Back in November, I wrote about PITCHFest and LAUNCHFest, two new sessions that were scheduled for the Domain Fest conference happening next week in LA. I just received word that there will be two PITCHFest sessions in lieu of LAUNCHFest, and I think this is a smart idea.
PITCHFest was billed as an opportunity to present a five minute summary of a business idea that will “enhance the value of parked or developed domain names by driving increased traffic and/or revenue.” LAUNCHFest was billed as an opportunity for applicants to choose from a small group of Portfolio Brains (an Oversee.net company) domain names and the applicants would present a business plan to judges describing how they will build a business on that domain name.
I was critical of LAUNCHFest, as I felt it would benefit Oversee.net much more so than the applicants. I felt that the domain names that were being offered up for applicants to develop were overvalued by the company, and there really wasn’t anything rewarding about the deal for the applicant who wins.
The format for PITCHFEST will be as follows (adapted from an email I just received):
Four finalists will present in the first PITCHfest session on Tuesday, and another four on Thursday. The finalists will be given five minutes each to present their product/service concepts.
Immediately after each five minute presentation, judges will be prompted for their opinion on the merits of the product/service presented. A total of ten minutes will be allocated to the comments from all judges combined after each presentation—times are intentionally kept tight to maintain a candid, hard-hitting session.
Judges will rate each concept, assigning a score of up to 25 points in each of the following dimensions:
- Revenue potential
They will announce a winner at the end of each round. After the second round, the audience can vote for the “People’s Choice” winner from both rounds. Winners get a nice trophy, but more importantly highly visible jump start toward success for their new product/service. And the audience will learn about new ways to improve their revenue.
Judges for the first contest include Frank Schilling (Name Administration, Inc.), Adam Rioux (Octane360), Eric Liaw (Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), and Ron Sheridan.
The judges who were originally scheduled to participate in judging the LAUNCHfest will now judge the second PITCHfest. They include David Liu (Jefferies and Company, Inc.) Douglas McPherson (IdeaLab), Richard Morganstern (Tech Coast Angels), and Ron Sheridan.