3 of 6
BACKNEXT
Buy a gamer chick a Frag Grenade
Buy a gamer chick a Frag Grenade

GameCrush
Headquarters: San Francisco
Founded: April 2008
Raised: $700,000

GameCrush co-founder Eric Strasser can make his company's pitch in one short sentence: "GameCrush is a website where guys pay to play video games with girls."

At 60 cents a minute for games, that's a potential killer business model for the company and the "playdates" it shares the cash with. It's a Web axiom that games and dating sites are two of the three proven online money-making business models, and GameCrush teeters on the edge of plunging straight into the third. (Its homepage currently features the profiles of playdates like MistressKittenator and ImNotAnAngel.)

The site's origin story is based on beer: Guys can walk into bars and buy a girl a drink -- so why can't they do the same online? "If you think the ratio is bad in a sports bar, think about what it's like on a multiplayer game on Xbox," Strasser says. "It's practically impossible to find a girl to play, let alone get to know who she is."

GameCrush soft-launched in March, and immediately crashed under the traffic deluge. "We thought we were building a corner bar -- and then 10,000 people showed up," Strasser says. The team pulled back to private beta, spent six months rebuilding the site from scratch, and went live Monday.

GameCrush was by far the show's most controversial startup -- compelling enough to make it into the finalist round, but creepy enough to turn off much of the audience. TechCrunch editor Sarah Lacy tweeted "i like gamecrush but always feel a bit like i need a shower after they present."

NEXT: Happiness = a silent alarm clock

Last updated September 30 2010: 2:31 PM ET
  • Find Homes for sale
    Real estate and homes for sale on Trulia

  • Property Type
  • Find a home in:
  • New York | Atlanta | Chicago | Los Angeles
  • Washington D.C | Houston | Philadelphia | More options
More Galleries
Awesome car options for first-time buyers There are lots of good options for millennials shopping for their first car. These models might not be the most popular, but they're worth considering. More
6 surprising things for sale on Taobao Consumers can buy just about anything and get it shipped to their door from Alibaba's Taobao, China's most popular online shopping platform. More
Most notorious recalls ever It's not just automakers that issue massive recalls. From lawn darts to Pokemon balls, plenty of other consumer products have been deemed dangerous, or worse, deadly. More

Special Offer