EXCLUSIVE: Discovery Channel is launching new business format I Quit, with a slew of entrepreneurs risking it by giving up their jobs to follow their passions.
However, the business model behind the show, which launches Tuesday August 18, may be the real point of interest for producers.
The show comes from Shopify Studios, the television production and financing arm of the global online commerce service, and Wheelhouse Entertainment’s Spoke Studios. It was financed and produced by these companies before being picked up by the factual broadcaster, which unusually has just taken U.S. rights rather than full global rights to the format.
I Quit follows six sets of hopeful entrepreneurs as they leave their steady incomes and retirement plans behind, going all in on their dreams of launching their own businesses. Along the way, they will be mentored by three successful business leaders – Harley Finkelstein, COO of Shopify, Debbie Sterling, CEO of the children’s multimedia company GoldieBlox and Tricia Clarke-Stone, co-founder and CEO of creative and tech agency, WP Narrative.
It features the likes of newlyweds Matteo and Julie trying to launch a versatile attire company, parents Mike and Gloria building a BBQ sauce business and best friends Ashanti, Jasmine and Tyshemia looking to disrupt the wine industry. Unbeknownst to the groups, the most promising business will receive $100,000 to fuel their growth at the end of the year. See clip below.
Created by Shopify Studios and Wheelhouse Entertainment’s Spoke Studios, it is produced for Discovery in the U.S. by Shopify Studios, Spoke Studios and ITV America. For Shopify Studios, Tobi Lütke and Pam Silverstein are executive producers. Brent Montgomery, Ed Simpson and Will Nothacker are the executive producers for Spoke Studios, and Karen Kunkel Young and Steve Kantor executive produce for ITV America. For Discovery, Gretchen Morning is the executive producer and Jessica Mollo and Kerresha Musgrove are associate producers.
Ed Simpson, Wheelhouse Group Chief Strategy Officer, said, “To create a show about entrepreneurship, alongside a company entirely committed to fueling small business and supporting entrepreneurs, and to do it for a network partner like Discovery, which has always spotlighted hard work and ingenuity, is a great reflection of what Wheelhouse was built to do. This is the kind of innovation we strive to achieve in our business model and strategic relationships, and we’re proud to see it come to fruition.”
Sarah North, Head of Shopify Studios, said, “I Quit and our partnership with Spoke embody the mission of Shopify Studios and its approach to content, which is to align with best-in-class producers and creatives to bring real stories of entrepreneurship – like those in this series – to light. While the journeys of the business owners may vary and run the gamut of industries and challenges, the true grit and emotional resilience required for success are universal. We hope I Quit inspires the entrepreneurial spirit for viewers everywhere.”
Joseph Boyle, SVP of Production and Development, Discovery, added, “Discovery has always championed stories of individuals who risk it all to follow their dreams. I Quitis one of those projects. Over the course of a year, we follow real people as they make the difficult decision to leave the safety of their careers and devote themselves full-time to launching their own businesses. It’s an intimate and honest look at what it really takes to pursue the American Dream.”