Each Launch Fest, the New Orleans demo day and startup conference, is bigger and better than the last, showcasing the best that New Orleans tech has to offer. The daylong event will be held on May 1st, 2014 at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Launch Fest is held annually in conjunction with The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, also known as Jazz Fest, the 10 day celebration of local culture, music and food. The event brings together investors, mentors, and speakers for a half day of a traditional conference and a half day in a pitch event format, which lets out at 3:30 PM practically steps from the entrance to Jazz Fest.
Organizer Chris Schultz said he is excited about the speakers this year. “You won’t get to hear from folks like this anywhere else by Launch Fest.” Speakers include:
Mike McDerment – CEO of Freshbooks – Mike’s a great speaker who tells it like it is. Freshbooks’ success is an inspiration to companies being built outside the valley and by bootstrapping.
Robert Stephens – Founder of Geeksquad, Former CTO of Best Buy – One of my favorite quotes by Robert is “Marketing is a tax for being unremarkable.”
JT Nesbitt – Bienville Studios & Jim Jacoby – ADMCi – JT and Jim will tell the story of how they came together through a new model of funding innovation to build a million dollar motorcycle right here in New Orleans called the Bienville Legacy. Launch Fest will feature the final preview of the actual motorcycle before the public unveiling and attempt to break the motorcycle land world speed record at the Bonneville salt flats.
James Yockey – President of Oseberg – James is building a big data focused energy company right here in New Orleans and will talk about the bright future for EnergyTech startups in this city.
Jen Medberry – CEO of Kickboard – Jen Medberry is the elder stateswoman of New Orleans’ EdTech scene and is going to share the growth of Kickboard and NOLA’s emerging EdTech sector.
DJW & Curry of MiDEA – DJW & Curry will host #FailFest, and audience participation event with prizes for the biggest busts!
Schultz and Launch Pad, along with The Idea Village and Greater New Orleans, Inc., are in the midst of producing the first-ever entrepreneurial post-season, created to highlight local companies that emerged out of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week with the most momentum. Each of the eight startups will pitch in a quick, six minute format.
“These are the companies you’re going to be reading about as the next hot startups coming out of NOLA,” Schultz said.
Additionally, New Orleans-based developers and gamers Barrett Conrad and Paul Teall have decided to take the NOLA Game Developer meetup to the next level. The duo has announced Launch Fest Play, an expo of the video game development happening in and around New Orleans, that will take place the evening before Launch Fest, April 30th, from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at Launch Pad.
To register for Launch Fest, click here.