As TechCrunch Disrupt New York fast approaches, Startup Battlefield applications are open and running. For the past few weeks, hopeful entrepreneurs have been submitting their new, unseen startup companies for the opportunity to launch on technology’s biggest stage in front of an all-star panel. The Startup Battlefield judging panels consist of the biggest innovators, angels, VCs and influencers in the tech community. Up for grabs is the opportunity to gain exposure on a worldwide platform and to some of the best investors in the business, a $50,000 prize and the coveted Disrupt Cup.
Past winners include: Mint, Yammer and RedBeacon from our TechCrunch 40 & 50 days. Soluto, Qwiki, GetAround have each hoisted the Disrupt Cup. Most recent winners, Shaker and OrderWithMe, our first international conference winner, will both be on hand in New York to share their seasoned Battlefield knowledge with this year’s contenders.
Disrupt NYC kicks off on May 19th with our 24-hour Hackathon, and the main event starting May 21st and going through the 23rd. Stay tuned as we’ll reveal more of what’s in store for Manhattan in May. Get your tickets now.
Applications are due by 11:59PM PDT on Sunday, April 1, 2012. We review applications on a rolling basis, so feel free to submit sooner rather than later. While we have many more exciting speakers to announce, I’m holding off this week in favor of giving you a peek at a few of our judges for New York’s Disrupt in May. Scroll down to get a glimpse of a portion of our distinguished judging group.
Partner, Spark Capital
Bijan Sabet has been a General Partner at Spark Capital since its inception in 2005. Bijan led Spark’s investments at Twitter, Tumblr, Boxee, Foursquare , Stack Exchange, ExFM, OMGPOP, and Bug Labs. He also led the investment in thePlatform (acquired by Comcast) and was on the board at Next New Networks (acquired by Google).
Co-founder, Freestyle Capital
David Samuel is serial entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, and an experienced executive with a proven ability to identify market trends and build companies from the ground up. He has repeated success providing significant investor ROI. Dave has specialized in software & media since 1994. His success comes as a result of his strong technical background, ability to manage large teams, and adept leadership to adjust company direction while navigating through volatile or uncharted markets.
David Lee is the Managing Member at SV Angel, where Ron Conway is a Special Partner. SV Angel focuses its investments on early-stage consumer media companies. He focuses on investments within the consumer Internet, mobile, video and other IT industries. Prior to SV Angel, he was at Google, where he led new business development efforts in video, media and content/data partnerships. After Google, he led all business development-related efforts for StumbleUpon.
Partner, Union Square Ventures
Fred Wilson began his career in venture capital in 1987. In 1996, Fred co-founded Flatiron Partners. While at Flatiron, Fred was responsible for 14 investments including, ITXC, Patagon, Starmedia, TheStreet.com and Yoyodyne. Fred currently serves on the boards of Alacra, Comscore, iBiquity, Return Path, Instant Information and Tacoda Systems. (Source: Union Square Ventures)
John Frankel is an early stage venture capitalist and founder of ff Venture Capital because he saw a market that was not being served well by established venture funds. John Frankel has been an early-stage venture investor for over 10 years, with a broad portfolio of investments. He has worked closely with entrepreneurs in a variety of fields and has experience advising start-ups. He started his business career with Arthur Anderson & Co. in the audit and insolvency divisions. He spent the following 21 years at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in a variety of roles that involved technology development, reengineering, and capital markets. His primary focus is helping early-stage companies deploy lightweight disruptive business models to become the low-cost player in their respective markets.
Josh Kopelman is a venture capitalist and Managing Partner at First Round Capital. Previously, Kopelman founded Half.com, which was acquired by eBay in 2000. He remained with eBay for three years, running the Half.com business unit and growing eBay’s Media marketplace to almost half a billion dollars in annual sales. In late 2003 Kopelman helped to found TurnTide, an anti-spam company that created the world’s first anti-spam router. TurnTide was acquired by Symantec just six months later. In 2001 Kopelman co-founded the Kopelman Foundation, a non-profit grant fund for social entrepreneurs. He also serves as a member of the advisory boards for Wharton Entrepreneurial Center and the Weiss Tech House at the University of Pennsylvania.
