Ten Free LAUNCH PAD tables from Hacker News Thread!

For some sad reason HackerNews “dead-ed” my post giving 10 killer startups free tables at the LAUNCH Conference. We selected

The original thread is below (without formatting).

We selected these eight: http:www.fastcustomer.comdietmanager.org,  http://socmetrics.comhttp://mysyncpad.comhttp://www.facecash.com http://www.sporkhub.com http://www.twimbow.com/ and guideme.com, and need to select two more from the list below.

Which two would you select?

ALSO, we are giving away 10 tables on this QUORA questions: Which 10 startups seeking angel funding/press should we free tables to the @LAUNCH Conference?

best jason

* [dead] Ask HN: What are ten HN startups I can give a free table to LAUNCH?
81 points by jasonmcalacanis 1 day ago | 148 comments
Dear HN,

I’ve got 150k square feet for the LAUNCH conference in San Francisco (in two weeks on Feb 23/24). We have 100 table tops (cocktail tables) just like at the Techcrunch50 show available.

I’d like to give 10 free tables to the startups that ask and get voted up the most in this thread.

That’s a table, internet, electricity and three tickets to the event–on me!

Seriously, let’s pick 10 companies that could use exposure to VCs, press and angels (there are 300-400 VCs and Angels coming to the event, as well as over 100 press already registered).

Note: two folks in the expo area are going to get to take the stage at the event. They will be selected by grand jury members.

13 points by d3x 1 day ago | link [dead]

I was going to apply to launch but I will not be ready. I am a single founder that created dietmanager.org ( originally named digest.io ) to help me manage my diet. Since then I have pivoted to support 455 different diets and not just the one i use which is the Macrobiotic diet. I am not the kind of founder that will ever get into Y-Combinator but I have a track record of making cool and profitable products. I am currently in discussions with several diabetes foundations and this will allow me to offer my product to their members for free. I have listed some of the cool features below.

1. Text “Breakfast”, “Lunch”, “Dinner” or “Snack” and the site looks to see what diet you are on and gives you meal recommendations so u know what and where to eat in your area.

2. I use kpi’s that matter; instead of calorie counting I track how what you eat impacts your mood, focus, weight, sleep and energy levels

3. When users enter things into their food diary I pull all nutrient info from USDA food database so that I can alert users of any deficiency that I detect.

4. I have custom KPI’s for each diet e.g.: the paleo athletic diet uses data from run keeper and services like that to tell the user what they were eating when they had their best times and the Hacker Diet uses my github commits to tell me what foods make me most productive and what foods make me not very productive.

The system is not perfect but its getting better and better with the help of my beta testers. At the end of march I will have at least 3 beta testers using each diet and at that point I am going to open it all up to the public.

BTW: The video is the old digest.io video. I am doing a contract gig this week so that I can pay grumo to make one of those kick ass videos that they make to explain the service.

Edit: I forgot to mention that if you dont want to eat out all the time like me, the system also hooks you up w/ local cooks that will deliver meals for your specific diet and gives you recipes / grocery list so that you can cook. I cant cook so I never use this option but it does exist.


1 point by d3x 1 day ago | link [dead]

If anyone would like to participate in the private beta please e-mail me your HN username and the diet you want to try and your location.

edit: im need location because some I dont have enough meal info to generate the recommendations in some places. For example the hacker diet is only available in NY and SF because if you live in Arkansas I probably dont have any cooks in my db in that area or any restaurants that have register meals for specific diets.

–thx, dex


* 3 points by jasonmcalacanis 1 day ago | link [dead]

sounds rad… email me jason@launch.is


15 points by ekanes 1 day ago | link [dead]

Hey guys,

Waiting on hold sucks. You call, navigate the prompts to the right department and then wait on hold, listening to terrible music and reminders of your importance.

We want to spin that around.

Instead, you tell us who you want to talk to at Verizon (eg someone in the billing dept) and we’ll have them call you.


In making it, we’ve tried to be guided by YC’s “make something useful” reminder, along with the importance of solving a real pain.

Created with Paul Singh (hn:paulsingh). We’d love your feedback, and please take it for a spin!

PS: We’re adding companies as quickly as possible, but if we’re missing one that you use, please let us know and we’ll bump it up the list.

Edited to improve elevator pitch win quotient.


* 3 points by jasonmcalacanis 1 day ago | link [dead]

genius…. love it…. email me jason@launch.is


1 point by zippykid 17 hours ago | link [dead]

Paul, nice work, I needed to talk to Chase yesterday and this would’ve been awesome.. spent 20 minutes traversing their phone menu and listening to crappy hold musak.


