LAUNCH Festival was started only a few years ago by Jason Calacanis but it has become one of the biggest startup events of its kind. The concept was actually started as the TechCrunch50 conference when Calacanis and Michael Arrington decided to partner up back in 2007. After a few years the two parted company but the event has continued and grown to become a huge celebration of technology and startups. Last year LAUNCH hosted their first ever Hackathon and it was a big success.
The LAUNCH Festival 2014 Hackathon is February 21-23 in San Francisco. Last year’s event had 500 hackers in 90 different teams who convened for 48 hours of coding. Of course you have to throw in lots of pizza and red bull to keep the energy going. The 5 finalists pitched on the LAUNCH Festival main stage. The winner from last year, WizzyWig, raised $100,000 and earned a place in the 2014 LAUNCH Festival. WizzyWig created an awesome web site creation application, moved from Pittsburgh to Silicon Valley, and they were accepted into Y Combinator. WizzyWig actually beat out Interaxon’s Muse which experienced crowdfunding success on Indiegogo.
Well LAUNCH Hackathon is accepting applicants now. Developers and designers in teams of 2 to 4 may apply to participate in the event with each entry reviewed prior to acceptance. More details on joining a team or creating a team can be found here.
LAUNCH Hackathon is offering a grand prize $100,000 investment from the LAUNCH Fund (split amongst 1 to 5 teams) plus many other prizes and a chance to benefit from an AngelList Syndicate. Of course great food and massages are there for all to enjoy. Judges this year include Skip Potter, from Capital One Labs; John Kim, from Expedia; and Jeff Sandquist from Twitter.
All of this is free to accepted applicants. All participants in the Hackathon will also receive a free Builder pass to the LAUNCH Festival that is happening February 24-26. Definitely a great place to learn about building startups. Dropbox, Mint, Yammer, Fitbit, Room77 and many others have LAUNCH’ed at the conferences.
You can view the LAUNCH Festival finalists from 2013 below.