You might’ve heard that this year’s SmartCamp events are being powered by LAUNCH. Why did we decide to do this? Because we attended LAUNCH Festival last year and were blown away by the opportunities for founders to demo, learn, and launch. We wanted to give those same opportunities to our SmartCamp participants and Global Entrepreneur members, so that’s what we’re going to do!
This year, ten SmartCamp semi-finalists from around the world will be given the opportunity to demo at both LAUNCH Festival and LAUNCH Scale! (What’s LAUNCH Scale? We will tell you about it next week).
Here are the top 3 reasons why you want to attend LAUNCH Festival:
1. Demo – Angel investor Jason Calacanis was tired of seeing conferences where startups had to pay thousands of dollars to demo, so he made a conference where demoing was free. The catch? Jason and his team curate the demo pit by extending invitations only to the smartest and most innovative companies they find. Getting to demo at LAUNCH Festival is quite an honor – and also a good opportunity to meet potential investors.
2. Learn – In 2015 some of the speakers were: Andrew Mason, Jeff Weiner, Marc Benioff, Naval Ravikant, Peter Thiel, and Yancey Strickler. So when you’re not in the demo pit securing your next round of investment or finding your next big client, you can learn from the folks that made Silicon Valley what it is.
3. Launch – This is really what LAUNCH Festival is all about. Throughout the event startups get on stage and do a live demo to compete for various prizes. Past winners include Mint, Yammer, DropBox, Stack OverFlow and FitBit. Not a bad group of alumni.
While all ten of the SmartCamp semi-finalists get to demo at Festival, three finalists also get to demo live on stage for the final leg of their journey through IBM SmartCamp. There are no losers here – of course one of those companies will land a spot in the LAUNCH Incubator and a $25K investment from Jason Calacanis.