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Launch 2013 Wrap

Launch 2013 Wrap

I like to write about the booming tech sector in NY, which recently eclipsed Boston in terms of behind VC-funded imagestartups. However, a few days at Launch 2013 in San Francisco convinced me that NY has quite a ways to go to catch up to Silicon Valley; the event dwarfed anything similar that I had seen in in NY.

It was awesome, in terms of sheer scale, and the quality of attending companies and speakers. Fusion PR participated as a co-sponsor – our very own Victoria lined this up, after Jason Calcanis and his team asked us to help with media invitations, and to provide some PR “office hours” for demoing companies. As part of the deal, we secured a booth/tabletop exhibit that prominently displayed our logo. We also got a very nice mention on the big stage from the man himself (thanks Jason!).

Victoria and the team worked hard to ensure good media participation in the event; I entered the exhibit hall on Monday to see Victoria taking a KRON TV reporter around – see this link for the resulting news segment.

The show gave us the chance to catch up with existing clients and contacts and make new connections. Victoria and I took turns breaking away from the booth to sit in on a variety of panel discussions and demos in the auditorium. The main course was a series of demos by launching companies. Each gave their pitch followed by questions and critiques from the star panels, which included well-known VCs, entrepreneurs and influencers. Jason Calcanis moderated the sessions.

The panels did not hold back in giving very frank feedback. Robert Scoble seemed to enjoy playing the Simon Cowell role. It was an interesting form of tough love – most of the criticism was constructive, and I thought spot on – but I sympathized with the demoing companies, as I know they had paid a lot for the privilege of this very public undressing.

Jason ran a very tight ship, it was a real classy event – he said that he would not put up with shenanigans (well, he used another word), and in fact ejected a company that was too edgy, shall we say (something to do with booth babes in camouflage).

Congrats to Launch 2013 winners, who are covered in this TheNextWeb story.

All in all, it was a great experience and conference. We thank Jason and his team for inviting Fusion PR to help.

(This article was cross-posted on Flack’s Revenge).

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