Next week, there will be 44 companies pitching on-stage at the the second annual LAUNCH Festival.
One lucky winner will get $100,000 if they move their company to Las Vegas.
Jason Calacanis spoke to us about LAUNCH, which will be held on March 7 and 8 at the San Francisco Design centre.
Calacanis said he spent the last two weeks coaching the companies. He plans on personally investing in two to three of the companies after the event.
There will also be a demo pit, so companies who didn’t make the cut to be on-stage, can have a table and a chance to take the stage.
Some of the judges at the event will be Tony Hsieh of Zappos, David Cohen of TechStars, Dave McClure of 500 Startups, Kevin Rose of Milk, and Naval Ravikant of AngelList.
What makes LAUNCH different than other conferences is that there are no panels or fireside chats, he said. “We focus on new products being launched on-stage for the first time,” Calacanis said.
With $489,000 in prize money up for grabs, Calacanis said, it all comes down to the pitch.
As far as pitching goes, make sure you don’t make these mistakes:
- No one cares about your life history: “There are some things people don’t need to hear. They don’t need to hear your entire life history or where you went to school or what your parents did.
- Show the product: “People spend two to three minutes when they first come in — and this is a five minute pitch. They come in for two minutes, they will talk about what their products does without ever showing it. The number one rule is to show don’t tell. Whatever you say should be happening on the screen.”
- Whatever you do, don’t begin with a movie clip: “Every year three or four companies want to start their presentation with a movie clip. Typically, the type of people who do that kind of stuff don’t have a good product.”