LAUNCH Conference Prize Money Hits $151K

The prize money for Jason Calacanis' LAUNCH Festival technology conference has hit $151,000, after early stage venture investor Venture51 agreed to invest $51,000 in the winner of the conference's "Best in Show" award. Calacanis--who is the CEO of local startup Mahalo, and also host of This Week In Startups--has been promoting his LAUNCH conference since a widely publicized fallout with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington over their jointly produced TechCrunch50. Venture51 is an inestor in Los Angeles-based EcoMom, the online eco-friendly e-commerce site run by Jody Sherman, Zaarly, the mobile marketplace startup which spawned out of LA Startup Weekend, along with companies such as Getaround, LaunchRock, and Tout. The conference is being held in March in San Francisco. Mahalo is based in Santa Monica.