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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.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.