Amazon readies TV series on Indian startups

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Amazon is looking to debut a TV show in India that will look to identify promising startups in the South Asian market, people familiar with the matter said.

The Prime Video show, to be unveiled as early as Wednesday, has been in the works for several months and involves participation from various government bodies and local investors, the people said, requesting anonymity as the information is not public.

The series will aim to showcase innovation from smaller Indian cities and towns, according to one of the people. The show will also see Amazon cut checks to startups through its India-focused $250 million SMBhav fund.

Representatives of Amazon India have been in touch with many angel investors and venture funds in recent months, the people said. Many Bollywood stars are also participating in the program, one of the people said.

Amazon declined to comment Monday. The move also follows Amazon partnering with India’s federal government in April to stream movies and shows from state-run studios.

As Indian startups surge, a cultural phenomenon is paralleling the growth: a rise in media narratives around entrepreneurship. A fusion of youthful, tech-literate talent and supportive government policies has ignited an entrepreneurial boom across the South Asian market.

Amplifying this trend, movies and TV shows — “Physics Wallah – Achcha Teacher,” a show on Amazon’s miniTV, “TVF Pitchers” on Zee5, “Shark Tank” on Sony, to name a few — are increasingly spotlighting startup stories, creating a symbiotic relationship between real-life innovation and its cinematic portrayal.

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