I had the chance to attend the LAUNCH Festival in San Francisco in February 2014. In case you are not familiar with LAUNCH, as stated on LAUNCH’s website, “LAUNCH covers and celebrates technology startups, products and services — and the people who build them”. The annual event features start-ups from all-over and brings in investors and seasoned entrepreneurs to share insights.
My experience at LAUNCH:
Day one of the three-day event, as I entered the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, I was greeted by the registration folks. I took a selfie and was signed-in, using TicketLeaps’s registration app! Here I am:
The main area was set-up in a tradeshow format (see photo here), showcasing start-ups from all-over the States, even one from Australia. While these companies were around for investors and the public, there were many interview sessions and keynote talks throughout the day, keynotes from Paul Graham (Y Combinator), Mark Cuban, Paul Draper. And, interviews with VCs, angels, and entrepreneurs. Andrew Warner of Mixergy interviewed many of these folks – asked great questions, as always.
In between the keynotes, in the room with the large stage, set-up with investors in the front rows, pitches took place. Pre-vetted entrepreneurs pitched their businesses in app 15 minutes each in-front of a panel of four VC/angels. There were a total of approximately 30 pitches. They were broken-up into about five sessions, changing the panel for each session. Each pitch received feedback from the panelists. Throughout the sessions, large screens displayed a ranking system, wherein audience members could vote for their favorites. The results were displayed in real-time.
Overall ambiance was fun – people who attend the LAUNCH Festival are passionate about entrepreneurship, you can feel the energy in the air. A must attend event.