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Marci Weisler

There’s a new reality competition, and it’s coming to a computer or a mobile device near you! Debuting online, October 28th, on Ora.TV, Queen Bee is part Shark Tank, part The Voice, part Kickstarter, and it’s targeting female-founded companies with products to sell. One of the women behind this ingenious concept is Marci Weisler, a digital executive with over 15 years experience in growing and managing online businesses for brands and startups. Marci and her Smart Women. Smart Ideas. (SWSI) business partner’s have created a new media platform they envision will ultimately become a next generation QVC.

“BY COMBINING REALITY PROGRAMMING, CROWDFUNDING AND PROMOTION, WE WANT TO ENABLE PRODUCT COMPANIES, FOCUSED ON WOMEN, TO GET KNOWN, GET FUNDED AND GO BIG.”

“There are tons of crowd funding projects now, but women have a harder time getting funding. Product companies have an even harder time getting funding than technology companies, plus you need a (business and social) network to get funded in the first place.” Queen Bee hopes to give women entrepreneurs exposure and fundraising tools that are often difficult to acquire.

Online viewers will not only be able to vote for their favorite female-founded company competitors, but viewers can also fund companies and pre-order products through crowdfunding. As with any successful reality show, the host and the judges are key to whether it’s a hit or a miss.

Queen Bee’s host is the dynamic Tonya Lewis Lee, former corporate attorney, best-selling author, television producer and multi-media production company owner. The judges are smart and compelling: Julie Roehm, SVP, SAP, marketing and “chief storyteller” extraordinaire, former Walmart and Chrysler executive and Fox Business contributor; Divya Gugnani, Harvard MBA, French Culinary graduate, serial entrepreneur and investor and the much admired Lawrence Lenihan, Founder and Managing Director at FirstMark Capital, which focuses on seed and early stage investments.

When the women of SWSI went out to raise their own startup money, investors first wanted to see what happened with the first initiative of their business plan: the digital only, Queen Bee show. “To practice what we preach, we did our own crowdfunding through Plum Alley. We raised $27k in 28 days, plus we got E*TRADE to come onboard as a sponsor of the shows.”

In addition to producing and launching Queen Bee digitally, on Ora.tv, Marci and her SWSI partners have a bigger vision. “While the show, itself, can only feature a handful of entrepreneurs, the media platform will have hundreds of different companies coming in and getting exposure through our platform, and not only be able to push their crowdfunding, but also be able to sell their products.”

Since crowdfunding is becoming the new seed funding, and reality programming is big exposure, the women of SWSI and their Queen Bee digital show may be a hit with female founders and investors as well as advertisers and television networks. The real “queen bees” may be Marci Weisler and her Smart Women. Smart Ideas. partners. In fact, Smart Women. Smart Ideas. may be an apt name for all concerned.