Hardware is king. VCs are investing, hackers are taking notice, and a subculture of “artisanal” design, prototyping, and manufacturing has grown almost overnight. And now we’re looking for some of the best hardware startups in the world to compete in something completely new and completely cool: The TechCrunch Hardware Battlefield.
What is it? It’s a competition to pick the best hardware product. The winner gets $50,000 and, more important, notoriety and access to a group of early adopters who love cool new gear. Like our Disrupt Battlefield we will run the contest in front of a pack of hand-picked judges who will award the prize live on our site. The best thing? The Hardware Battlefield is taking place at CES 2014 in Las Vegas but is open to all comers and you don’t need a conference badge to enter, attend the battlefield events, or simply spectate. Our goal is to find the diamond in the CE rough. We don’t care about Samsung, Sony, and Philips – we care about you.
Entry is free and is open to all hardware companies who are planning to launch (crowdfund or ship) product in a two week window before or after January 10. You can still be in prototyping stage but you must have a working, usable product by January 7 and be ready to offer pre-orders on that day or soon thereafter. We recommend launching your crowdsourcing page during the event, however, as it will have maximum impact.
We will have more detail shortly but for now we invite you to submit your product now. The rules are simple:
1. You must launch your product or crowdfunding campaign before January 7.
2. You must be a single proprietor or small company.
3. This must not be a feature update to an existing product.
4. You must be able to attend rehearsals and sessions in Las Vegas prior to CES and during the show.
5. You must launch first with TechCrunch and approach other media after you appear on our stage.
We will pick 15 entrants on October 30 and announce the location, time, and judges closer to the event. The grand prize winner will get $50,000 to go towards research, development, or whatever else your team needs to get by. All projects will be kept confidential until January 7.
We are very excited about this new event and we want to make it the best one ever. Remember to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to sponsor the festivities and if you have any questions email email@example.com. We look forward to seeing what you’re working and we hope to see you in Vegas!