As we announced last week, we’ve been busy securing some of the most exciting names in China for our Disrupt Beijing conference this October including Tencent Founder and CEO Pony Ma and Chinese entrepreneur and angel investor Lei Jun. But it wouldn’t be a TechCrunch event without bringing a little of that Silicon Valley magic too.
In selecting people to bring to China we wanted a mix of some people who are new to the country and others who have a long experience doing business there; people who are existing successes and those who have a fast-growing, tiger-by-the-tail right now. We also wanted a few people who could speak to the culture and whimsy that makes the Valley so unique.
We’ll start things off with Peter Vesterbacka the mighty eagle of Rovio, maker of Angry Birds. Vesterbacka is no stranger to China, where he says Rovio is busy building a $100 million business by the end of the year. That business spans everything from games to desserts to plush toys. I last saw Vesterbacka at the Next11 Conference in Berlin and the more he told me of his strategy for China, the more I insisted he be at Disrupt. He may even have some news to announce…
Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube, will also be joining us on stage. Chen is an expert in a good problem to have: A company growing so fast it could bankrupt you. YouTube is one of the biggest phenomena the Web 2.0 world has ever seen. It’s played a pivotal role in everything from US presidential races to the rise of Justin Bieber. And it was the first Web 2.0 to have a $1 billion-plus exit.
The Valley isn’t all about fun ways to waste time. Phil Libin of Evernote calls his company “the anti-Zynga” because it seeks to make you smarter during the little holes in your day. Evernote has a rabid following among its users and is one of the hottest companies in Silicon Valley right now, fresh off raising a recent funding round. Evernote rivals Foursquare in downloads, and unlike Foursquare it has no monetization problems, as Libin explains in this video.
These are just a few of the Valley names joining us in Beijing this October. Stay tuned for more speaker announcements and remember to buy your tickets and apply for the Startup Battlefield today. As a reminder, we’ll have translation headsets for all attendees so all speakers and startups competing can do so in their native language, and our global audience won’t miss a thing. Battlefield applications are available in English and Chinese as well.