“LaunchPad” offers $15K prize to winner. MC Hammer to judge business start-up competition.
(Log Cabin Democrat) CONWAY, AR. – When MC Hammer comes to Toad Suck Daze on May 3rd he’ll do more than just entertain festival goers. He’ll help choose one promising entrepreneur to take home $15,000. Hammer is one of three tech-savvy judges at “LaunchPad”, a start-up competition among ten Arkansas entrepreneurs.
“When we chose Hammer to perform at Toad Suck Daze, we had this event in mind,” said Brad Lacy President & CEO of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce. “Most people know his music, but they don’t know that he is a major player in Silicon Valley.” Hammer (Stanley Burrell) has lectured about business and social media at Stanford and Harvard. He has been a founder and early investor in a number of successful tech ventures.
Joining Hammer on the panel will be Nada Stirrat, Chief Revenue Officer for Acxiom and Jonathan Sasse, a consultant who helped launch Slacker Radio and was President/CEO of iRiver America.
The ten participants will be composed of: six “invitational” participants from the Arkansas start-up community, a team from the Arkansas High School Start-Up Weekend and three “play-in” spots to be selected from video submissions.
“We’re especially excited about the “play-in” spots,” said Lacy. “We’re encouraging any budding Arkansas entrepreneurs to submit a two-minute pitch video and a local panel will pick the three most promising.”
The LaunchPad competition has been organized by the Start-Up Conway Steering Team chaired by Jeff Standridge.
“Toad Suck Daze is a festival founded on fun but grounded in education. LaunchPad will be an exciting way to celebrate new ideas and reward entrepreneurs,” said Standridge. “Our panel of judges has the reputation and credibility to help these start-ups in a number of ways.”