How @Jason's Launch Conference is Helping Me and Others Launch Eight Ways

I'm headed to San Francisco tomorrow to the Launch of Jason Calacanis' Launch Conference. (Okay, that's L2 so far...let's see how many L's we can get.). But I was thinking that the conference itself has spurred me to my own launch for my investing company called Co-Flow Investing, LLC. (okay, that's L3)

For one thing, my best friend when I was growing up in Millburn, NJ, Scott Heller, had recently got back in touch and we started talking about angel investing. Scott is a real-estate lawyer in New Jersey, and, well, real estate is dead, and he's been itching for a new start in a new career. Add to to this some great advice from Paul English, founder of Kayak, who says "I never hire people who've already done what I want them to do. Rather, I want people who are doing it for the first time. You always do your best work when you do it for the first time."

So, Scott and I are now partners on Co-Flow Investing, and Scott is truly doing all for the first time. (L4) I've recently declared I'm a Super-Angel, and I'm working to live up to the declaration. (Five investments in the last two months, one more on the way.) Scott has now declared himself an angel, and he's working with me to learn the ropes. It's fun. He knew nothing about Twitter, didn't use LinkedIn, and hardly used Facebook. Just tonight I showed him how to make a nice blog post using my favorite blogging program, Posterous (I'm an investor), and linking it to his new accounts on Twitter and LinkedIn. Scott wrote an interesting blog post noting that there are no angels in real estate. Not bad for his first real blog post.

But there's more L's from Jason's L. Way back in ancient March of 2010, I invested in a company called SparkCloud, started by Nick Tommarello. Nick's company is now called, and it will be launching at Launch. (L5) I'm very excited about this, because Nick and I have worked together for 18 months, and his new company is a study in how to persevere and follow your heart to build the kind of tool your people need.

Then there's Brian Krejcarek, who I only met a few months ago and was instantly smitten. I invested immediately. His company Green Goose, will be displaying in the Demo Pit. Amazing product that spurs you to have fun and keep moving, all with wireless sensors that are amazingly cheap. (That's L6)

And there's two more. Blake Sessions just graduated from MIT, and is building an amazing mechanical magical thing that you wear that gives you super powers and turns walking into gliding. I just invested in him, and his company, LiftWave, Inc. I know it's an impossible standard, but I call him the "Steve Jobs of mechanical." Blake is launching his entrepreneurial career now, and Launch will be his first big conference (as an attendee). I give this L7.

Lastly, there's Ed English, brother of the aforementioned Paul English. He's got a new company called Elerts. I convinced him to come out the Launch Conference for the vibe, and because I'm trying to convert him to my approach for startups. (I'm making some progress on that, and so I call this one L8)

There you have it. One conference. Eight launches. And that's just me. Good luck Jason, on this wonderful new venture.
5 responses
Great informative post. Too bad the fees for attending this conference are so darn expensive ($400 for bootstrapped startups?!?!) Come on. Let the bootstappers in for free. We can't afford your conference. Anyway....

Best of luck to everyone launching at L5.

And then there's Helen of Troy, the beauty whose face launched 1000 ships (L1000.)
I'm jealous of your trip West, but I'm happily going to be in Montreal at the kickoff of Capital Innovation. Sounds like there will be so much critical startup mass in SF that the town could ignite.

Now when does OAF Boston III kick off?

@lotterysprout I think that Launch is pretty cheap, when you compare it to other top-notch conferences (the techcrunch conferences are more expensive, and SXSW is comparable). Also, if you had watched Jason's "This week in Startups" podcast, he was giving away tickets pretty regularly.

I met Nick Tommarello at the last family dinner (dartboston) event, and he only had great things to say about you, Bill. Sounds like you stuck by him even when times were difficult, and he has shifted to a great new idea and product. He told me about elements of it and I was impressed. Seems like he understands the mobile / location space and is going to be a great product. Looking forward to seeing its launch!

Great post! Looks like you are very busy these days. I was at Launch and it was a fantastic event.
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