The newest addition to SyFy’s stable of unscripted programming will be The Bazillion Dollar Club, a six-episode series about a group of tech entrepreneurs on a quest to amass fortunes so big they can only be described with made-up numbers. The docu-series will profile various Silicon Valley startups as they develop what they hope will be the next game-changing technological idea. Most of them would probably be happy to make non-imaginary amounts of money, but it wouldn’t hurt them to keep their standards high.
The show will spend most of its time following a pair of prominent tech investors, a tacit acknowledgement that focusing on average startup employees would probably just involve watching people watch computers. One of those investors, Dave McClure, was the director of marketing for PayPal before founding 500 Startups, an investment firm that at this point has helped fund over 500 companies, possibly necessitating a name change. The other investor, Brady Forrest, is the vice president at Highway1, a tech incubator that invests in new kinds of hardware.
The Bazillion Dollar Club sounds a little more high-minded than some of SyFy’s other unscripted fare, and may be part of the network’s mission to refocus on hard science fiction rather than, say, tornadoes full of sharks. “The inventors that are part of Dave and Brady’s program are developing products and technology that seem like they are ripped straight from the world of sci-fi, but these innovations will be our future reality,” said Heather Olander, a senior vice president at the network.
Considering that McClure’s company seems to mostly invest in things like Fileboard (a software program that tracks sales presentations) and Cucumbertown (an online social network for chefs), his inventors may not inspire the awe Olander is hoping for, although viewers can decide that for themselves when the series debuts sometime in 2015. Forrest’s company has invested in a couple of quirkier projects, including a ring that vibrates whenever users get a text and a device that projects immersive game environments onto walls. With any luck, someone on his roster is developing a functional lightsaber or something, and the show can ride it to ratings success.