Each week, "Crowd Rules" features three small businesses that compete in front of an audience of 100 that votes to decide who wins a much-needed $50,000 prize. Entrepreneur and jewelry designer Kendra Scott, NY1 Anchor Pat Kiernan, along with a weekly guest industry expert, lead the examination of the small businesses in order to help a studio audience choose which company wins the $50,000. While the small business owners make their case to the panel of three, the real power lies in the hands of the audience – 97 strong – whose votes will ultimately decide which business is most deserving of the investment.
Industry experts vary week-by-week and provide insight into each companies' strengths and challenges. Experts include: Michael Chernow, co-owner and general manager of the hit New York City restaurants collectively TMS – The Meatball Shop; Tom Szaky, founder and chief executive of TerraCycle, one of the 500 fastest-growing businesses in the United States; Larry Winget, internationally-renowned motivational speaker and consultant; Vincent Porpiglia, founder and COO of Dream Water; Elizabeth Chambers, television host, correspondent for E! News and founder and co-owner of the wildly popular Bird Bakery in San Antonio, TX; Erica Duignan Minnihan, Executive Director of STAR Angel Network and a Partner in STAR Industries; Melinda Emerson, "The Small Biz Lady," founder and chief executive of Quintessence Multimedia; and Steve Kaplan, serial entrepreneur and self-made multimillionaire who has helped to make more than 100 additional people millionaires in their own right.