1 point by ryankelly 19 hours ago | link [dead]

I like this idea! I could use it just about every day. How will you monetize it?


1 point by paulsingh 19 hours ago | link [dead]

Thanks! Haven’t figured out the monetization side yet (though we have a few ideas we’ll be testing soon) – we’re super focused on solving our users pain first. 🙂


20 points by speek 1 day ago | link [dead]

Zazu’s (http://getzazu.com) heading over to the Bay Area from Boston right around then to meet people. We’d love to be there, it’d be an absolutely spectacular way to meet people!

Oh right, should probably tell y’all what we do: We’re building Jarvis from Iron Man — though we’re starting a little less grandiose and building the world’s most kickass alarm clock.


2 points by blhack 1 day ago | link [dead]

That’s awesome! I’ve been daydreaming about building something like this for a while now :).

Is it free? Is there a paid version where a real live person reads my message to me?

In fact, now I think I might hack this up to run as an timer on my laptop.

Where can I buy zazu?


1 point by speek 1 day ago | link [dead]

There’s a free version of the app on the Android Marketplace that uses a TTS engine but we’re about to bust some magic up in that bitch so it doesn’t sound like an 80-year-old smoker (‘scuse my french). There might be a paid version coming up soon, depending on how some stuff tests. iPhone app is in the works (timeframe in the magnitude of weeks), so is blackberry. We’re trying to hit every platform — so we do want to live on your computer too.


1 point by blhack 23 hours ago | link [dead]

Well be sure to post when you finish the iPhone version, I’ll be first in line to buy it :).

Out of curiosity, will you be able to activate the alarm even if I don’t have the app “open”?


* 4 points by jasonmcalacanis 1 day ago | link [dead]

Zazu…. your stuff is so hot. You’re one of the ten tables!

email me and I will set it up! jason@launch.is


1 point by speek 1 day ago | link [dead]

Just shot you an email. Gracias señor.


* 5 points by jasonmcalacanis 1 day ago | link [dead]

Very cool description!


3 points by drewvolpe 1 day ago | link [dead]

I’ve been playing with your app and you’ve got my vote. It’s fun to have HN read aloud while I’m eating breakfast. Good luck!


3 points by speek 1 day ago | link [dead]

We’ve got some major stuff we’re about to launch, so keep your eyes peeled 🙂


1 point by jeffcody 1 day ago | link [dead]

Cool – we are making an Android TV, but no Android market access as of yet – I’d love to be able to bundle something like this in the TV. Let me know if interested.. tx


2 points by dwowens 1 day ago | link [dead]

I can’t wait to test the iPhone version.


2 points by brendanhsu 1 day ago | link [dead]

Super sweet! keep it up 🙂


2 points by cmeiklejohn 1 day ago | link [dead]



1 point by ryanwaggoner 1 day ago | link [dead]

We launched http://21times.org on HN in November to help developers build and launch an app in 30 days. Subscribers get brief daily lessons pushed to them via email and can track their progress with a single click in the email.

More than 1200 developers have taken the challenge with fantastic engagement scores (95% completed and ~35% reached their goal), and very positive feedback asking for more courses. We’re currently working on the next series of courses and some social motivation features to improve those engagement scores even more. We’re happiest when our users succeed at reaching their goal, and all of our development efforts are built around that target.

We’ve been overwhelmed by the great feedback and encouragement we’ve received from HN, and we’d love the opportunity to share what we’re building with a wider audience.


6 points by simonk 1 day ago | link [dead]

Rhino Accounting (http://www.rhinoaccounting.com) – Free web based accounting for small businesses that integrates with Google Apps.


1 point by aquark 23 hours ago | link [dead]

I’ve been looking for a web based accounting solution … but I can’t tell from your site what features you actually have. Do you support multiple currencies, budgets?

How do you intend to monetize it with an ‘always free’ model?


5 points by toisanji 1 day ago | link [dead]

I’d love to get a table at LAUNCH. We are doing PR as a service to help startups be able to do pr effectively so that they can focus on building their core product. The site is http://socmetrics.com


1 point by toisanji 23 hours ago | link [dead]

socmetrics helps you find bloggers to target when preparing your campaigns. It takes time to read all their posts and figure out what’s relevant to personalize each email. On the blogger side, they hate getting pitches that’s not relevant or impersonal. We want to help both sides get what they want:more buzz and more targeted product pitches they might actually want to write about.


1 point by amirnathoo 1 day ago | link [dead]

I’m a paying customer and really excited about what these guys are doing. Am sure they’d get a lot of interest at launch.


