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Dyn contest offers chance to see startup conference

New Hampshire Union Leader

January 24. 2013 8:57PM

MANCHESTER - Two New England-based startup companies will get an all-expenses paid trip to the nation's biggest business startup conference and contest, the Launch Festival, thanks to a local tech company that's running a contest of its own.

Dyn, a Web technology service company with worldwide headquarters on Dow Street in the Manchester Millyard, is hosting a contest that will send two New England-based startups to the Launch Festival, March 4-6, in San Francisco.

Angels, accelerators and venture capitalists invested $1.4 million in companies at Launch Festival 2012, according to festival sponsors, who expect to have $2 million available for 2013.

A grand jury of seasoned investors and top journalists observes main-stage pitches and chooses winners, while judges on stage give instant feedback on every demonstration.

The festival also hosts hundreds of existing startups in a Demo Pit, with many presenting on stage.

Founded in 2010 by investor and Dyn board member Jason Calacanis, the Launch Festival is recognized as the premiere networking event for startups, according to Dyn spokesman Adam Coughlin.

Any New England-based startup with annual revenue under $5 million can participate in the Dyn contest by creating a three- to five-minute video telling its story and explaining why they it go to Launch. Submissions must be received before midnight on Feb. 10 via Twitter at #DynLaunch or @DynInc.

Dyn contest judges include Dyn Director of Email Products Mike Veilleux (founder of startup GearFreedom); Jamie Coughlin, CEO of the abi Innovation Hub in Manchester; and Aaron O'Hearn, CEO and co-founder of the Boston Startup School.

One grand-prize winner will receive two tickets to the Launch Festival; airfare and accommodations for two people to San Francisco; dinner in Boston with Dyn executives Jeremy Hitchcock and Kyle York; one year of Dyn email delivery and DNS services; and a 30-minute meeting with Jason Calacanis.

The runner-up will receive two tickets to the Launch Festival, airfare and accommodations for two, a Boston dinner with Hitchcock and York, and a tour of Dyn's Manchester headquarters.

"We're always bragging about the strong and diverse New Hampshire, Greater Boston and overall New England technology ecosystem," York said. "Now is our chance to prove how developed it really is. Attending the Launch Festival could change the future of a business, so we hope the New England startup scene really participates."

Winners will be announced on Feb. 13 and will need to be available to attend the conference March 4-6, with expected air travel on March 3 and March 7.

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