M-Net has announced that a brand new international format reality show is coming our way. Shark Tank South Africa provides a platform for every day South Africans with big business ideas who are looking for funding a platform to pitch their idea to five investors known as sharks. The channel has announced that The Creative Council CEO Gil Oved and CEO of dynamic accounting firm The Beancounter are the first of five local sharks.

Each of the two announced sharks have an interesting back story and have made an incredible impact on the industry they’re in. Gil started his illustrious business career along with high school friend Ran Neu-Ner, armed with nothing but a telephone and the Yellow Pages. The Creative Council was formed back in 2001 and now, 14 years later, the largest communications and advertising group in Africa, with an annual turnover of over R700 Million, employing over 1000 full-time employees and creating tens of thousands of part-time jobs. Viewers may also remember Gil from the popular Mzansi Magic show Dragon’s Den.

“On Shark Tank South Africa, I am keen on investing in companies with unique – and local – IP. I am interested in products, services, technology and brands that need channel marketing, branding, distribution, mentorship, guidance and access to capital,” says Gil. He also adds a word of caution: “I want to see hunger and passion and exciting entrepreneurs focused on innovating and making a difference. Respect the opportunity to present on the show, know your numbers, take the time to package your business case.”

The next shark on the panel is the brilliant Marnus Broodryk. I’m totally biased here because he is a good friend of mine and I can’t think of anyone better and more deserving for the show. He has inspired me more than anyone to get out of my comfort zone and take risks. He is living testimony that calculated risks work. Marnus’ story is definitely one of rags to riches. He had to mow lawns to pay for school fees but started his first business designing websites. He made his first million at 24. Now, at 31, he has launched many multi-million rand companies. Like Gil, Marnus is also no stranger to TV. He currently hosts a financial insert on the kykNET show Winslyn and has many friends within the local entertainment industry.

“I am willing to support anyone who stands out – even if I don’t necessarily relate to the product or service,” he says. “But you will have to show me a proven business or adequate traction. I have a strong financial background and have worked with hundreds of small businesses in South Africa and abroad. I do understand what makes and breaks a business – and that’s often not what you’re taught in university text books. You don’t have to know everything yet, but you need to show your desire to succeed with a strong pitch that will capture my imagination.”

Have a business idea you think Gil or Marnus would be interested in? You have until Sunday 31 July to enter Shark Tank South Africa by simply visiting www.mnet.tv/sharktank to submit your 60 second video pitch. Shark Tank South Africa starts on Sunday October 2 at 18h00 on M-Net.

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