This morning, Domain Sponsor announced the details for PitchFest and LaunchFest, two new features of the DomainFest Global conference which will be held in January.
PITCHFest: Five hand-picked applicants will present a five minute summary of their business idea that will “enhance the value of parked or developed domain names by driving increased traffic and/or revenue.” Presenters will speak to a panel of judges, as well as the DomainFest audience. The winner will receive a trophy.
LAUNCHFest: Prior to the conference, applicants can choose one of ten domain names (owned by sister company Portfolio Brains, LLC), and five selected applicants will present a business plan to judges describing how they will build a business on that domain name. The judges will select a winner based on the following: creativity, viability, originality, and revenue potential.
The winner will have the opportunity to develop their business on the domain name “subject to a pre-determined lease arrangement.” Oversee.net will waive the first year of lease payments and the winner will have the right to lease the domain name for five years, after which the winner can buy it.
I like how PitchFest is structured. It’s a five minute pitch for five newly launched (I assume) companies, and hopefully there will be some innovative presenters. However, I think LaunchFest is a fantastic idea – for Oversee. Firstly, while Planners.com is a very good domain name that sold for $12,000 in 2004, I think the others are mostly average domain names and don’t see a home run in the list. Below are the list of names they are allowing applicants to choose from, along with the purchase price:
- Planners.com $125,000
- AdvertiseHere.com $125,000
- StartABusiness.com $75,000
- GoOut.com $75,000
- RealEstateNetwork.com $50,000
- BoostSales.com $50,000
- SiteFinder.com $25,000
- WebIncentives.com $25,000
- AnythingForSale.com $10,000
- DailyPicks.com $10,000
Not only is Oversee.net going to get an annual lease deal (after the first year free), which will presumably generate more revenue than the parked name makes now, but they are going to have someone build these brands for them. If the brand fails and the site goes out of business, it will end up driving more revenue back to the parked page from the previous development (and Oversee wins). If the site is a success and the owner wants to buy it, Oversee will earn money on the lease and/or get their desired sales price in 5 years or less (and Oversee wins again).
If we were talking about out of the park home run names that wouldn’t be for sale under normal circumstances (like RealEstate.com or GiftBaskets.com), then it’s a great opportunity. However, I don’t think these names are that special. In the end, the winner is Oversee.net rather than the applicants, in my opinion. Perhaps a cash reward for development, scrapping the annual lease agreement, or adding better domain names from which to choose would make this a winning idea.
What do you think?
While I don’t like to fly or attend conferences, the opportunity to secure a long term lease of Planners.com and it to our other wedding and event planning related domains is appealing. By Jan, Local Experts will be ready and I think we will have a great story for developing that domain. Something to ponder….
you’re right, other than planners.com, the others are way down the totem pole – and to attach a five year predetermined lease to the winner makes Oversee.com the winner whether or not the winning applicant succeeds or not – in fact i wouldn’t be surprised if oversee.com got their inspiration from Verisign pricing policy for .tvs.
James,I would go to San Diego. Present the idea. If they like the idea, then start negotiations. Everything is open to negotiations. Wet their appetite and then present a viable deal that works for both parties. IMHO that is the way to play it.
BTW – the other domains – not good.
Portfolio Brains has been selling a significiant portion of their portiolio. I’ve purchased over 100 domains from them since Sept 1.
“The winner [of PITCHfest] will receive a trophy” seems a bit…weak. Presenting ideas that could potentially transform the way we park our domains…and the best idea gets a whopping trophy? Come on…
I don’t think the LAUNCHfest domains are that bad. The nature of some of them leave the business plans and competition open-ended. GiftBaskets.com has an obvious business route, DailyPicks.com doesn’t.
Planners.com is the only one I’d want to build a biz on; and, frankly; except for DailyPicks & Planners, the rest are overpriced by 2-4x their true, current market value.
Given the effort the applicants are likely going to put in for the “Fests”; and while acknowledging the nice PR value the 5 FitchFest companies will receive; it would still be a good idea to offer the 10 “selectees” free passes to the conference.
Doing so would likely also increase the number of applicants.
I would disagree slightly. Although they are not category killers, I do believe these have some very strong possibilities.
Your dead on it. LaunchFest needs a ton more work. There are litterally no incentives to work with those domain names outside of a person who needs a job.
Plus I bet the terms alone ot sign up are crazy micro management …..