LAUNCH Prizes Top $1M!

UPDATE [ 3/6/2012 ]: Angel investor Bill Lee is in for $100k, total is now $1,039,000!

By Jason Calacanis

I'm thrilled to announce that we've added $250k $400k to our total prize money at the LAUNCH Festival.

First, we added $100k to the AngelPad investment by way of a miscommunication. We originally thought AngelPad, a leading accelerator here in San Francisco, was offering $20k to the company they accepted.

It turns out they are offering $120k.


Additionally, three five angel investors have agreed to commit $50k each in investment to the 50 startups on stage.

Kevin Rose, who is a judge, will be investing a total of $50k in one or two startups.

Steve Chen, whom we coached and watched crush it at the second year of our conference with GoPlanit, has agreed to join the Grand Jury and personally invest $50k. Again, he will have the option of selecting the startup -- or two startups -- he wants to invest in.

Tim Young, the fabulously successful and hard-working founder of Socialcast (sold to VMware) and the co-founder of (sold to AOL), is offering a $50k investment to a winner (or two). He rounds out our Grand Jury. The Grand Jury votes on the winners.

THIS JUST IN [ 3/6/2012 ]: Angel investor Cyan Banister, founder and CEO of Zivity, is in for $50K as well. Cyan will judge on Thursday afternoon.

Good friend and angel Bill Lee just stepped up with $100k -- he offered $100k last year as well -- and will join the Grand Jury at the end of day two. Thanks to Bill, the grand total is $1,039,000!

I'm personally going to invest in three of them.

A complete list of prizes can be reviewed here.

Our prestigious alumni, who I personally selected for the event (in some cases along with my former partner Mike Arrington) can be seen here.

Finally, I'm personally thrilled that both Bill Gross, founder and CEO of Idealab, and Shimon Peres, the President of Israel, will be receiving lifetime achievements at the event. We're honored by their presence, and in awe of their contributions.

Note: all of these investments / prizes will be done by the people and organizations offering them and the startups. LAUNCH is letting the parties involved do their due diligence and close the deals. However, we are asking that each person offering a prize/investment select three runners up so that they can EASILY live up to their commitments even if the first, second or even third startup decides they don't want the investment!