TechCrunch Disrupt is the world’s leading authority in debuting revolutionary startups, introducing game-changing technologies and discussing what’s top of mind for the tech industry’s key innovators. Disrupt gathers the best and brightest entrepreneurs, investors, hackers, and tech fans for on-stage interviews, the Startup Battlefield competition, a 24-hour Hackathon, Startup Alley, Hardware Alley, and After Parties.
Startup Battlefield brings the world's top early stage startups together on one stage to compete for the coveted Disrupt Cup, a $50,000 prize, and the attention of media and investors. The judges include TechCrunch editors as well as top VCs and entrepreneurs, and past winners include names like Dropbox, Mint, Yammer, Zenefits, and many more. Participation is free and open.
Liquidity Nanotech Corporation
Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen is the Founder and President of the Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation (LAAF), a private operating foundation with a mission to inspire, educate and empower people to give in a way that matters more. At its core, LAAF is a philanthropy education organization — creating and providing free, high-quality, online resources and programs to help all givers, no matter where they are, make higher impact gifts with whatever they have to give. Founding initiatives include: ProjectU, a portfolio of free educational resources providing all that any educator needs to teach strategic philanthropy courses; Giving 2.0 Chapter Network, a national network of college clubs dedicated to learning about and practicing strategic giving; and, in Fall 2014, a Stanford University MOOC (massive open online course) on the Coursera platform to teach givers globally how to strategically invest time, money and expertise.
Laura created and has taught Stanford Graduate School of Business’ (Stanford GSB) first course on Strategic Philanthropy since 2000 and has developed and teaches Stanford University’s first courses on strategic philanthropy; philanthropic entrepreneurship and social innovation; applying design thinking to create social impact; collaborative grantmaking; as well as technology’s disruption of the social sector. Laura is the Founder and Board Chairman of Stanford PACS (Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society), a global research center committed to exploring ideas to create social change and publisher of the award-winning Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR).
Laura is the Founder, Chairman Emeritus and former Chairman (1998-2008) of SV2 (Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund), a venture philanthropy fund that leverages its partners’ financial, intellectual and human capital to make a measurable impact in the Silicon Valley community. SV2 has built a portfolio of 41 grantees, 500+ investors, and it won the 2008 Silicon Valley Association of Fundraising Professionals Philanthropic Organization of the Year.
Her New York Times bestselling and award-winning book, Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World (Wiley/Jossey-Bass, 2011), empowers individuals of all backgrounds, ages and passions to make their giving matter more. Laura is also a contributing author to Worth Magazine, the Huffington Post, SSIR and the book, Local Mission, Global Vision. Laura has been profiled in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Barrons, Forbes and Vogue. She has been featured on Charlie Rose, CNN with Erin Burnett, MSNBC with Dylan Ratigan and CNBC Power Lunch.
Laura is Co-founder and President of the Marc and Laura Andreessen Foundation. She is director of the Arrillaga Foundation and a board member of Sand Hill Foundation and Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR). She is a former trustee of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Hoover Institution, Castilleja School, Menlo School, Eastside Preparatory School, San Francisco Art Institute and Children’s Health Council.
Laura holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, as well as an MA in Education, BA and MA in Art History all from Stanford University. In total, Laura holds five degrees from Stanford including Bing Nursery School where she graduated with honors by consuming vast quantities of Play-Doh under the crafts table.
In addition to numerous California philanthropy awards, Laura was a 2005 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute; was awarded the 2005 President’s Volunteer Service Award from the Points of Light Foundation; was honored with the World Affairs Council’s Global Philanthropy Forum 2011 Global Citizen Award, as well as the 2014 Commonwealth Club Distinguished Citizen Award. Laura lives with her husband, technology entrepreneur and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, near Stanford University, and together they enjoy reading, art, writing, movies, athletics, sleeping, not sleeping and laughing as much as possible.
Mark Cuban is the owner of the Mavericks and the owner and chairman of HDNet, a high- definition national television network. Prior to his purchase of the Mavericks in January 2000, Cuban co-founded Broadcast.com, a provider of multimedia and streaming on the Internet.
He was also a co-founder of MicroSolutions, a renowned national systems integrator. In addition, he worked at Mellon bank.
Cuban completed his bachelors degree at the University of Pittsburgh and Indiana University.
Currently he is engaged in several other projects such as purchasing the Landmarks Theatre chain and investing in Lions Gate Entertainment. Cuban currently lives in Dallas, Texas.
John Doerr is a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Since joining KPCB in 1980, John and his partners have backed some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, including Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt of Google; Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com, Scott Cook and Bill Campbell of Intuit; and Mark Pincus of Zynga. John’s passion is helping entrepreneurs create the Next Big Thing in mobile and social networks, greentech innovation, education and economic development.
