Under an agreement signed today, Pando Media will promptly dismiss the lawsuit it filed in late January and Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) will present its 36|86 Conference in June as planned.
In October, LaunchTN terminated the Southland Collaboration Agreement with Pando and in early December announced the 36|86 Conference would be held from June 8-10, in Nashville. When LaunchTN learned in late January from the International Business Times (rather than from Pando itself) of Pando’s lawsuit alleging that LaunchTN was impermissibly partnering with a national media company to produce 36|86, LaunchTN immediately issued the following statement:
“The lawsuit filed by Pando is baseless. Launch Tennessee is not partnering with TechCrunch for 36|86. As we stated in our Jan. 6 press release:
“Jonathan Shieber, Senior Editor at CrunchBase/TechCrunch, John Biggs, East Coast Editor at TechCrunch and Regan Carrizales, CEO of Silicon Prairie News have signed on to lead media interviews on stage at 36|86.”
Jon Shieber, John Biggs and Regan Carrizales have committed to participate as an interviewer/moderator, and that is the extent of their involvement.
These interviewers will be present, along with a roster of other luminaries from the startup world. Members of the press come to cover important trends on startups, tech and culture in our region. To date, we have extended complimentary press passes to Forbes, Silicon Prairie News and TechCrunch, among others. We plan on extending more press passes as we get closer to the highly anticipated conference.
Qualified media can request to attend for free through our website. We have no contracts for media partnerships. If you’re interested in a unique opportunity to interact with thought leaders, investors and startups in the Southeast, join us June 8-10 at Marathon Music Works for 36|86.”
Typically a partnership involves the sharing of risks, profits and losses. It also implies that, in a situation such as this, there is joint programming, marketing and/or ticketing to help drive the success of the event. LaunchTN is in no way sharing any of these responsibilities with any member of the media who will participate in the conference or with the media companies with which they are affiliated. The individual members of the media on the program roster will serve as speakers, panelists or interviewers for 36|86, much like at Southland 2013, where an on-stage interview was led by the Editor-in-Chief of a national media company.
To avoid prolonging the pointless distraction and spending time and money to demonstrate that Pando’s claim was misguided, LaunchTN reviewed Pando’s proposed resolution. The agreement sets out the role of certain 36|86 roster participants, which effectively affirms that LaunchTN did not have a media partnership with TechCrunch or any other of the confirmed media participants for 36|86. We are pleased to confirm that Jon Shieber and John Biggs will participate as media moderators for select sessions of 36|86 as we announced in early January.
Any attending media representative, whether a conference participant or not, may cover the event to the extent they find it media worthy, unencumbered by any expectations or requirements of guaranteed coverage.
We appreciate all the support LaunchTN has received in the wake of this unfortunate dust-up. But with this matter behind us, we can focus on making 36|86 an overwhelming success for entrepreneurs in Tennessee and the Southeast. To join us at 36|86 in June, visit www.thirtysixeightysix.com.