1 point by digiru 22 hours ago | link [dead]

I’ve used socmetrics. I’m a beta customer and being able to search and find influencers according to topic is awesome!


2 points by conesus 1 day ago | link [dead]

NewsBlur, http://www.newsblur.com, is a free web-based visual RSS feed reader with intelligence.

NewsBlur is a RSS feed reader like Google Reader, but it has three distinct advantages:

* Shows the original site (you have to see it to believe it)

* Hides stories you don’t want to read based on tags, keywords, authors, etc.

* Highlights stories you want to read, based on the same criteria.

It’s a very original take on RSS feed reading. It’s also being built by a sole indie developer as open-source software: http://github.com/samuelclay/NewsBlur.

It’s freemium, with premium accounts costing $12/year for unlimited feeds, faster updates, River of News, and access to future features like the iPhone app.

It’s entirely self-funded, but it very well could become more. And it’s already profitable (but most of that is going to paying for servers). Nearly 10,000 users, hundreds of daily users, and lots of very happy folks using it. But there’s so much further to go and to build.

Having a table at LAUNCH would be an excellent way to meet potential investors. I’m entirely technical, but good tech means more good tech, so it’s also possible to meet more developers, too.


2 points by StavrosK 1 day ago | link [dead]

Huh. I think I just found my new RSS reader, good job.


1 point by Kilimanjaro 1 day ago | link [dead]

Reminds me of bloxor in the early days of feed readers, good ol’ days


3 points by maxklein 1 day ago | link [dead]

I don’t have a startup myself, but I nominate Dustin Curtis’ LifePath (http://lifepath.me). It’s not launched, but it looks cool.


* 3 points by jasonmcalacanis 1 day ago | link [dead]

Dustin really hates me…. but I wouldn’t let that effect his participation in any way. 🙂

Dustin: email me for demo if you are interested in being on stage and/or being in the LAUNCH Pad/fka demo pit.


2 points by bluegene 1 day ago | link [dead]

But that’s just a landing page, not a product. We(at least, I) don’t even have an idea what it is


1 point by geoffclapp 1 day ago | link [dead]

I think a lot of us may have that “problem” as one of the requirements to submit to LAUNCH was to ensure that you did not have a web presence or public launch/description out there. Not sure if that is the same for the tables, but I think a number of us are playing it safe, just in case same rules apply. But your point is totally fair, in some cases (including mine) it’s hard to know what is what.


* 2 points by jasonmcalacanis 1 day ago | link [dead]

in the “LAuNCH PAD” area (the trade show area) the startups can be launched. we sell those for $1,500 with everything (3 tickets, internet, electricity, etc).

just thought i’d give 10 away here to help fellow startups out.

the conference should break even and I won’t lose more than $100,000 putting it on. heck, it probably will break even if things keep growing like they have!

if it does make a profit i’m going to put that toward angel investing at companies from the event. 🙂


1 point by geoffclapp 23 hours ago | link [dead]

…or in DEMO terms, you can buy a table every year for the next 12 years at LAUNCH (if you don’t win one on HN).

Or you can go to DEMO this year. :->


* 1 point by jasonmcalacanis 1 day ago | link [dead]

Yeah, to get on the main stage you need to LAUNCH for the first time on the main stage. That’s the 1.0 competition.

For 2.0, you have to LAUNCH something new (i.e. a pivot, version 2.0 of your software) on the main stage for the first time.

The reason for this is that if you launch on the web the no one will come to the event.

As a group the startups agree only to have landing pages and to do very private betas—and no pre-briefing the press.

This means everyone is in their seats for the presentations and there is a LOT of energy in the room.

Conferences like DEMO let folks show boring stuff on stage that everyone has seen already… that why folks say it sucks so much. Well, that and the $20k price tag and absurd contract.


2 points by geoffclapp 1 day ago | link [dead]

Don’t get me wrong, that’s why I put quotes around the word problem – I think that’s exactly how it should be (or it’s not really a launch, is it? :->) -> I just wanted to explain to that person why most of us had just landing pages, based on the conference. It’s how it should be.


5 points by jeffcody 1 day ago | link [dead]

We are a group of 4 guys, trying to make something cool.

Vidtonic’s Homebrew DIY Android TV kit (http://www.vidtonic.com). The idea being if you can build your PC, you can build your own TV. The kit has everything you need to build your own Android TV (panels, main board, cool enclosure, etc..).

The TV kit is a 1080p HDTV, in sizes from 22″ up to 42″. We are expecting to start shipping kits this summer… we also will be selling the boards standalone as an Android development platform (it also has HDMI output).

