TechCrunch20 to highlight 20 start ups–without the Demo price tag

While Demo is running and new stuff is coming out all the time (I haven’t even tried to keep up today), Michael Arrington and Jason Calacanis are launching a new conference called TechCrunch20 to highlight 20 startups.  Cool, okay, so what?  The so what is that it won’t cost the 20 start ups tens of thousands of dollars to demo there.  Jason and Michael are pulling together an advisory panel (and I just read that Robert Scoble is has been asked to be on it) to choose the companies.  Not too much info out there right now, beyond this from Jason’s post:

The details are being worked out as we speak. Here is what we know so far:

1. It will be in the San Francisco area.
2. We will have around 250 people at the event.
3. 20 companies will present over two days.
4. The event will take place in the fall.
5. We are looking for a location that can fit 250-500 people. We arehoping we can find a a University that would host the event, or an affordable conference center. Any ideas please let me know.
6. We hope to put together an advisory board of people we really respect to suggest companies.

Jason and Michael give the rational for the conference like this …

Jason:

Many tech conferences today allow startups to pitch and demo their products to their attendees, although there is almost always a hefty fee involved that ranges from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. DEMO, where I am currently, is .probably the quintessential example of this model. The entire conference is paid startup demos. There are way too many to digest – 60 – and it is a well known secret that if you are willing to pay the $15,000+ fee, your startup will really need to suck to be turned down.

Michael:

Many of the hottest startups over the last couple of years – Digg, YouTube, StumbleUpon and many others – didn’t have the money in the early days to spend on DEMO and other conferences, and so they didn’t participate. We want to give the future YouTube’s a platform to announce those products.

Yeah works for me.  I hope to be able to just be there to experience it.  Okay I’d really like to be there presenting.  Jim and I have a few side projects that might be perfect for it.  Stay tuned.

Tags: Techcrunch20, Michale Arrington, ,

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