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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 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

1 dead after pickup truck hits Pride spectators in Florida

Police investigate the scene where a pickup truck drove into a crowd of people at a Pride parade in Wilton Manors, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Jason Koerner/Getty Images

A driver in a pickup truck hit spectators at a Pride festival in Wilton Manors, Florida, killing a man and leaving another person hospitalized Saturday, authorities said.

Details: Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis told reporters police had "apprehended the driver" and that the vehicle missed a parade car carrying Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) "by inches."

Updated 5 hours ago - Sports

Uganda Olympic team member tests positive for COVID in Tokyo

The Uganda National boxing team's Catherine Nanziri (L) and others arrive for check-in at Entebbe international airport in Wakiso, Uganda on Friday, ahead of their departure to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo: Badru Katumba/AFP via Getty Images

A Uganda Olympic team member tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Japan late Saturday, officials said.

Why it matters: Japan's government has faced criticism for vowing to host the Tokyo Games next month as coronavirus cases rise. The Ugandan team is the second to arrive in Japan after the Australian women's softball players, and this is the first COVID-19 infection detected among the Olympic athletes, Al Jazeera notes.