MC Hammer to judge in $15,000 'startups' competition

This illustration of a frog on a lily pad is the logo for LaunchPad, a Toad Suck Daze 'startup' business competition to be judged by Stanley Burrell, A.K.A. MC Hammer.

The Conway Chamber of Commerce has revealed its main reason for choosing Stanley Burrell (A.K.A. MC Hammer) as this year’s headline act at Toad Suck.



Hammer achieved the highest levels of fame back in the day performing under his stage name, and Toad Suck goers will certainly get to see MC Hammer the artist perform. They’ll also see Stanley Burrell the businessman doing what Stanley Burrell does best — pick winning technology startup companies in the newly announced “LaunchPad” competition.


Burrell will be part of a panel to judge thirteen “pitches” from Arkansas entrepreneurs, including three video submissions. The best pitch wins $15,000.


“Most people know his music, but they don’t know that he is a major player in Silicon Valley,” Chamber CEO Brad Lacy said in a news releaseon Thursday. Also judging will be Nada Stirrat, Chief Revenue Officer for Acxiom and Jonathan Sasse, a consultant who helped launch Slacker Radio and was President/CEO of iRiver America.


Burrell has lectured about business and social media at Stanford and Harvard and has been a founder and early investor in a number of successful tech ventures, according to the release.


“Toad Suck Daze is a festival founded on fun but grounded in education,” LaunchPad organizational team chairman Jeff Standridge said in the release. “LaunchPad will be an exciting way to celebrate new ideas and reward entrepreneurs.”


To submit a pitch, go to




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