Ventures sponsored by John have created more than 200,000 new jobs.John serves on boards in the areas of Internet technologies and greentech, including Amyris, Bloom Energy, Coursera, Essence Healthcare, Flipboard, FloDesign Wind Turbines, Google, iControl, mCube, Quantumscape, Renmatix, Upthere and Zynga. He also led KPCB's investment in Twitter.
John’s technology career began in 1974 at Intel, just as the chipmaker was inventing the groundbreaking 8080 microprocessor. During his Intel years, he held roles in engineering, marketing, management and sales. John also learned about operating excellence from Intel co-founder Andy Grove — insight that he continues to share with entrepreneurs today.He later founded Silicon Compilers, a VLSI CAD software company, and co-founded @Home, the nationwide broadband cable Internet service.
Outside of KPCB, John supports entrepreneurs focused on the environment, public education and alleviating global poverty. These include NewSchools.org, TechNet.org, the Climate Reality Project and ONE.org.John earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Rice University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He also holds several patents for computer memory devices.John is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
Travis Kalanick is a co-founder and the CEO of [Uber Technologies Inc.](https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/uber).
Travis Kalanick is an entrepreneur in the areas of consumer internet, transportation, and enterprise content delivery. His most recent company, Uber, an on-demand black car service, seeks to be “Everyone’s Private Driver” by bringing disruptive technology and business innovation to urban transportation challenges.
Prior to Uber, Travis founded [Red Swoosh](https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/red-swoosh), an enterprise content delivery company that he sold to Akamai Technologies in 2007. Prior companies include Scour, the world's first peer-to-peer search engine where Kalanick also attained the dubious distinction of having been sued for $250 billion. In addition, Kalanick has been an active angel investor.
Kalanickis lived in Northridge, California where he graduated from Granada Hills High School and later enrolled in college at the [University of California, Los Angeles](https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/university-of-california-los-angeles) to study computer engineering.
Aileen has many years of experience helping startups build products customers love, and helping companies scale, both as an investor and an operator.She is the founder of Cowboy Ventures, a seed-stage focused fund. Cowboy Ventures seeks to back exceptional founders who are building technology products that re-imagine work and personal life in large and growing markets - we call it Life 2.0. Cowboy-backed companies include August, Area 1 Security, DocSend, Dollar Shave Club, Lending Home, Product Hunt, Rise, Styleseat and True & Co.
Prior to Cowboy, Aileen joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers in 1999 where she was a Senior Partner and is now a Strategic Advisor. At KPCB she worked hands-on with a range of consumer, enterprise, media and greentech companies including Bloom Energy, Blue Nile, Good Technology, One Kings Lane, Rent the Runway, Tellme, and Zazzle.
During that time she was also founding CEO of RMG Networks, the leading digital out-of-home media network. She previously worked in various operating roles at Gap Inc. and as an analyst at Morgan Stanley.Aileen enjoys thinking about and writing about tech insights, including “Welcome to the Unicorn Club”, “Why Women Rule the Internet”, “Social Proof is the New Marketing” and “Why Your Next Board Member Should be a Woman”.
She has degrees from MIT, Harvard and Millburn High School. Aileen is also mom to 3 kids, chickens, fish, and a dog; and wife to the co-founder/CTO of a series-A startup, Renovo Motors.
Ruchi Sanghvi was the VP of Operations at Dropbox. Prior to joining Dropbox, Sanghvi served as the co-founder and CEO of Cove, a collaboration, coordination and communication product for organizations and communities. Sanghvi holds the distinction of being the first female engineer at Facebook and was instrumental in implementing the first versions of key features such as News Feed. She then led product management and strategy for Facebook Platform and Facebook Connect. She was also responsible for core product areas such as privacy and user engagement.
Sanghvi is also the recipient of the prestigious TechFellow award for engineer leadership and was interviewed by Huffington Post regarding the challenges of being a female engineer.She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
Adi Tatarko is the CEO and co-founder of Houzz, a platform for home remodeling, bringing together both professionals and homeowners via mobile, local and social tools.
Adi and her husband and cofounder, Alon Cohen, started Houzz out of challenges that they faced during their own remodeling process. Tired of cutting pages out of magazines for their inspiration file and limited by word of mouth recommendations for professionals to help them with the renovation process, they decided to create an online photo database and gathering place for people in the process of building, remodeling and decorating.
Today, millions of homeowners and more than 250,000 architects, designers, contractors and other remodeling professionals are connecting through Houzz.com and its mobile apps every month, sharing their photos, advice and product recommendations.
