Two More Startupfest Firsts:  Play The Future…or be Played By It.


People with long memories may recall that last year, I set a Startupfest first when I created–with enthusiastic attendee help–the event’s improvised national anthem.  (Those with short memories can re-live the event here.)

This year, I’m doubling down on new Startupfest “Firsts,” both about the most fascinating of topics–The Future.

The first “First” involves my own start-up, a predictive gaming platform called Play The Future.  One of my esteemed partners, Phil Donne (former CEO of Campbell’s Soup and Kellogg’s Canada) calls it “A breakthrough brand engagement tool that addresses the splintering of attention, the proliferation of ad-blockers and the wholesale rejection of push marketing”…

…but I call it “a game that lets you beat others, prove you’re brilliant and win stuff.”

That said, PTF lives by two credos:

  • Life’s a game.
  • If it can be measured, it can be played.  

Next week, we are bringing the two together, because for the first time anywhere, people will “play” an event.  Over its three days, Startupfest will turn into an interactive prediction tournament with daily winners, one overall champion, a whole lot of brain-stretching fun and some kick-ass prizes, including an Occulus Rift.

While I can’t reveal actual game questions just yet, suffice to say you’ll be asked to predict things like:

  • How many times Dave McClure will swear
  • How many beers (and/or deals) will be consummated at the opening party

…and so on.

The end result will be a layer of friendly competition, trash talk and surprise learnings draped over the world’s hippest, most relevant gathering of entrepreneurs and smart folk.

Playing Startupfest is easy. The whole thing lives on your smartphone; click here for the app, then Play The Future!

Which brings us to our second future-based “First”…a closing event which–gulp!–questions whether there will even be a future at all.

Okay, maybe it’s not that dire…but almost.  The way Startupfest’s closing speaker Josh Harris sees it, the oncoming “Singularity”–when A.I. basically eliminates the need for humanity–is a bigger threat than global warming, and is way closer than you think.

Crazy?  That’s what they said when Josh predicted the omnipresence of the Internet, reality TV, vlogging, the elimination of privacy and much more.  And when I say “more,” I mean it somewhat disturbingly. To understand, check out “We Live In Public,” Ondi Tomoner’s award-winning doc about Josh here (or see it with both of them Friday night at Startuptfest).

So it is with much anticipation, and way more trepidation, that I’m preparing to interview Josh in a very unique session called “Jack Knowledge.”  

Again, don’t want to give too much away, but to keep with our tomorrow-looking theme, I have these fearless predictions to make about said session:

  • You won’t be bored
  • You may be outraged and/or scared
  • You will change your worldview in 38 minutes

Startupfest 2016 presents The Future.

Play it…while it’s still around 😉