The detective drama series “StartUp” mixes the criminal world with the phenomenon of technological start-ups with aplomb. The series follows the story of Izzy, a young computer prodigy who designs a digital currency, but then has to cooperate with unsavory people to get the funds her startup needs to survive. By teaming up with the son of a money launderer and a Haitian-American gangster, Izzy delves into a world of moral dilemmas and deadly dangers.
Far from the futuristic “Mr. Robot” and the sanitized “Silicon Valley”, this series offers a glimpse of the heart-wrenching realities behind tech start-ups poised to revolutionize the world. Does Araknet really exist and will there be 100 million users at any given time? Is GenCoin a real currency? Let’s see if “StartUp” is based on a true story or not.
Is StartUp based on a true story?
No, “StartUp” is not based on a true story. While its multicultural cast, crisp setting, and zesty-based subject matter make the show feel like it’s grounded in reality, it isn’t. This is actually the idea of the show’s creator and co-writer, Ben Ketai, and the result of extensive research by the show’s writers. According to Ben Ketai, the idea for “StartUp” emerged when he sat down with the team at the streaming platform Crackle.
Having previously worked with Ketai on the thriller action series “Chosen”, they wanted to collaborate with him on another series. Both parties were interested in a project based on the tech world, but with their own style. This is how the idea for a show about underground tech start-ups was born. While speaking about the complexity of writing the show and how the creative process has been “enlightening,” Ketai mentioned that the show’s writers have researched not just topics related to the show. technology, but also on cultural aspects, as shown by the multicultural protagonists of the show.
The series’ backdrop, Miami, was also a deliberate choice because, in addition to being a multicultural city, it has one of the highest densities of startups in the United States. The ‘criminal’ aspect of the show, which Ketai was eager to explore, was also well integrated because, according to the show’s creator, some of the money invested in Miami start-ups comes from sources. unsavory, like what the show portrays. Although the show was shot elsewhere, Ketai also spent time walking around different areas of Miami that served as the inspiration for the show’s decor.
To keep the show as impactful as possible, Ketai has gone to great lengths to keep it abreast of current technological trends. It is in large part because of this that the protagonists of the series have turned away from cryptocurrencies, which are their main concern in Season 1, to develop a darknet. As the series creator explains, “For Season 2, we wanted to develop something that goes beyond cryptocurrencies. There were a lot of articles on the darknet and how it is changing. It has become commercialized and is no longer as anonymous as previously thought. More and more people are coming out of it, which creates a new hunger for a new thing. “
The series’ connections to reality, however, are only visible in its general themes, and no actual events or people are portrayed. The intricacies of the show’s story remain purely fictitious. In addition to contemporary technological trends, “StartUp” also skillfully explores today’s cultural issues and social inequalities. With a Haitian (Ronald), a Caucasian (Nick) and a Latina (Izzy) as the main characters, the series adds the complexity of their cultural identities to the mix. This aims to portray the reality on the ground where, in an increasingly homogeneous society, business and crime involve multicultural partnerships between people united by their thirst for wealth and power.