As a VP at Google, Marissa Mayer leads the product management and engineering efforts of Google’s local, mobile, and contextual discovery products including Google Maps, Google Maps for Mobile, Local Search, Google Earth, Street View, Latitude and more. At 35 years old, she is also the youngest member of Google’s executive operating committee. During her 11 years at Google, Marissa has led product management and design efforts for Google web search, images, news, books, products, toolbar, and iGoogle. She started at Google in 1999 as Google’s 20th employee and first woman engineer.
Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Michael is a Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Michael was previously Twitter’s Vice President of Engineering. Before that he led the application platform and services development for Palm’s next-generation Palm webOS platform. He has extensive experience in building technically challenging web-based applications and services. Before joining Palm, Michael was the general manager of .NET Online Services at Microsoft, where he led efforts to deliver a services platform that enabled the development of large-scale Internet-based services. Prior to Microsoft, he co-founded Passenger Inc., where he served as chairman and led the development of the companyâ€™s consumer marketing SAAS platform. Michael also founded Composite Software, creator of industry-leading enterprise information integration software, where he served as the CEO/CTO.
Partner, Sequoia Capital
Roelof Botha is a partner at Sequoia Capital focusing on financial services, cloud computing, bioinformatics, consumer Internet and mobile companies. Roelof sits on the boards of Aliph, Eventbrite, Mahalo, Meebo, Nimbula, Square, TokBox, Tumblr, Unity and Xoom. Roelof is a champion of consumer web plays and considers himself “just another consumer.” Roelof’s previous investments at Sequoia include Insider Pages and YouTube. Prior to joining Sequoia Capital in 2003, Roelof served as the Chief Financial Officer of PayPal during its sale to eBay. Earlier, he worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company. Roelof is a certified actuary (Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries). Roelof was listed as #23 on Forbes’ 2007 Midas List, which identifies venture capital’s most successful professionals.
Managing Partner, High Line Venture Partners
Shana Fisher is the Managing Partner of High Line Venture Partners, a NY Based venture fund focused on early stage investments. From December 2003 to June 2010, Ms. Fisher served as IACâ€™s Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Mergers and Acquisitions, and prior to that as the Senior Vice President of Business Operations for IAC. Previously, Ms. Fisher served as Vice President and Director, Media and Technology Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Finance for Allen & Company, LLC. In this capacity she led principle investments and advised publicly traded technology firms, private telecommunications firms and media companies. Prior to Allen & Company, LLC., Ms. Fisher was a program manager for the Microsoft Corporation. Ms. Fisher received her B.A. from Hampshire College with a triple major in Sculpture, Philosophy and Linguistics and attended the Master of Arts program at New York University’s ITP.
Managing Director, Menlo Ventures
Shervin Pishevar joined Menlo Ventures as a Managing Partner in 2011 after a successful career as an entrepreneur and angel investor. His focus is on consumer technology investments, specifically in the gaming, mobile and social web industry sectors. Shervin works closely with portfolio companies Uber, Shaker, Warby Parker and Mr. Number, and was the driving force behind Menlo’s investment in Tumblr. During his first few months at Menlo Ventures, Shervin helped launch the Menlo Talent Fund, a $20M seed fund that invests in innovative early stage deals within a 24 to 72 hour timeframe. Prior to joining Menlo Ventures, Shervin was the Chief Application Officer and General Manager at Mozilla Corporation. Shervin is a graduate of the University of California (BA, Interdisciplinary Studies Field Major), an author of several US patents, and has been published in JAMA and Neuroscience Letters.
Sarah Tavel, a vice president in the Menlo Park office, joined Bessemer in 2006. She focuses on the software and Internet sectors and has been closely involved in investments with consumer Internet company Pinterest; Microsoft SharePoint migration solutions provider Metalogix; leads-generator Yodle; learning-and-talent-management company Cornerstone OnDemand (IPO); e-commerce site Onestop; energy-management company CPower (acquired by Constellation Energy); SaaS online-marketing company Convertro; business-software company MindBody Solutions; and leading Russian e-commerce company KupiVIP. Sarah also works with Bessemer company eEye Digital Security and worked with Quidsi (operator of Diapers.com and Soap.com), acquired by Amazon.com, security software company Intego, and classifieds-provider OLX, acquired by Naspers.
Backend/ Infrastructure Software Engineer, Pinterest
Tracy is currently a backend/infrastructure software engineer at Pinterest. She was previously at Quora, where she joined as the second engineer. She holds an MS in Computer Science and a BS in Electrical Engineering, both from Stanford University.