We’re pleased to announce Don Dodge (Microsoft’s Emerging Business Team), Paul Graham (Cofounder of Y Combinator), Jason Hirschhorn (MySpace Chief Product Officer), and Mike Schroepfer (Facebook VP Engineering) will be joining our on-stage panel of experts at TechCrunch50. They’ll judge the fifty launching startups in front of a crowd of 2,000 or so eager attendees.
They’ll join the already announced expert lineup of Marc Andreessen, Roelof Botha, Ron Conway, Reid Hoffman, Tony Hsieh, Marissa Mayer, Tim O’Reilly, Sean Parker, Kevin Rose, Robert Scoble, and Yossi Vardi.
This will be Don’s third year judging. Paul, Jason, and Mike will be making their first appearances. And we’re not stopping here – additional judges will be announced next week.
All the details for the conference are here. TechCrunch50 is an action-packed conference where fifty new startups launch over two days. The event will be held at the San Francisco Design Center, a huge and beautiful venue where we packed nearly 2,000 participants last year.
Tickets for the event can be purchased here courtesy of Eventbrite. We’ve slashed our early-bird prices from 2008 to $1995 through August 31. (Prices escalate to $2,995.) If you’re interested in demoing your product, we have a few spots left in our DemoPit (e-mail us for details). Additionally, exhibitor passes are available for $8,000, which include entry to the conference for 4 people, a 5’ exhibitor table, and other goodies.
More on the TechCrunch50 blog.
Don Dodge is a veteran of five start-ups including Forte Software, AltaVista, Napster, Bowstreet, and Groove Networks. Don is currently Director of Business Development for Microsoft’s Emerging Business Team. Don has been in the software business for more than 20 years. He started his software career with Digital Equipment, aka DEC, in the database group. He worked with 5 software start-ups over the next 12 years. Forte Software was the first multiplatform object oriented development environment. AltaVista was the first search engine on the web. Napster was the first P2P file sharing network. Bowstreet was the first web services development environment. Groove Networks was the first secure P2P collaboration platform. Now he is at Microsoft… “the biggest start-up in the world”… working with VC’s and start-ups in the greater Boston area.
Paul Graham is an essayist, programmer, and programming language designer. In 1995 he developed with Robert Morris the first web-based application, Viaweb, which was acquired by Yahoo in 1998. In 2002 he described a simple statistical spam filter that inspired a new generation of filters. He’s currently working on a new programming language called Arc, a new book on startups, and is one of the partners in Y Combinator.
Paul is the author of On Lisp (Prentice Hall, 1993), ANSI Common Lisp (Prentice Hall, 1995), and Hackers & Painters (O’Reilly, 2004). He has an AB from Cornell and a PhD in Computer Science from Harvard, and studied painting at RISD and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence.
Jason Hirschhorn is Chief Product Officer for MySpace. As one of the company’s foremost senior leaders, Jason is dedicated to transforming the MySpace brand and product by providing an unparalleled user-experience. His unique approach emphasizes innovation, rejects the notion of the media company as tastemaker, and lets the audience guide the direction of product and content offerings.
Mike Schroepfer is the Vice President of Engineering at Facebook. Mike is responsible for harnessing the engineering organization’s culture of speed, creativity and exploration to build products, services and infrastructure that support the company’s users, developers and partners around the world. Before coming to Facebook, Mike was the Vice President of Engineering at Mozilla Corporation, where he led the global, collaborative, open and participatory product development process behind Mozilla’s popular software, such as the Firefox web browser. Mike was formerly a distinguished engineer at Sun Microsystems where he was the Chief Technology Officer for the data center automation division (“N1″). He was also the founder, Chief Architect and Director of Engineering at CenterRun, which was acquired by Sun. Mike worked with several startups at the outset of his career, including a digital effects software startup where he built software that has been used in several major motion pictures. Mike holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degrees in computer science from Stanford University and has filed two U.S. patents.
Great partners make great conferences
We’re really lucky to have the corporate support of some of the best names in the business. Sequoia Capital, Charles River Ventures and Perkins Coie all returned quickly to support us for the third year in a row. Google, Founders Fund, Microsoft and MySpace are back for their second year of partnership, and this year Bing stepped forward as a first-time partner. Additional partners will be named in the next few weeks.