In the same events planning space as Plancast and Upcoming, Y Combinator-funded Lanyrd launches today after this weekend’s game changing news of Yuri Milner and SV Angel’s 150K investment in every Y Combinator startup. An IMDB for conferences, Lanyrd has the ambitious goal of becoming the one stop shop for all conference data by pulling in information from the Twitter accounts that you follow.
At first glance Lanyrd is pretty comprehensive. Whether past or future event, a Lanyrd conference page shows you a list of speakers, attendees, and trackers and their respective Twitter accounts as well as a list of sessions, a link to the actual conference page itself, the ability to save the event to iCal and Outlook, a link to coverage, separation by topic, related books, as well as permalink page which enables you to share the Lanyrd conference page with your friends (Whew!).
Upon logging into the site with your Twitter account you immediately see a list of conferences your friends are interested in and perhaps more impressively can view and edit your own conference profile page which presents the number of conferences you’re spoken at, other speakers at those same conferences, future conferences you are attending as well as view coverage and materials like videos audio and slides, using Embedly. Says co-founder Natalie Downe, “We want to make ourselves useful across all topics, and plan to be useful before an event, during an event and after an event.”
Founded by Django creator Simon Willison and his wife Downe after finding themselves stuck on their honeymoon in Casablanca with nothing else to do, Lanyrd aims to get you off the computer and “meet the people you follow on Twitter.” Says Downe, “Our success criteria is when someone goes to an event and meets someone they wouldn’t have.”
The two are excited about growing their audience and are especially psyched to have the added encouragement of the Start Fund investment. Says Willison, “It’s a pretty amazing deal, which is clearly designed to be hard to turn down. We’re treating the money as additional runway: We now have a full 18 months to focus on improving our product and building a business around Lanyrd.”