Amidst all the hubbub of Web 2.0 Expo -- and never afraid to plug, right in the middle of a panel i got him to moderate -- Mike just announced he and Jason Calacanis are launching a new conference called TechCrunch20 (website went live today). The conference is happening September 17-18 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.
20 startup companies will be selected to participate and demo; similar to the Demo conference run by Chris Shipley which typically includes ~60-70 companies. However unlike Demo, which currently charges ~$18K to participate, TC20 will not charge startups to present. Costs of the conference will likely be subsidized by attendees & sponsors (Sequoia Capital is listed as an initial sponsor). Registration is now live: $2K before July 15, $2.5K thereafter.
An initial set of "industry experts" involved are:
* Marc Andreessen (Co-founder, Ning)
* Chris Anderson (Editor-In-Chief, Wired Magazine)
* Roelof Botha (Partner, Sequoia Capital)
* Mark Cuban (Founder, HDNet)
* Om Malik (Founder, GigaOm)
* Robert Scoble (Scobleizer)
* Dave Winer (Scripting News)
My guess is this will provide some healthy competition for Demo, however Chris Shipley and folks put on a pretty high-end show that will also be a challenge to duplicate right out of the gate. That said, i would never underestimate Mike or Jason. (also see Mike's earlier post about TechCrunch20 from January).