The kit is for people that enjoy building, enjoy tinkering, and enjoy open platforms…

Hey, even if we don’t get upvoted, drop us a line if you are interested in the kit – we love feedback.


1 point by Aegean 1 day ago | link [dead]

It’s pretty interesting. Do you handle Android and TV broadcast in separation? We build a hypervisor for android on omap processors (http://b-labs.com). It might be interesting to build a prototype demo for this platform.


1 point by jeffcody 1 day ago | link [dead]

We have an ATSC tuner on board, and the transport stream output from that goes straight into the TI processor. We have our own input switcher and media player in Android that processes the video.

However, you have me very intrigued – I think there are ways we could use the hypervisor. Very cool. I’ll drop you an email, thanks.


1 point by Aegean 23 hours ago | link [dead]

Sure, please do. It would be helpful to exchange ideas.


1 point by curt 22 hours ago | link [dead]

If you guys have any manufacturing questions please feel free to email me, I’ve helped out a few companies that post on HN.

Manufacturing Guide: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1840896


2 points by aresant 1 day ago | link [dead]

Jason – I emailed you via your newsletter a week back in response to your LAUNCH request for kickass unlaunched startups – wondering if you received or just pushed the “Delete” button – sent from Zack.


* 2 points by jasonmcalacanis 1 day ago | link [dead]

I get 400+ emails a day and sometimes can’t get through all of them.

Make sure you apply for the conference at the website since I have four people working full-time on going through applications and you can’t get lost there!!!



1 point by aresant 1 day ago | link [dead]

Jason, got your email – appreciate the response and responded back.


4 points by roder 1 day ago | link [dead]

SyncPad – online collaborative whiteboard for consumers & enterprise http://mysyncpad.com


2 points by pchristensen 1 day ago | link [dead]

I’m a fan and happy customer. SyncPad would demo extremely well at a conference.


1 point by davidedicillo 23 hours ago | link [dead]

Glad you like it. Coming up with a bunch of new improvements very soon.


1 point by wolfrom 1 day ago | link [dead]

Here we go:

Connecting with more and more services is becoming do or die for new products. There’s no point in creating the next big thing and then letting it starve to death in a locked closet. But the headaches involved with Facebook’s documentation, LinkedIn’s XML, and pretty much every part of Google’s APIs are hobbling the progress of the social web.

And then there’s rate limits, constantly changing methods, and the huge inefficiency of having to write up calls for each service separately to grab the same type of data. That’s why everyone is saying “I’ll connect to Facebook, and maybe Twitter, but that’s it!”

The Windsoc API is a unified social API designed and built to handle getting data, posting data, and even sharing data between two third-party services. Developers use their own keys and oauth callbacks, but Windsoc distributes the API calls between apps. Windsoc calls are consistent, discoverable, and based on community standards. The next Facebook, the next Groupon, and the next Flickr will all be built to run on top of the services that came before. Windsoc provides the tools to make it happen.

We’ll be ready to launch both the Windsoc API and the Windsoc Social Client (our showcase of API functionality at http://www.windsoc.co/) in time for Launch.

Coming another month from now is BetaRev, the first complete Beta Launch and Analytics tool, built using the Windsoc Social API.


1 point by reubenyeah 23 hours ago | link [dead]

Are the API keys etc stored at your end or are they sent through the use of your API?


1 point by wolfrom 22 hours ago | link [dead]

They’re stored at our end at the moment, but I can see that there would be value in allowing both methods.


1 point by reubenyeah 20 hours ago | link [dead]

That’s what I was hoping.

I’m an Android developer, and it’s trivial to extract API keys etc from an application, and for obvious reasons, you don’t want to make it easy for applications to pretend to be your application.

Thanks for your reply!


3 points by thinkcomp 1 day ago | link [dead]

FaceCash (http://www.facecash.com)

Mobile payments. Pay with your face.


3 points by aihui 22 hours ago | link [dead]

Have you heard of BACON JAM and know where to get it? Why is it so hard to discover specialty products?

Love With Food (http://lovewithfood.com) is a a social media platform for food brands to easily reach out to home cook and foodies, so that

(1) food brands have a new marketing/distribution channel to promote their products other than regular grocery stores or farmer’s market.

(2) home cooks and foodies (like me) can easily discover unique products that are not usually sold in normal grocery stores, e.g. Bacon Jam.

(3) and a % of our revenue goes to FeedingAmerica.org to help fight hunger in America because we love others with food.

@jason – Love With Food is a 4 months old company. Is it too late to apply to Launch? Btw, thanks for the free table offer!


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