In late-October we are hosting our first international DISRUPT conference, and the obvious location was Beijing, the hub of China’s surging entrepreneurial ecosystem.
And we’re not stopping there. TechCrunch is also hiring local Chinese editors to build an English Language and Chinese Language version of the blog later this fall. (More news on that soon.) It’s the biggest international commitment TechCrunch has ever made, and it has been years in the making.
There’s no more exciting– and more challenging– market for us to expand to. As Dow Jones’ reported last week, 145 Chinese startups raised a whopping $3.2 billion in the first half of 2011. Over the same period 54 Chinese companies went public raising nearly $10 billion. Three of the ten largest Web companies on the planet are all located in China, and increasingly our hottest Western companies– like Jawbone, Square, Groupon, Zynga and others– are finding they need China in one way or another to win.
This market isn’t emerging anymore; it has emerged. And so far, it’s the only other place outside Silicon Valley that is continually giving rise to multiple $1 billion-plus consumer Internet companies. If TechCrunch is going to continue to tell the story of Web entrepreneurship, we have to be in China. And if you want to understand that story, you need to book your plane ticket now to attend our DISRUPT Beijing conference in October.
That’s right, China. We are bringing the international digital elite to you. For the first time Asian companies will be able to launch, demo new products and share the coveted DISRUPT bragging rights with US startups like Mint, Yammer, and the most recent winner, GetAround. We’ve partnered with Kaifu Lee’s incubator Innovation Works to make this event a reality and have had countless other groups in China guiding us along the way to make sure we bring the country something new and different.
The conference will begin the way it does in the US with two-day Hackathon held October 29 and 30. The conference will run October 31-November 1 and will feature fireside chats by top innovators from Silicon Valley and China. The conversations will center around why the Valley and China have clashed in the past, and how new sectors like innovative hardware, ecommerce and online gaming are forging new highly profitable partnerships. And of course, we’ll bring some prominent financiers on stage to get into the big bad bubble debate. The event will be held at the China National Convention Center. Go here for tickets. (Chinese language ticketing and application sites will be live in a few days.)
Everything TechCrunch does is about entrepreneurs, so as usual the centerpiece of the conference will be the Startup Battlefield. Anyone from any country can submit their startup for consideration. The rules remain as they are in the United States. Most notably: You have to be launching to the public for the first time at the event. Get your applications in now.
After two years of evangelizing all the innovation going on outside the United States, I can’t wait for Asian entrepreneurs to prove it this fall. Sick of being called a copy cat culture? Send us your application. Want to prove another country in Asia can out-do China? Send us your application. This is your international coming out party, global entrepreneurs.
And the party will have a ton of eyeballs. As usual, we’ll be streaming the event on TechCrunchTV and a pack of our top writers will be in China this fall to bring our international readers the ins and outs of this first-ever event. You don’t want to miss this.