36/86 PandoLand Startup Bus Startup Contest

PandoDaily Ups The Ante With $100,000 Startup Competition At Pandoland

If you’re familiar with the great startup conference controversy of 2015 then you already know that PandoDaily, the respected national startup online magazine and event company and Launch Tennessee, the public private partnership that relentlessly promotes startups in it’s home state, have been at odds. In 2013 Launch Tennessee held an event called “South Land” it was a hybrid conference promoting both startups and innovation alongside southern culture. By most standards that first shindig was a huge success, but despite that success they decided to partner with PandoDaily founder Sarah Lacy who has roots in Memphis Tennessee for the 2014 event.

The 2014 event was by all accounts a huge success too, that was until after the conference. Somewhere along the way Lacy had a falling out with Launch Tennessee which she was worried from the onset may happen by mixing local government with startups and a startup event.

There was a lawsuit and then it was settled. The result is that Launch Tennessee is holding a new conference called 36/86 June 8-10th in Nashville and PandoDaily is holding their annual conference, separate from Launch Tennessee, but also in Nashville, the following week.

With both organizations putting their best foot forward and pulling out all the punches, the big winner is Nashville.

“As you know, Nashville is one of the best cities in the US to build start-ups. Our city has a strong creative community, strong existing corporate partners and great support infrastructure. Nashville strength is it’s diversity. We are not all the same – our city has beautiful, messy differences all across it. That’s the power of Nashville and why I love it here. It is also why our city is getting so much national attention. It is great for Nashville to get so many opportunities to show off.” Vic Gatto a local investor and founder of Nashville based Jumpstart Foundry told SouthernAlpha.com.


The speakers at 36/86 include:

  • Julia Hartz, Co-founder and President of Eventbrite
  • Jonathan Shieber, Senior Editor at CrunchBase/TechCrunch
  • John Biggs, East Coast Editor at TechCrunch
  • Om Malik, Managing Partner at True Ventures
  • Andy Weissman, Partner at Union Square Ventures
  • John Rich, Singer, songwriter
  • Paul Singh, Disruption Corporation
  • Paul Santinelli, North Bridge Venture Partners
  • Kelly Hoey, Jared Nixon of Shark Branding
  • Greg Lok of Konica Minolta
  • Kristina Montague, The JumpFund

The speakers at Pandoland include:

  • Jose Antonio Vargas, Journalist and Filmmaker
  • Katia Beauchamp, Co-founder of Birchbox
  • Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, Founders of SoulCycle
  • James Freeman, Founder of Blue Bottle
  • Stan Chudnovsky, Facebook, PayPal
  • Bryan Goldberg, Founder of Bustle, Co-founder of Bleacher Report
  • Kirsten Green, Founder of Forerunner Ventures
  • Jason Hirschhorn, Founder of MediaRedef
  • Marc Ruxin, COO of Rdio
  • Andy Sparks, Co-founder of Mattermark
  • Logan LaHive, Founder of Belly
  • Ken Lerer, Chairman of BuzzFeed and partner of Lerer Hippeau Ventures
  • Ben Lerer, founder of Thrillist and partner of Lerer Hippeau Ventures
  • Ryan Leslie, Musician and entrepreneur
  • Mike Maples, Managing partner of Floodgate
  • Melody McCloskey, Co-founder of StyleSeat
  • Leigh Rawdon, Co-founder of Tea Collection
  • Bill Ready, CEO of Braintree
  • Bijan Sabet General Partner at Spark Capital
  • Bradford Shellhammer, Founder of Bezar, Co-founder of Fab.com
  • Joel Spolsky, CEO Stack Overflow


One of the big draws to 36/86 is the North American Startup Bus which reported on here. Through a grueling vetting process entrepreneurs will be able to apply for, and hopefully ride one of the North American Startup busses to hack away at a startup on the way to 36/86 with one startup being crowned the grand prize winner.

Equally as important is a more traditional startup pitch contest that will take place on the stage at PandoLand. This time around the, the stakes have been upped to $100,000 that according to the Tennessean. The folks at PandoDaily have made the contest pretty fair. In order to participate your startup has to have raised less than $1 million dollars and you could not have pitched at another startup contest within two months of the June PandoLand date. Fair enough right? But just so we’re clear you can’t create something on The Startup Bus this year and then enter the same idea into the PandoLand contest.


Interested in the PandoLand contest, enter here

Want tickets to PandoLand click here

More info on The Startup Bus, click here

Tickets to 36/86 click here.