Launch Pad (sponsored by Elance and Zoosk)

Marshall Kirkpatrick (Little Bird), Ellen Pack (Elance, Inc. ), Brian Singerman (Founders Fund), Lev Mazin (, Mike Courtney (, Jeff Boudier (Stupeflix), Nicolas Steegmann (Stupeflix), Francois Lagunas (Stupeflix), Patrice Lamothe (pearltrees), Francois Rocaboy (pearltrees), Edward Balassanian (, Adam Blum (Rhomobile), Lars Burgess (Rhomobile), Ahmed Siddiqui (Go Go Mongo!), Baoshi Yan (Engleasy)
Special Programs & Events
Location: Keynote Room - 3rd Level Level:
Average rating: ****.
(4.43, 7 ratings)

Launch Pad

Sponsored by:

Supporting Sponsor:

The Opportunity

For 2010, we continue the tradition of showcasing innovative and promising new companies at Web 2.0 Expo. While the definition of a launch has gotten cloudy in this age of public betas, we’re looking for new companies or products that make us take notice. And while venture capital has been the focus in past years, the reality of the market is that companies must gain the attention of customers. So our judging panel and criteria this year focus more on what is essential and transformational in today’s market than on ability to get funded. Along the way, we’re sure the VCs in the crowd will find several startups they’d like to talk to!

Launch Pad will take place at Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco on Wednesday, May 5 at 1:15-2:15pm.

The Approach

  • Entrants do not need to launch their company or a major product/service to qualify.
  • All proposals will be reviewed before Web 2.0 Expo by our panel.
  • The judging panel will be comprised of industry experts who will review Launch Pad companies for their value to their market (consumer, enterprise, etc.).
  • Judges will select about six finalists, each of whom will have five minutes to pitch on stage, in front of the Web 2.0 Expo audience (the largest gathering of the innovators in the Internet industry) and the panel.
  • Each company will receive feedback on its presentation from both the panel and the audience.

Launch Pad Finalists – The Chosen Six

Six companies have been chosen by a panel to present on stage at Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco on May 5, 2010. Each will have five minutes to present their company or product and will receive real-time feedback from a panel of industry experts and the audience. is the web’s first self-service online survey tool that includes a built-in consumer panel to fulfill all your market research studies on demand. No phone calls no delays, this pay-as-you-go service starts at only $29.95 and takes just a few hours to get delivered. Serious market research at silly prices!

EnglEasy is an Online Game solution to help teach children English. Through advanced analytics and Fun games, we hope to Improve Learning through Play.

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Pearltrees is a social curation and discovery tool and that gives users a social way to organize, discover and share stuff they like on the Web.


Create cross-platform native applications for all major smartphones with Rhodes, the open-source smartphone app framework. Along with RhoHub, the first hosted development as a service for mobile and RhoSync, a standalone server that keeps enterprise application data current and available on users’ smartphones, Rhomobile’s suite of products provide a complete mobility solution for businesses of all sizes.


Strings is an online service that empowers users to effortlessly discover interesting and relevant content. Users of automatically track their interests, share their tastes with friends, and discover new content based on their expressed personality. The Strings platform enables a new generation of discovery applications that can leverage the power of Strings to help users discover content both on and off the web.


Stupeflix is an automated video creation web service. It is unique in its ability to create highly produced video in real-time, at high volumes, with a highly programmable R/W API. With the Play Platform, Stupeflix makes it easy for any website to instantly transform its content into broadcast quality videos.

Additionally, Startup Weekend is an event where individuals come together to build a product and sometimes a company in two short days. A winner is chosen at the end of the event and this year’s Launch Pad will include that winner on stage along with the five selected Launch Pad finalists.


Please contact Joylyn Tanner for more information on Launch Pad at

People planning to attend this session also want to see:

Photo of Marshall Kirkpatrick

Marshall Kirkpatrick

Little Bird

Seven years ago, presenter Marshall Kirkpatrick worked at a
convenience store in a small town in Oregon, today he’s become one of
the most successful tech industry bloggers online (formerly lead
writer at both TechCrunch and ReadWriteWeb) and is now the CEO of a
venture-backed company called Little Bird. Little Bird helps anyone
do the kind of work that Marshall did to make his career in the social
web: to find the right people, to discover key information, to act
fast and raise your voice by adding value to conversations on a global

Photo of Ellen Pack

Ellen Pack

Elance, Inc.

