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Paul Graham fireside at LAUNCH Festival + our judges!

Really excited to announce that Y Combinator founder Paul Graham will be joining me for a fireside chat at the LAUNCH Festival this year. Paul has been one of the greatest supporters of founders and startups in the past decade, with over 500 startups coming out of YC in the past 8+ years. You’ve heard of a couple of them, including Dropbox (which launched in the first year of our event) and Airbnb.

He’s also a great blogger and thinker, and I’ve been waiting seven years to interview him. It’s going to be an awesome discussion.

The LAUNCH Festival runs Feb. 24-26th, with the LAUNCH Hackathon occurring Feb. 21-23 ( The festival takes place at the San Francisco Design Center Concourse.

Over 6,000 folks have registered for the event, and we’re going to close registration at 8,000. You can register today for $49, $495, $1,000 or $5,000 depending on what dinners/events you want to attend (we try to make it available to all levels, from broke founders to flush VCs!):

We’re thrilled to announce our seven latest judges for the event:

 * Katie Rae, Techstars Boston
 * Dana Settle, Greycroft Partners
 * Kara Swisher, Re/Code
 * Gina Bianchini, Mightybell
 * Sarah Lacy, PandoDaily
 * Aileen Lee, Cowboy Ventures
 * Tina Sharkey, Sherpa Foundry

Finally, we have a second stage this year called the “Startup Stage” where more established companies will do deep dives into their performance and strategy. This stage is based on the demand that investors had to see more mature companies, and from founders who had goals of showcasing their performance to the press – recruiting new team members and updating investors. If you want to do a deep dive into your company you can find out more here:

Special thanks to our new partners that make this event happen:
 * Fertl (
 * Ice House (
 * North Bridge (
 * Pearson (
 * Swell (
 * Twitter (