Earlier in her career, Tatarko founded a software company which developed products and services for the high tech industry. She worked in NYC before moving to Palo Alto, where she worked in an investment firm.
Adi lives with her husband and two boys. In her spare time, she still enjoys looking at inspiring home design and renovating the rest of her own house one room at a time.
Peter Thiel is a technology entrepreneur and investor.He first gained attention for innovations in banking and startup finance. Today he is known as the mentor of the PayPal mafia of entrepreneurs, as well as for his warnings of a coming technology deficit with severe economic consequences. He works to accelerate innovation to prevent such a crisis by identifying and funding promising technology ideas and by guiding successful companies to scale and dominate their industries.
In 1998,Thiel made e-commerce easier, faster, and more secure by co-founding and leading PayPal, which now has more than 128 million active financial accounts. In 2002, he sold PayPal to eBay and founded a global macro fund, Clarium.In 2004, he co-founded Palantir Technologies, which offers platforms for finance companies and intelligence, defense, and law enforcement communities to integrate, visualize, and analyze the world’s information.
In the same year, he made the first outside investment in Facebook, a social networking hub that now has more than a billion million active members. He serves on its board.
Building on his personal success as a venture capital investor, Thiel co-founded and manages Founders Fund, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital fund that has pioneered new methods of venture financing that benefit founders. Through Founders Fund, as well as through his private investing, he has helped the next generation of tech companies, such as SpaceX, LinkedIn, Yelp, RoboteX, and Spotify.
And in 2012 he co-founded Mithril Capital Management, an international technology investment fund.Thiel established and funds the Thiel Foundation, which promotes freedom in all its forms. He sponsors the Committee to Protect Journalists, The Seasteading Institute, and the Human Rights Foundation. He funds the artificial intelligence research of theMachine Intelligence Research Institute.
He also aids work against violence through theOslo Freedom Forum and through the research of philosopher René Girard, which is extended and promulgated by Imitatio. He also promotes better health by funding the longevity research of Dr. Cynthia Kenyon and the SENS Research Foundation.Thiel created the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship, which nurtures the tech visionaries of tomorrow. And he formed Breakout Labs to help independent scientists, engineers, and inventors advance their most radical ideas.
Thiel earned a B.A. in philosophy from Stanford University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he occasionally teaches on globalization and technology and serves on the board of overseers of the Hoover Institution.
His articles have appeared in Policy Review and the Wall Street Journal. He co-produced the film Thank You for Smoking, was rated a master by the United States Chess Federation, and received the Innovation Award from the Economist in 2010. He lives in San Francisco.
While the eight-person staff of GoPro was enjoying the success of their first HD HERO camera in 2009, founder and CEO Nick Woodman realized one thing: to support his vision, he was going to need a bigger staff. But before Woodman could think bigger, he had to start out small.
After receiving a degree in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego, Woodman founded an online promotions company, Fun Bug. In 2001, Woodman sold Fun Bug and took off surfing and traveling the world. The decision inspired more than the personal – Woodman’s passion for surfing sparked the idea to create the now-popular wearable and gear mountable camera and in 2002, Woodman founded GoPro. After years of research and planning, the company released its first product, the GoPro HERO, a 35mm film-based camera that was worn on the wrist.
Made up of some of Woodman’s friends and family members, the early GoPro team established the company as a true innovator by continually iterating on the product, moving from a film-based camera to a digital still and video camera. A lifetime extreme sports enthusiast, Woodman was learning how to race cars when he was compelled to move the camera from his wrist to the top of his car. This simple idea led to an array of camera mounting devices – for everything from helmets to surfboards, and even dog collars.
Mark Zuckerberg is the founder and CEO of Facebook, which he started in his college dorm room in 2004 with roomates Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes and from New York.
Zuckerberg is responsible for setting the overall direction and product strategy for the company. He leads the design of Facebook's service and development of its core technology and infrastructure. Mark studied computer science at Harvard University before moving the company to Palo Alto, California.
Earlier in life, Zuckerberg developed a music recommendation system called Synapse and a peer-to-peer client called Wirehog. However, he abandoned both to pursue new projects.
Zuckerberg attended Harvard University and studied computer science before founding Facebook.
While at Harvard, Zuckerberg created Facemash, a website that compared students' dorm photos side-by-side in a fashion similar to HOT or NOT. Harvard administration was not amused, and Zuckerberg faced subsequent disciplinary action. Less than three months later, he launched Facebook.
In September 2010, Zuckerberg donated $100 million to the Newark Public School System to help renovate and revamp the system.
Zuckerberg won the 2007 Crunchie Award for 'Best Startup CEO.' He was the Time Magazine 2010 Person Of The Year. He also won the 2012 Crunchie Award for CEO of the year.
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