LaunchBox Digital

How It Works

You come up with a compelling idea

At LaunchBox Digital we're open to a wide range of ideas. We'd love to hear your vision. Our primary focus is on web and mobile businesses, and we're interested in all digital platforms—the set-top box, for example, is another digital frontier ripening for entrepreneurs—and are organized to help across the board. This is all about bringing your idea to life. If you believe you have a great idea, bring it to LaunchBox Digital.

You submit an application for LaunchBox08

We have a simple, straight-forward application process. We care most about the quality of your idea (boldness and simplicity are two characteristics we've seen correlate with success), and the talent and commitment of you and your team. This is as much a bet on people as it is on the idea. If you have some initial design/software done, that's great—we'd love to see it.

We review each application

We'll review each application, and decide on those ideas that should make it to the finalist round. We are committed to a quick turnaround—you'll know within two weeks of our application cutoff date if you've made it to the finals.

We invite a group of finalists to be interviewed

We'll interview the finalist teams over a two week period. Depending upon logistics, some interviews will be done in person, and some will be done over the phone.

We select the LaunchBox08 participants

At the end of the interview cycle, we'll select 6-10 companies to participate in LaunchBox08.

You come to Washington D.C. for 12 weeks of intensive development

The first program is expected to start in May 2008 and run for 12 weeks. It will be in Washington D.C., and each team will be required to be in D.C. during that period. You'll be responsible for arranging your own accommodations. We encourage each team to room together, given the workload and objectives of LaunchBox08.

We help you with all the legal work to formally establish your company

We'll help take care of all the work required to formally incorporate your company. We want you 100% focused on bringing your vision to life—we'll handle the administration.

We arm you with initial funding to help you over that 12 week period

Our model is to invest $15,000 to $30,000 in each company, depending upon things like team size and business capital requirements. For our investment and other contributions, LaunchBox Digital will receive a 4-8% equity stake in each company. The exact amount will vary depending on the specific idea and the amount we invest.

We give you exposure to a world-class group of business and technology experts, who help coach you along the way

We think that our advisor list is second to none—world-class talent who can help at critical points along the way. Our advisors have started and run some of the most successful digital businesses in the world, and they're experience and expertise is wide ranging and powerful. We'll run an Advisor Program each week to have an expert speak and answer questions on various topics relevant to the launch of web and mobile businesses. You'll hear great and instructive first-hand stories from founders who started with nothing more than an idea (sound familiar?) and turned it into a successful business. You'll also hear concrete presentations on key components of success (e.g., marketing)—we think topics about things like effective viral marketing are critical for all program participants to learn about. We've got great people lined up to talk to you.

Beyond that, we'll have other ways for you to connect with our advisor community to help you succeed. The founders and other advisors will be available to help you think things through, refine your vision, and answer questions. Strategy, technology, operations, marketing, business development, talent—there's a lot that has to come together to turn a great idea into a great company. It's inevitable for startups to hit roadblocks. Our goal is to help you get past those roadblocks—through, around, over, under, whatever it takes—as fast as possible. Speed matters.

You complete a business plan, a working demo, or other appropriate deliverables

At the end of the 12 week program, you're expected to have the tools you need to take your company to the next stage. Typically that will be a demo and business plan; sometimes it will be just a demo or just a business plan with detailed market/customer analysis. The goal is for you to produce something that knocks the socks off of potential investors, strategic partners and, ultimately, customers. Lots of late nights and Red Bull at this stage—this is your chance to take advantage of a unique opportunity.

We invite VCs, angel investors, strategic partners, bloggers and the press to see and hear you first-hand

To help you get the exposure you need to succeed, we'll run pitch day sessions at the conclusion of the program—one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast. We want you to have maximum outreach and visibility. At each session, you'll have a chance to pitch your company to angel investors, venture capitalists, bloggers, press, strategic partners. This will be your chance to shine!

We expect that most companies will be seeking additional funding at the conclusion of the LaunchBox08. Different companies may seek different amounts of money, more or less, depending on the needs of the business and the founders' ultimate goals. Some companies may be ready to go straight to market without additional capital. We can help you think through your options and make the best decision.

You focus on taking your vision to the next step!

LaunchBox Digital's help doesn't stop at the end of the initial program. We'll continue to help you as you move forward to bring your company to life. We'll be there right beside you to give you advice, counsel and assistance on all elements of what you and your company need. Remember, we succeed only if you succeed!

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