Private Denver-Based Fund

Launch Festival 2013

Posted By on April 6, 2013 in News, Uncategorized |

If you’ve never pitched in SilicIMG_20130317_155105_714on Valley…here’s how it goes down:

  1. Don’t pitch without a live demo…and it better work.
  2. You can no longer hide a lack of active users.
  3. We’re tired of the “Pandora meets Yelp…for dogs” elevator pitch.
  4. How will you build a monopoly with this?
  5. One million users may be an indication that you might have something potentially interesting.

For anyone who remembers the days of raising a million on wire-frames and hope…those days are over.

The 2013 Launch Festival was an impressive showcase of the world’s most promising not-yet-announced startups, complemented by an inspiring series of discussions amongst the valley’s prominent thought leaders, all led by Silicon-Valley-yearbook-editor Jason Calacanis.

I’m posting this about a month after the conference to allow the dust to settle around the multitude of promising companies introduced at the conference and see which are gaining real traction.

Synata – Winner of the best enterprise 1.0 competition, Synata finds the needle in your enterprise haystack. Their beautifully designed search plug-in makes short work of finding all documents and communications related to “whatever” in your (admit it) grossly unorganized box, yammer, evernote, salesforce, linkedin, email…you get the idea. Currently in talks with VC’s across the valley, CEO Patrick expects to have a Round A finished by the end of the year.

BoxBee – Winner of the Best Overall 1.0 competition, BoxBee is focused on disrupting physical rather than data storage…imagine that. You fill individual boxes (as little as one…or as many as you want) with your stuff, they catalogue it online complete with pictures and descriptions. Within their online portal you can easily schedule a delivery of whatever you need, or even break your hoarding habits by choosing to donate or sell on ebay that stuff that you never should have stored in the first place. CEO Kristoph tells me they quickly closed on their round after the festival and are seeing rapid adoption within the bay area.

TripTease – Winner of the Best Design competition, TripTease allows users to easily create beautiful travel reviews. The antithesis of Trip Advisor, you won’t find any pop-ups or clutter on TripTease, just beautiful photos and to-the-point descriptions. CEO Charlie tells me that they’ve just surpassed 30,000 users and have been named an “Editor’s Choice App” in the App store.

Another highlight of the Festival was Chamath Palihapitiya’s fireside chat with Jason Calacanis. It’s definitely worth listening to.

I’ll certainly be adding the Launch Festival to my list of annual must-dos and maybe someday soon we won’t have to travel outside of Denver to attend events of this quality…in fact, I’m counting on it.Chris Holmes


Chris Holmes – President and Managing Partner Cohort Capital