Silicon ValleyI’m delighted to announce that DEMO, the conference where key technology companies from Netscape to have launched their products over the past two decades, is moving to the San Francisco Bay Area for its fall event.

This is a major move for DEMO, which has been hosted outside of the Bay Area for its entire history. As the new executive producer of DEMO, I’ve been seeking ways to make DEMO even more relevant and dynamic than it already is.

The more I talked with entrepreneurs and others, the more I realized that accessibility to the SF Bay Area is important. A mass of key investors, press and corporate development executives love going to the event each year, to keep their fingers on the pulse of new technology. But they’ve been forced to fly out to Palm Springs and San Diego to do so. This move to the heart of Silicon Valley — at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara — for the event on Sept. 13-15 fixes that.

In my own, admittedly biased view, DEMO remains the most professionally produced launch event around. When you launch there, you’re guaranteed the highest standards. Significant investments mean that the Internet works reliably (making demonstrations a breeze, and allowing the media to report without interruption), and there’s high-definition video, and coaching help. There’s also a rigorous, independent selection process second to none, as well as multiple networking events. Just the latest anecdote: Don Thorson, the guy who ran marketing for Jajah and Ribbit, two companies that launched at DEMO over the last couple of years, tells me he credits DEMO for getting both companies on the map. At DEMO, they got the media coverage and/or investment deals they needed to rise above the noise, he says. They sold for $207 million and $105 million respectively.

Now, we’re not going to abandon those resort locations entirely. We’ll still be having our spring events outside of of the Bay Area, because many attendees also feel there’s a lot of value in getting “off campus” too. But we felt it was important to give attendees the ability to do both.

DEMO.comAlso, separately, I want to remind readers that January 18 is the deadline for applying to launch at this spring’s DEMO event, March 21-23 in Palm Springs. Any companies with market-ready products, or alpha-stage products, are encouraged to apply. If you’re new to DEMO, here is a great document (links to PDF) about the history of DEMO as well as benefits of demonstrating. Read about some of the new things we’ve been planning for that event.

Also, DEMO will offer a $1 million media prize to one People’s Choice award winning demonstrator at March’s event. This prize gives the winning company $1M in advertising across key IDG print and online properties (InfoWorld, ComputerWorld, MacWorld etc.) over the course of six months following the event.

On the attendee front, we’re also announcing a new DEMO VIP program, which gives attendees the option to attend both DEMO Spring and DEMO Fall at a significant saving. This program is in addition to our standard single-event attendance option.

We look forward to seeing you at DEMO in Palm Springs in March, and in Silicon Valley in September!

Other facts to consider:

  • More than 40 demonstrating companies have been acquired by technology giants like Cisco, Google, Microsoft, Motorola, Symantec and Yahoo! in the past four years. Some companies have acquired multiple DEMO companies.
  • In the past 5 years alone, DEMO companies have raised well over $4.5 billion dollars following their debut at DEMO.
  • Over the past 20 years, 22% of demonstrators received funding.
  • 62% of those received over $1 million in funding- mostly from venture and angel.
  • 92% who secured funding, did so within 9 months of DEMO.
  • 93% of DEMO companies are still in business or have been acquired.