Apply to launch on the Festival Stage

Unbiased Competition

LAUNCH Festival prides itself on having a fair competition.

Jason Calacanis, LAUNCH founder & the most active angel investor in the world, does not select the winners; although, he typically ends up investing in 15 of the startups from the Festival each year. 

Fifty startups compete from four pools: applicants to the Festival with a new product (1.0 competition),
a significant new version of an existing product/company (2.0 competition), the LAUNCH Incubator,
and the DEMO Pit selections.


Rules & Requirements


  • LAUNCH your company on stage for the first time ever.
  • No screenshots, no press, no social media, no AngelList profile, no nothing! You are hidden and people see your product for the first time on stage. You don't pre-brief the press, you don't do a demo day before the Festival. You're on lockdown!
  • Companies accepted into 1.0 must have their websites behind a LaunchRock (or equivalent) with no product shots or videos on their site. You may have company name, logo, and a box to collect emails.
  • Any press or pre-briefs will disqualify you from the competition.


  • Your company has already launched, and now you have a MASSIVELY compelling new feature or a brand-new product.
  • You will only be judged on totally new stuff the world has not seen.
  • The NEW product of feature MUST be significant. Ask yourself these questions:
    • Will press like GigaOm, New York Times, TechCrunch, etc., want to cover the new product or feature?
    • Will the audience pull out their iPhones, snap a picture and say, "WOW"?

LAUNCH Incubator

  • Seven companies graduating from the LAUNCH Incubator will be presenting on stage at the Festival.
  • These are NOT part of LAUNCH 1.0 or LAUNCH 2.0 competitions.
  • One of these seven companies will win an award for "Best Incubator Startup."


  • Each panel will be comprised of 4-6 judges, all high-level experts across diverse disciplines within technology and entrepreneurship.
  • Current LAUNCH Fund companies are NOT eligible to win the top prizes of the LAUNCH 1.0 or LAUNCH 2.0 competitions. (Note: The LAUNCH Fund often invests in the winning companies, after the event.)

Apply to launch on the Festival Stage