Ars Technica: "If it weren't for the shaky Internet connectivity, you might get the impression that TechCrunch is in the business of throwing really great conferences. The company sold 1,700 tickets to TechCrunch50 at between $2,000 to $3,000 a pop and attracted a battalion of press to cover the event. For those unfamiliar, TechCrunch is a blog focusing on technology startups and this is the second year in a row they've held their "American Idol"-esque competition for stealth-mode startups.
This year, the lineup has ballooned to include a little more than 50 companies, and their presentations are spread out over three days. Each company launches its product to the world via an eight-minute presentation that is judged by a motley mixture of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, Silicon Valley executives, a-list bloggers, and web celebrities.
By Wednesday, the judge's votes will be combined with an audience contribution in order to pick a winning company, which will go home with a comically large fake check made out for $50,000 (a real, smaller check for that value is delivered at a later date)."