LAUNCH Conference

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LAUNCH Conference
Key people Jason Calacanis

The LAUNCH Conference was created by Jason Calacanis. Although it is legally unrelated to the TechCrunch40 and TechCrunch50 events, it has been perceived as the natural evolution of those events citing Calacanis' involvement, and then split, from Michael Arrington and the TechCrunch series of events.[1][2] The premise of the Launch Conference was to create the "most affordable, high-end technology event in the world.".[3]

2011 Conference[edit]

The 2011 conference took place on February 23–24 at the San Francisco Design Center. 500 companies applied, only 54 presented on stage, 13 prizes were awarded.

1.0 Competition[edit]

This competition was created for completely new companies that had never had any press, public demos and whose services are currently in closed alpha or beta. Companies applying to be in the 1.0 Competition were required to take down any web presence, ensure that they were not included in press or public notices of any kind, and keep their presence in the competition private until they took the stage to present.[4]


2.0 Competition[edit]

This competition was created for existing companies that were launching new products, or significant new versions of an existing product. Examples provided by the conference for 2.0 qualifications included Google launching a completely new social network, or Twitter launching a completely new interface.[5]


The LAUNCHPAD Competition[edit]

The LAUNCHPAD companies were selected from over 80 participants that were invited to the conference by Calacanis on his "This Week in Startups" podcast, such as TripBod, or through competitions run on both Quora and HackerNews. In addition, companies could pay $1500 to have a table in the LAUNCHPAD. The method of entry (invite or paid) did not affect the selection criteria by the grand jury when LAUNCHPAD companies were selected to join on stage.


Grand Jury[edit]

The Grand Jury selected the Launch competition winners, and were required to watch all presentations as well as walk the LaunchPad floor to select participants to join on stage.[6]

The 2011 Grand Jury was made up of:

TechCrunch controversy[edit]

The initial Launch conference did have a minor controversy. TechCrunch refused to cover the event.[7] Based on its self-description of their mission, "to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news",[8] the lack of attendance was seen as a disappointment to attendees of the show.[9] While TechCrunch did not have anyone in attendance, several startups and competitors were profiled in TechCrunch during the conference, although the associated articles made no mention of the Launch conference. The first presentation of the conference, Careers 2.0, was profiled without mention of the conference.


  1. ^ Boutin, Paul. "Launch Conference founder will invest in winning startups". VentureBeat. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Boutin, Pail. "Confirmed: TechCrunch50 conference is no more". Confirmed: TechCrunch50 conference is no more. VentureBeat. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "Calacanis Pits LAUNCH Conference Against TechCrunch Disrupt". Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "Conference Rules". Retrieved 3/11/2011.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  5. ^ "Conference Rules". Retrieved 3/11/2011.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  6. ^ "Judges and Grand Jury". Retrieved 3/11/2011.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  7. ^ "It's War of the Silicon Valley Boosters". It's War of the Silicon Valley Boosters. The Atlantic Wire. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "About TechCrunch". About Techcrunch. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  9. ^ Scoble, Robert. "Will TechCrunch cover The Launch Conference?". Quora. Robert Scoble. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 

External links[edit]