) and Sovereign Council Chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. Photo: Ashraf Shazly/AFP via Getty

The Sudanese government announced on Tuesday morning that its military and security services had foiled an attempted coup from within the country’s armed forces.

Why it matters: The apparent coup attempt comes with Sudan’s transitional government — in which power is shared between civilians and generals — facing crises on several fronts two years after dictator Omar al-Bashir was toppled in a popular uprising.

2 hours ago - Health

Johnson & Johnson says booster shot increases efficacy of COVID vaccine

Syringes and a vial of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in French Polynesia on Sept. 8. Photo: Jerome Brouillet/AFP via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson said in a press release Tuesday a global study showed that the protection offered by its coronavirus vaccine was strengthened by a booster shot.

Why it matters: While J&J has not formally applied for authorization to offer booster shots to the general public, it said it has shared the results of the study with the Food and Drug Administration and plans to share it with the World Health Organization and other health regulators.