Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

Want to Get Your Business Covered on TV? The Producers of 'Start Up' Explain How. The creators of EntrepreneurTV's 'Start Up' explain what producers are looking for when covering small businesses.

By Entrepreneur Staff

Earlier this month, studio head of EntrepreneurTV Brad Gage hosted a live Q&A with the producers of EntrepreneurTV's new show Start Up. During their conversation, the show's Emmy-nominated host Gary Bredow and award-winning producer Jenny Feterovich talked about what they look for when searching for people and businesses to feature on the series and shared tips for anyone hoping to make their own documentary series or feature. You can watch the video above or check out the highlights of their conversation below. (Which have been edited for length and clarity.)

Be on the lookout for more live chats with EntrepreneurTV creators in the coming months, and be sure to check out what's streaming now for free on EntrepreneurTV.

Brad Gage: Energetic, inspirational and educational, Start Up is a fast-paced series that captures the heart and imagination of anyone who is ever dreamed of starting their own business. Hi there folks. I am Brad Gage. I am the studio head of EntrepreneurTV and today we're going to be spotlighting the Emmy-nominated Startup and we're very excited to be talking to two of the producers and even the host, Gary Bredow and Jenny Feterovich. Folks, good to have you.

Gary Bredow: Thank you for having us, Brad. We're so excited to be here.

Jenny Feterovich: Super excited.

Brad Gage: Can you tell us the story behind making the show? I mean, you're moving on to season 11 now.

Gary Bredow: Okay. So it's been, it's been a while making this show, but how did it even get started? Back in the day, we had a production studio in downtown Detroit. And, uh, this was during the Great Recession, so, there wasn't really a lot happening. There were no jobs, nobody was hiring there — wasn't much hope out there. So, having a commercial documentary background, having the equipment and production experience, I was like, well, you know, why couldn't we go out and tell some stories so people could understand how to do something themselves? I knew I couldn't do it alone, so I called Jenny. Jenny was an associate of mine through electronic music. I had produced and directed a film called High-Tech Soul about the creation of techno music. And Jenny was a world-renowned traveling DJ. She had recently gotten into production as well, and I had a lot of respect for what Jenny was doing.

Jenny Feterovich: I said, of course. Why not? I always tell people my whole life is just a series of a bunch of "why nots." Neither I nor Gary had ever produced television before, but we had this vision that we really wanted to do it. And here we are, 10 years later. going into season 11, which is true proof that anything is possible. And that is really what our show is about. We are very much what we want people to understand. We are the people that we feature on our show because at some point we had no show. We had no financing. We did not know how to do this. But everything can be learned. Everything is teachable.

Brad Gage: How would you describe the show to somebody who hasn't seen it?

Gary Bredow: I think it's less of a business show and really, it's human stories. I'll say we could do a 13-episode season all about, I don't know, bagel shops, right? And every story is gonna be 100% completely unique from each other because it's all about the person. What was their reason for starting the business in the first place, and then what were the personal struggles and the hardships and the things that they had to go through to make that happen? It's incredibly difficult to start a small business, so we wanted viewers at home to understand that the folks that they're watching are exactly like them. Kind of like Jenny said, you know, you may not have the best credit, you may not have a ton of money in the bank, but if you have drive and passion and with all of the resources and information available online now, anyone can do this. But you gotta have a real heart for what it is that you wanna do because it's not gonna be easy.

Jenny Federov: When you watch our show, there is a reason why we're on P B S. There's a reason why we chose you guys as partners. We want people to be inspired. We want them to follow their dreams. People are not meant to spend their lives in cubicles. people are meant to follow their dreams, and hopefully, when you watch a show, something sparks and you're like, wow, I'm no different than her. I'm no different than him, and this is how they did it. This is how they get started. And every single time we have a season, we'll learn something new. New ways of financing a show. I mean, one year I remember we learned that the guy literally went and bought used books and resold them, and this is how he started his coffee shop.

Brad Gage: How do you choose which companies get on Start Up?

Jenny Feterovich: Wow, there are just so many incredible small business owners out there. So we always have to start with geography, right? We are a travel show. We go across the country. So the first thing we'll do is we'll ask, where are we going this year? What are we covering? And then it's this beautiful dance of learning. Being on a pulse, what's happening there? We call it the local SBA office. I read a lot of blogs. I read a lot of newspapers. I get tapped into the entrepreneurial community, and then it's really a lot of interviews. It's a lot of casting interviews to create that perfect mix because we want everybody to be represented. Whatever age you are, whatever color you are, whatever business you are in. But it's the story first, right? What is your why? Is this going to be interesting? Can you deliver that story?

Brad Gage: And so people should go to www.startup-usa.com/nominate to nominate a company?

Jenny Feterovich: Absolutely. Yeah. And don't be discouraged if don't get to you. We do keep a list and it's categorized and I've called somebody three years or four years later.

Brad Gage: How does your production work and is it different or the same as other productions?

Gary Bredow: I can't really speak to other productions, but I will say that we try to stay as mobile and sort of lean as possible because of how much we travel and have to go from location to location. We'll have two camera operators, one of which also does the drone. We have Mark who does all of our sound. We have Raisa who directs. And then we always have a production coordinator or someone that's there to sort of help out. And Jenny from the home base here is kind of guiding and trafficking our journey.

Jenny Feterovich: Yeah, it's a well-oiled machine by now. But if you would've seen us in season one? It was like, how does TV production work? Every year we just tweak something and try to get better and better and better. You just have to get a little better than you were yesterday, and that goes for anything you do.

Entrepreneur Staff

Entrepreneur Staff


For more than 30 years, Entrepreneur has set the course for success for millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners. We'll teach you the secrets of the winners and give you exactly what you need to lay the groundwork for success.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Business News

TikTok Reportedly Laid Off a 'Large Percentage' of Employees as the App's Fate in the U.S. Remains Unclear

Laid-off TikTok employees were notified Wednesday night through Thursday morning.

Business News

Four Seasons Orlando Responds to Viral TikTok: 'There's Something Here For All Ages'

The video has amassed over 45.4 million views on TikTok.

Business News

More People Are Exploring Entrepreneurship Because of This Unexpected Reason

More new business applications were filed in 2023 than in any other year so far.

Personal Finance

This Investment Bundle Includes a Trading Course and Stock Screener Tool for $150

Approach the stock market with an increased understanding.

Growing a Business

5 Strategies to Know As You Scale Your Business

Scaling a service-based company requires a comprehensive approach that goes beyond simply increasing revenue. It requires careful planning, strategic decision-making and a deep understanding of market dynamics.