Syfy may be heading back to the stars with drama, but they are still keeping their feet on the ground in the unscripted world. But, if we’re ever going to get a real phaser, it might be from these guys…
Syfy president Dave Howe announced today that Syfy has greenlit The Bazillion Dollar Club, a high-adrenaline, high-stakes docu-series that immerses viewers in the brilliant and cut-throat world of today’s forward thinking innovators.
“The Bazillion Dollar Club gives our audience of imaginative thinkers the opportunity to literally invent the future by bringing to life their visionary ideas and dreams,” said Howe in making the announcement. “This show is important to Syfy’s unscripted strategy to engage fans with entertaining and informative real-world drama that taps into their curiosity, passion and creativity.”
The show follows Dave McClure, a relentless drill sergeant who founded software accelerator 500 Startups, and Brady Forrest, the quirky and creative mind behind the hardware accelerator Highway1. Their companies offer two of the world’s most aggressive accelerator programs that mentor startups leading up to the launch of their billion dollar idea.
McClure has invested in over 800 companies worldwide including 3D printing company Makerbot, which was acquired by Stratasys for 400 million dollars; the social media startup Wildfire, acquired by Google for 350 million dollars; financial monitoring service Credit Karma, recently valued at over one billion dollars; and telephony innovator Twilio, which has raised over 100 million dollars in venture capital. In just five years, his venture capital firm has funded thousands of entrepreneurs and helped them raise over two billion dollars. McClure is regarded as an innovator and influencer in social networking, and he was also an early employee at PayPal, working with the infamous “PayPal Mafia,” a group of tech entrepreneurs who later founded multiple billion dollar startup companies including LinkedIn, YouTube, Yelp and Yammer.
Forrest is a technology evangelist, obsessed with opening doors for makers, entrepreneurs and inventors looking to launch the world’s next game-changing product. Forrest is currently vice president at Highway1, the hardware accelerator that is part of PCH, and is responsible for some of the hottest names in the hardware renaissance including: CUE, the mobile medical testing kit; Navdy’s iPhone HUD for cars; Drop’s connected baking assistant; and Ringly’s fashionable connected rings. Under his leadership, PCH & Highway1 have funded over 35 companies with a focus on innovative consumer products. Forrest also co-founded Ignite, the worldwide global talk series that has been embraced by geeks in over 200 cities.
“Part of the fun of science fiction is seeing all of the fantastic gadgets and technologies, and imagining how they could exist in the real world,” said Bill McGoldrick, Syfy’s EVP, Original Content. Added Heather Olander, SVP, Alternative Series Development and Production, Syfy, “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.”
The series is produced by Zero Point Production (Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown; The Hunt with John Walsh) with executive producers Lydia Tenaglia, Christopher Collins and Craig H. Shepherd, and co-executive producer Abigail Shafran. The six episode, one-hour series begins production later this year and will air on Syfy in 2015.