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TV Actors and Entrepreneurs Team Up for Smart, New Web Series


A new Web series is giving entrepreneurs and small-business owners a little comic relief.

This week marks the premiere of "Leap Year," a new, scripted comedy series from small-business insurer Hiscox that follows the ups and downs of starting a business.

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Airing only online, the 10-episode series tracks the entrepreneurial highs and lows of five friends who make the proverbial "leap" to go it alone after a corporate downsizing.

“I think small-business owners and entrepreneurs will relate to the challenges the five main characters go through in starting up their own businesses, as well as the how great it felt to land their first client and build their own businesses from the ground up,” Kevin Kerridge, head of Hiscox in the United States, told BusinessNewsDaily.

He cautioned, however, in thinking this is a how-to series.

“The scripts were written to be realistic as well as entertaining and I think people will really enjoy some of the interesting situations the characters get into later in the series,” Kerridge said.

Directed by Yuri Baranovsky, the cast features Craig Bierko of  the television show “Damages” and an upcoming Farrelly Brothers "Three Stooges" biopic, and Julie Warner, who has appeared in the films “Crash” and “Doc Hollywood.” Mashable Editor in Chief Adam Ostrow and entrepreneurs and authors Guy Kawasaki and Gary Vaynerchuk make cameo appearances.

The "Leap Year" series is part of a collection put together by Hiscox for startups and established small businesses.

“The series is on a microsite that provides a suite of useful advice and tips to current and aspiring entrepreneurs, including advice from Hiscox experts and members of the Young Entrepreneur Council reflecting on their startup experiences,” Kerridge said.

It also includes stories from successful founders such as Mashable’s Pete Cashmore, Behance’s Scott Belsky, Thrillist’s Adam Rich and Tumblr’s David Karp.

Kerridge hopes that people watching the series will take a lot away from the show, including always believing in yourself and looking at obstacles you encounter not as failures, but as lessons on the way to building a successful company .

“You can’t learn what will work without getting out there and giving it your full effort,” Kerridge said. “As we move through the series we’ll also be providing tips and guidance from well-known, successful entrepreneurs, which we hope will add value for our customers.”

New episodes will debut every Monday on Hiscox TV, Hulu , YouTube, Inc.com and iTunes, as well as on Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, set-top boxes and mobile devices via the subscription-based Hulu Plus service.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.