DO YOU HAVE A HOTEL BLOCK OR DISCOUNTS?
We have not secured a hotel partner.
DO YOU SHARE YOUR MEDIA LIST?
No, we try to be as respectful as we can to our press so they are not inundated with requests.
TO QUALIFY FOR LAUNCH 1.0, DOES THE PRODUCT NEED TO BE FINISHED OR NEAR COMPLETION FOR ME TO APPLY?
Our goal is to have companies open their sites, at least for beta clients, at the event. We expect that folks applying for LAUNCH 1.0 will have only partially functional sites, so we accept screenshots/mockups and even wireframes for sections of the site that are not yet complete. In your application, simply state: "Here are the pieces that will be ready for the LAUNCH Festival."
WHAT IS THE LAUNCH TEAM LOOKING FOR IN A 1.0?
We are looking for AWESOME, beautiful products that will make an audience of industry veterans say, "Wow!" You can go here to see past pitches and get a better idea of the kinds of companies we have previously selected.
DOES LAUNCH ACCEPT HARDWARE PRODUCTS?
YES! We love hardware!
HOW SIGNIFICANT DOES MY PRODUCT NEED TO BE FOR THE 2.0 COMPETITION?
It has to be a feature or product that GigaOm, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, Mashable, and ReadWrite all want to cover. It has to be so new that Robert Scoble, Om Malik, Dave McClure, Chris Sacca and Michael Arrington say, "That's f-ing cool!" when they see it on stage. Think to yourself, "Self, is this really killer and impressive?" Are Robert Scoble, Shervin Pishevar, Kevin Rose, Chris Dixon or Dave Morin going to tweet: "This rocks!"?
MY STARTUP HAS SOFT-LAUNCHED -- AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE 1.0 COMPETITION?
If your site is available to the public but you have received no press or blog coverage, you can apply for 1.0 but you must put your site behind a LaunchRock or similar type of wall and remove any blog posts that talk about your product.
IF I AM PIVOTING MY COMPANY, WHICH COMPETITION SHOULD I APPLY TO?
All pivots are on the 2.0 track. If you launched as one type of product -- or did significant alpha or beta testing of a product you built -- and want to demo something totally different at the LAUNCH Festival, it's a pivot. For example, Jason Goldberg founded Fabulis, a gay social network, then pivoted to Fab.com, flash sales on beautifully designed items.
IF MY PRODUCT IS AN APP AND IT'S AVAILABLE IN AN APP STORE, AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE 1.0 COMPETITION?
You are not eligible for 1.0. If you are testing an amazing new version of your app via TestFlight, you are eligible for the 2.0 track. Remember, 2.0 products have to be WOW; you cannot add a simple feature to your app and get a slot on stage.
IF I'VE GOTTEN A COUPLE OF PRESS STORIES ABOUT MY COMPANY, CAN I STILL LAUNCH @ LAUNCH?
If your product has been covered in the press, you are probably disqualified from the 1.0 competition. If the story doesn't show or describe your product (e.g., "Jason is working on a stealth startup called Mahalo in the knowledge space") that might be okay. If you only have coverage on your friend's blog, we suggest asking them to take the story down. You also need to put your site behind a firewall that says only "[Company Name] - coming soon" (as you can see at kokua.com).
IF MY WEBSITE EXPLAINS MY PRODUCT, AM I DISQUALIFIED FROM THE LAUNCH 1.0 COMPETITION?
Yes. However, if no one has seen it yet, you can simply put your website behind a "Coming Soon" firewall or LaunchRock page where interested people can give you their email address. Also, make sure your company Twitter, Facebook, AngelList, etc., pages also say "Coming Soon".
DOES LAUNCH ACCEPT COMPANIES FROM OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES?
Yes! We love amazing products no matter where in the world they are made or where their team resides. If you are accepted, please note that you will need to travel to the Bay Area in February (for mandatory in-person rehearsals) as well as in early March for the event. We cannot cover any startup's travel/lodging cost.
WHY MUST MY PRODUCT BE NEW TO LAUNCH ON STAGE?
New products get asses in seats. The press, pundits, VCs, angels and bloggers are simply not going to come to the presentations if the products have already been covered on blogs or on your website. We want people's attention riveted at the stage so that you have 15,000 people watching when you launch LIVE. We do this for the benefit of all 50+ startups.
HOW MUCH TIME DO COMPANIES HAVE ON STAGE?
Each company will have 5 minutes for the presentation and 5 to 10 minutes for Q&A.
DEMO PIT FAQ
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE IN THE EXHIBITOR AND DEMO TABLE?
Exhibitors will have larger spaces to display their product and will be placed in areas that have higher traffic. Exhibitors also have the option to pick from multiple furniture configurations. A breakdown of the differences here: Demo Pit
Demo tables are 30'' in diameter and 42'' high. Demo tables comes with 5 founder passes, black linen table cloth, power, and wifi access. As the Demo Pit is intended to be a dynamic environment, no chairs will be provided. Here is an example of Demo tables to give you a better idea of what it and the tables look like [note: signage is not included, signs you see here are ones companies brought].
WHAT CAN I BRING FOR MY DEMO TABLE?
Any materials you wish to bring--including computers, TVs, flyers, cards, etc.--will be left to your discretion. We’ve found in the past that most companies opt to bring a large monitor to hook a laptop up to in order to run a demo video. Please remember to respect your neighbor's demo area, as space is limited.
Absolutely no audio should be played from your table. The area can get very lively and speakers would make it much too difficult for you to communicate your demo to the angels, VCs, press, etc. Also, all companies should be prepared with canned presentation, in case of any issues with the wifi.
You will not be permitted to hang or attach any items to the walls or ceilings of the conference facility.
If you need items shipped to the area in advance, we recommend that you contact your hotel or local office and then bring the items with you when you come to setup. Fort Mason is unable to receive any shipments on your behalf.
DO YOU HAVE ADVICE FOR STARTUPS IN THE DEMO PIT?
Jason has some great advice about making the most of your table at an event like LAUNCH. We highly recommend reading it here. Basically, if you're not willing to hustle, you will have a less than satisfying experience in the Demo Pit.
CAN I GET ON THE MAIN STAGE FROM THE DEMO PIT?
Grand Jury members will walk through the Demo Pit and choose 2- 4 companies to come up on stage at the end of each day. Watch Scoot Networks, 2012’s Demo Pit winner, on the main stage.