Ellen Pack is the Vice President of Marketing at Elance, the world’s leading online talent marketplace. Elance offers a fast and flexible way to hire and manage specialized talent, who are ready to work 24/7. Think designers, programmers, developers,writers, translators, and much more.

In the early 1990’s, Ellen founded, which grew into the largest internet destination for women, attracting millions of unique visitors each month. Ellen was responsible for developing and driving’s rapidly growing network of original, interactive media sites. Her leadership led to a successful IPO and later merger with iVillage in 2001 (now part of NBC).

In 2003, Ellen became a partner at a regional staffing agency in the San Francisco Bay Area. During her tenure, she launched a website with real-time job listings, successfully implemented numerous new services, expanded company operations and tripled revenue. She sold the company in 2008.

Ellen holds a B.A. in economics from Columbia College and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. In 1997, she authored the Women’s Wire Web Directory, the first comprehensive directory of sites of interest to women. In addition, her success in the technology industry has earned her recognition from a number of industry organizations and media outlets across the US.

Photo of Brian Singerman

Brian Singerman

Founders Fund

Brian Singerman is a Principal at Founders Fund. He came to the Founders Fund from Google, where he founded the iGoogle team in 2004, after serving in a variety of development and executive positions. Before joining Google, Brian was an engineer for There, an online, virtual world startup. At Founders Fund, Brian seeks out new investment opportunities such as Clickable, the company whose innovative tools have made online search significantly more efficient for advertisers and agencies. Before joining the Founders Fund team, Brian was an active angel investor in his personal capacity, and backed companies including Imvu, SideReel, Loomia, PBWiki, and heroku. Brian graduated from Stanford University with a BS in Computer Science.

Lev Mazin

Lev is the CEO and co-founder of, the first self-service target market research Web application designed for small business.

Lev also is the founder and Art Director of Levasha active design studio, a graphic designer & UI expert who believes that any solid brand is a projection of its consumer’s experience.

Mike Courtney

Jeff Boudier


Stupeflix Evangelix

Nicolas Steegmann


CEO of Stupeflix

Francois Lagunas


Chief Scientist at Exalead & Dailymotion.

CTO & Founder at Stupeflix

Patrice Lamothe


8 years
Media & Internet, sociology
BCG, Sr. project mgr.

Since 2008
Founder and CEO of pearltrees

Francois Rocaboy


- tech-culture blogger - Founder and CMO of pearltrees

Edward Balassanian

With more than 15 years of experience in the technology industry, Edward Balassanian, founder and CEO of, Inc., is a prosumer that is passionate about leveraging technology in order to deliver the consummate user experiences. Edward has dedicated the better part of the last two years establishing as the first social tracking and filtering platform for consumers and brands.

Prior to, Mr. Balassanian founded BeComm Corporation which pioneered key inventions in distributed operating systems and the digital home. He began his career working as a software engineer at Microsoft.

Edward is a graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in Computer Science.

Photo of Adam Blum

Adam Blum


Rhomobile is the open mobile framework company, providing the Rhodes platform for building crossplatform native mobile apps for all smartphone operating systems

Lars Burgess


Co-Founder & Software Engineer for Rhomobile, Inc.:

The Open Mobile Framework

Photo of Ahmed Siddiqui

Ahmed Siddiqui

Go Go Mongo!

Ahmed Siddiqui is the Founder of Go Go Mongo, a children’s brand designed to inspire children to eat healthier through fun mobile games.

Leveraging his background in Business Analytics at IBM, he developed his concept for adaptable learning and won the top award at the Bay Area Startup Weekend.

Ahmed’s mission is inspire children to reach for cauliflower and beyond through games and technology. Ahmed has an MBA from Babson College, and his undergraduate degree is from the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.

Photo of Baoshi Yan

Baoshi Yan


Baoshi Yan is a co-founder of Engleasy. A researcher in speech and language technology, his passion is creating killer apps for language education using speech and language technologies. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California.

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  • Pearltrees
  • The Planet

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