Love it or hate it, Season 2 of Angel’s Gate, the entrepreneurial reality show on Singaporean TV, is in the pipeline. There’s a lot of buzz among the startup community about the good, the bad, and the ugly of the startup pitching show which has brought much joy (and maybe pain) to the startup scene in Singapore.
While the bitching/debate/feedback goes on, I took time to understand what the folks behind Angel’s Gate have to say. The response from the Angel’s Gate team, in short, is pretty humble and professional, which is a good sign. But it remains to be seen how it’ll adapt in Season 2!
Ash Singh, founder at Interactive.sg and the brain behind Angel’s Gate, affirmed that season 2 of the show will incorporate feedback gathered from the community and they’ll tweak the “product” as they see fit. He told me:
Like any product there will be lots of improvements to the show. We take a “wiki” approach to product development. We open ourselves to as much constructive criticism and work with our advisors and stakeholders to evolve the product.
The angels (aka judges) might change. So if you hate any one of them, pray hard. Ash did mention that his team is looking to add in a female angel and also more guest judges coming from various industries to bring more insights and value to Angel’s Gate.
I specifically pointed out to Ash that I didn’t like the “good cop, bad cop” tactic employed in one of the episodes whereby two angels conspired against one entrepreneur. I find it dirty. But Ash argued that all entrepreneurs should be prepared for all types of negotiating tactics. The reason why negotiations between investors were filmed and broadcast was to give the show more of a real-life edge. I personally don’t like it. I mean, I have to admit that it’s fun to watch, but still I’m not a fan of that ploy. Sure, the show does prepare budding entrepreneurs for such negotiation tactics but I seriously doubt that such tricks are employed among investors. At least not among regular angel investors.
I also asked about Ash’s thoughts on Derrick Ko’s open letter to the show, and Ash told me:
I applaud his candid feedback. We have lots of feedback on improving the platform from fans all over the world. I am taking notes from people like Mr. Ko and we will aim to evolve the show accordingly. I think it’s great to see passionate people like Mr. Ko standing up for what they believe in. I am sure his passion would make him a good entrepreneur too. I hope I can meet him before season 2 and share our vision.
So, Derrick, here’s your chance to give feedback to the show’s producers. I also spoke to William Klippgen, who is one of the judges, for his thoughts on this debate. William’s answer is a mixture of sympathy and tough ass-kicking, from how I see it. He told me:
If the world of entrepreneurship is foreign to some, I understand totally that the world of investors might seem completely alien, so I kind of expected a lot of reactions by being so open on how we do business. But, the overall aim is to make entrepreneurs more comfortable with the whole process. Nothing is more important than getting more clever entrepreneurs out there starting their own businesses.
On the very vocal criticism about us being too hard on some of the contestants, I am tempted to say that if entrepreneurs cannot handle four nice business angels like us, they probably can’t handle their suppliers, customers, or employees either.
Well… whether they are nice or bad-ass is very much debatable. But I welcome Angel’s Gate back on TV and all over YouTube. It’s fun, and good entertainment. And entrepreneurs opting for an appearance on season 2 should be more prepared by now. At the end of the day, the participants are the ones who accepted the challenge. If you get your ass kicked, don’t cry, move on. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger; isn’t that the case?
Catch the whole debate over Angel’s Gate on our tag for the show.
P.S: Congrats, team Gamemaki.