By John A. Byrne, contributor
(Poets&Quants) -- Marissa Hunt and Ben Walker are trying hard to coax a few million bucks from four venture capitalists in a San Francisco conference room. But they're pitching a rather peculiar idea and there's skepticism all over the faces of the people they're trying to sell.
The idea: a retractable shield that covers the top of a kitchen drawer when closed to keep out dust and prevent the drawer from jamming. They call the product "Drawer Shield" and the tagline they're using to promote it is "Content protection with NO CATCH."
"It's made of sturdy material," says Hunt, imagining something quite different than their prototype, which is taped together from bits of Styrofoam, cardboard, paper and balsam wood. "Think of the cover on an iPad."
"It's really easy to install and real cheap," insists Walker, trying to gin up some enthusiasm. "This can help sell kitchen cabinets."
But no one is buying it. The feedback is tough.
"I personally have zero use for this," says one potential investor.
"It's just not a problem for me," adds another.
Nonetheless, the four venture capitalists hand over $500,000, a pittance for the pitching pair who were hoping to get at least $2 million.
Hunt and Walker are students studying for an MBA degree at the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School. The venture capitalists are fellow students handing out Monopoly cash. All of them are on a weekend immersion experience in San Francisco devoted to innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. It's one of the very few times that Hunt and Walker will be with their classmates in person because they're enrolled in a new and highly ambitious online MBA program dubbed MBA@UNC. More
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