In the tradition of American Idol, The Apprentice, Top Chef, and Dragons' Den, a new TV show is in development in New Zealand that will bring the 'Elimination/Game show' format of reality TV to the world of startups. I will be one of the 3 judges.

The TV show, to be called Start Up (not to be confused with the 2001 movie Startup.com) is being produced by a kiwi company called Start-UP Media, alongside Wellington hi-tech cluster Silicon Welly. The aim is "to take one kiwi online company from startup through to launch in Silicon Valley and hopefully on to international success."

Aspiring kiwi startups are invited to apply to be part of the TV show. The TV series will select 10 startups and put them through 3 months of challenges.

As reported on the NZ Herald, Start-UP Media says the focus is on finding startups with an international focus:

"We're looking for companies with an international focus from day 1. The minimum entry requirements will be that they will have a product in development or beta phase however we may make an exception for someone that has an exceptional idea supported by market validation."

We here at RWW fully support the notion of Web innovation and success happening on an international scale. While the hub of Web technology is still Silicon Valley, this TV show aims to encourage aspiring kiwi entrepreneurs to make the first step - and the best of them will be promoted over in the Valley.

As for which American Idol judge I will be... I think it's fair to say I'm not nasty enough to be Simon Cowell. I'd like to think I'm not the other extreme either (Paula), so I guess that makes me Randy Jackson! I like Randy, so I can live with that ("it was pitchy for me, dawg"). The other judges are Tim Norton from PlanHQ (an online business planning startup) and Rod Drury from Xero (an online accounting app with global ambitions).