A 33-year-old engineer from Salt Lake City, promoting a company that would mass-produce flying cars with retractable wings, was among the lucky finalists in the “Pitch Tim Draper on Your Billion Dollar Idea” contest, held Wednesday in the offices of the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
Another finalist was a San Jose, Calif., man (screen name: “Guns”), who said a fortune could be made with a Web site letting people book doctor appointments online. Then there was a longtime marketing executive who, in high-concept Hollywood style, pitched his idea for an online advertising company as “Google marries Akamai.” He, too, was a finalist, even though he misspelled the first part of Akamai Technologies, a network infrastructure company, on his proposal.
Failing to make the cut, alas, was a man who offered only a vague explanation of his billion-dollar idea because he wanted to remain in stealth mode.
There was something decidedly “Gong Show” about the two hours Timothy C. Draper spent at his desk listening to a steady stream of entrepreneurs from as far away as Russia and France trying to wow him with their ideas.