VCs, GDC Announce Entrepreneur-Focused 'Startup Launchpad' Lectures

Venture capital firm Charles River Ventures and GDC organizers have announced a new set of Startup Launchpad sessions, to be run at both next week's GDC and September's Austin GDC, and geared to inform and support industry startups.
Venture capital firm Charles River Ventures, in conjunction with the organizers of the Game Developers Conference (part of CMP, as is Gamasutra), have announced a conference series for gaming community entrepreneurs, first set to take place Friday, February 22nd at the event in San Francisco. Called "Startup Launchpad," the CRV-sponsored event aims to foster entrepreneurial culture in the game industry, and to provide "tips, tricks and hacks" for launching a successful game business. It will also feature a business plan competition, the winner of which will be able to participate in the next GDC Startup Launchpad. Startup Launchpad is comprised of individual conference sessions culminating in a startup showcase. Presenters include Raptr CEO and former Xfire founder Dennis "Thresh" Fong, LiveGamer president Andy Schneider, Rmbr CEO Gabe Zichermann, Twofish CEO Lee Crawford and iminlikewithyou founder Charles Forman. Sessions will include Raising Venture Capital Financing for Your Startup and Lessons from the Front Lines: Startup CEOs Share Their Insider Stories, and will feature a variety of speakers including Outspark's Susan Choe, GoPets' Erik Bethke, Areae's Jason Hable and Kongregate's Emily Greer. Starting with the Austin GDC in September 2008, Startup Launchpad will include a full business plan competition. Gaming entrepreneurs will be able to submit their business plans to a panel of judges. The finalists will be selected to premiere their businesses at the Austin 2008 GDC Startup Launchpad, at which time the best business will be chosen. Said CRV principal Susan Wu, "The gaming industry is poised for an unprecedented period of innovation. CRV is excited to partner with GDC to bring the culture of entrepreneurship that exists in the Web industry to the gaming industry. We aim to revolutionize the gaming business from the grassroots level. Startup Launchpad is designed to empower entrepreneurs with education, tools and resources to help them bring their ideas to market profitably." Interested parties may visit the official event site at for further information.

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