It’s been a whirlwind couple of days here in New York, as our expert judges watched earnest startups pitch their hearts out onstage at the third annual TechCrunch Disrupt NY. Thirty startups presented in the first two days, to be whittled down to six after much judge deliberation and founder bated breath: gTar, OpenGarden, UberConference, Ark, Babelverse and Sunglass.
Those six had to come back today to present again, this time in front of super-hardcore finals judges Fred Wilson, Roelof Botha, Marissa Mayer, Mike Arrington, Chris Dixon, Eric Eldon and Chi-Hua Chien, who dug deep into everything from customer acquisition strategy and revenue models to actual acquisition strategy in the cases of both UberConference and Ark.
Then the judges retired for an hour and a half of deliberation, and as always, had a hard time deciding on a winner because each of the final six had a compelling draw. We finally got down to two, gTar and UberConference, and, after more deliberation, decided that this year’s winner of TechCrunch Disrupt NYC is UberConference, a service that hopes to change the way you and I make conference calls by setting up the call around a visual interface.
gTar, a guitar app that attached to an actual hardware guitar to help you learn how to play, put on an impressive showing and is the official runner-up. But UberConference, founded by Google Voice creator Craig Walker, eliminates unwieldly PINs and the confusion surrounding who is who on a call by providing a slickly designed dashboard for conference calling. If you don’t think this is a problem, just ask our new COO Ned Desmond how he felt when we confused him for someone else on an internal TechCrunch call.
Thank you to partners Sequoia Captial, AT&T, Credit Suisse, Getaround, Google, Hatch, Outbid, Quotidian Ventures, About.me, AllStateBanners.com, CityGrid, Domain.com, .ME, IBM, Launchpad Ignition, Mobli, popchips, Smith & Keats Music, OpenTok from TokBox, twake, Udemy, Whit.li, Caraquri, Freshdesk, Connect by Getty Images, Mashery, ooVoo, Sedan Magic, Skookum Digital Works, SponsorHub, Thefuture.fm, Tremendous Theming by Themendous, TouchTunes, Worry Free Labs and Rent The Runway, Gilt and Warby Parker for providing wardrobe.
And if you want to learn how to pitch, check out UberConference’s winning presentation: