Three times per year, TechCrunch activity converges in a flurry around the Disrupt conference for a few jam-packed days showing off the best and brightest in tech.
The mornings at Disrupt are filled with sit-down interviews with some of the tech industry’s biggest established minds as well as its rising stars. And every afternoon, the Startup Battlefield gives the audience a glimpse into the future of tech startups. Founders have six minutes to present what they’ve poured months or years of sweat, tears and ramen into creating in front of our audience and judges from the top VCs.
In many ways, the Battlefield competition is the true heart and soul of Disrupt. But who are the companies that present onstage? Where are they from and how did they come to participate in the Startup Battlefield? And what is it like to actually participate? To unveil your company for the first time onstage in front of thousands of people?
Today, we’re thrilled to have a deeper look at this with the release of the first episode of our Road to Disrupt series. The documentary show follows five teams from 2013’s Disrupt SF as they prepare and participate in the Startup Battlefield. You can see a highlight reel of the full upcoming season in the video embedded at the top of this page.
In the first episode, which is embedded below, we have Ossia, a Redwood City-based startup working to bring you Cota, their wireless power technology. Previously only uttered alongside such ambitious projects as time travel and anti-gravity belts, wireless power is one of those aspirational inventions that gives us faith that a Jetson-like existence is within reach.
A physicist fascinated by the non-linearity of wave theory and electromagnetic systems, founder Hatem Zeine saw an opportunity for an invention that could have massive implications on the way we use our electronics, potentially eliminating the idea of “charging” altogether. Before Disrupt SF 2013, Hatem and the Ossia team had been working in stealth for five years, completing the rigorous R&D efforts needed to invent and make the technology a commercial reality.
Now, having delivered commercial products to oil and gas companies to charge multitudes of sensors, Ossia is promising consumer versions as early as 2015. Recently, the company announced that it had increased the range of the device to a distance of 40 feet, as well as upped the number surfaces it can pass through. So not to worry — walls and closed doors are no match for Cota.
Last September, AOL video crews visited Ossia’s offices in Washington to get a close look at daily operations before traveling with them to San Francisco to Battlefield rehearsals. Not typically a documentary TV star, Hatem said that the experience was somewhat intense: “It felt like we were participating in a live event with the world watching every step.”
Tickets for Disrupt SF 2014 are currently available at early-bird pricing, which ends on July 15. And if you’re interested in sponsoring the event, reach out to our sponsorship team for more info.