Technology Veterans Establish LaunchBox Digital

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With today's introduction of LaunchBox Digital, start-up businesses now have a new way of gaining critical early financial support, along with advice and practical guidance on how to bring their ideas to market. Founded by three technology industry veterans, and supported by a roster of advisors who have built successful digital businesses, LaunchBox Digital is a new early stage investment firm based in Washington, D.C. and dedicated to helping entrepreneurs overcome obstacles to success.

The advice and counsel of people who've helped launch and run businesses can be invaluable

    With an initial focus on web and mobile businesses, LaunchBox Digital offers a competitive application process by which entrepreneurs may be considered for an intensive, accelerator program, "LaunchBox08." Successful applicants will receive funding, mentoring, and infrastructure support in order to take their big ideas from concept to market.

Between six and 10 successful applicants will receive seed investment and help in incorporation. During 12 intensive weeks in Washington, D.C., they will gain from the advice and experiences offered by the firm's founders and advisors, as they develop a prototype or demo and craft their business plans. At the end of the program, they will be given an opportunity to present their businesses to venture capital firms and other investors, strategic partners, bloggers, and the media on the East and West Coasts. Applications for "LaunchBox08" are being accepted now. For more information on the application process, see: http://www.launchboxdigital.com/how_it_works.html.

The founders of LaunchBox Digital are Julius Genachowski, who was Chief of Business Operations and a member of the Office of the Chairman at IAC/InterActive Corp; Sean Greene, who was Founder and CEO of The Away Network; and John McKinley, who was President of Digital Services and CTO of AOL, and previously CTO and Head of Global Technology and Operations at Merrill Lynch.

"There's never been a better time to build a technology company," said Julius Genachowski. "Costs are decreasing, new revenue models are solidifying, and we're seeing the proliferation of digital platforms, including Facebook, Google's Open Social and Open Handset Alliance, the iPhone, and more. Yet entrepreneurs still face obstacles in making their vision a reality. LaunchBox Digital fills a real need at a moment of great opportunity."

LaunchBox Digital's advisors include key people behind some of the most successful technology companies of the past decade. It includes founders who started with ideas and turned them into companies sold for hundreds of millions of dollars, key operating executives at multi-billion dollar digital media and commerce companies, and two former chairmen of the Federal Communications Commission. Companies represented on LaunchBox Digital's advisor group include: Advertising.com, AOL, Daily Candy, Feedburner, Fox Interactive, FreeWebs, glu mobile, Hillcrest Labs, Millenial Media, The Motley Fool, Object Video, Overture, Proxicom, Washington Post-Newsweek Interactive, WildSeed, Xfire and others. The complete roster of advisors is below.

"The advice and counsel of people who've helped launch and run businesses can be invaluable," said Sean Greene. "What we're trying to do with LaunchBox Digital is not simply provide early stage investments, but enable entrepreneurs to refine their ideas with the help of world-class mentors who are willing to offer the benefit of their experience in a disciplined, collaborative process."

"Earlier incubators believed the secret to success was offering people cubicles and servers, which in many cases proved to be the wrong focus," said John McKinley. "Instead, what is really needed is advice and guidance, on everything from the product, to marketing, to technical assistance. That's our focus at LaunchBox Digital, and with our team of advisors and mentors, we offer first-time entrepreneurs a great chance to fulfill their dreams."

LaunchBox Digital is also accepting proposals from early stage business for immediate seed or angel investment, on a selective basis.

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Audrey Chang
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