Update: This batch is sold out. We’ll release more soon.
The mobile Web has been a long time coming. But it is finally within our grasp. Not a compromised mobile Web controlled by your cell phone carrier, but the full and complete Web in your pocket. It took the success of the iPhone and the promise of Google’s Android mobile operating system to open people’s eyes to the possibilities. And now developers, startup CEOs, VCs, and established Web companies alike are all flocking to the new mobile platforms that are popping up. Is the mobile Web real this time? And who is best positioned to win the major platform shift ahead of us?
To try to answer these questions, I will be hosting a roundtable debate called Mobile Web Wars: Which Platform Will Win? It will take place on July 25 at the Quadras Conference Center in Menlo Park, California, which holds about 150 people. The discussion also will be covered on TechCrunch, and we are working on broadcasting it live via Web video so that everyone who wants can watch and participate. (More details on that soon).
We are releasing 50 tickets to the Roundtable, which will begin at 3:00 p.m. and end at 5:00 p.m., just before our 3rd annual August Capital MeetUp. Tickets for the Roundtable are available at EventBrite, and the cost to attend is $50 per person. A ticket to the Roundtable also guarantees your admission to the August Capital MeetUp later that evening. We will donate 100% of the ticket proceeds to Malaria No More, an inclusive, grassroots movement to control malaria, a preventable and treatable disease that kills more than one million people each year.
The Roundtable will explore the new business opportunities presented by the mobile Web—a mobile Web that is not handicapped by the device and network limitations most of us still have to deal with today. While the iPhone and Android are feature-rich, more established platforms such as Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry aren’t standing still. A platform war is brewing. And startups with limited resources will have to pick sides.
They will also have to decide whether to charge for downloads of their mobile apps or try to gain massive adoption the Web 2.0 way—by giving everything away for free and hoping to make money on the ads. And, more importantly, they will have to try to come up with the killer mobile Web app. Is it a widget download, or is the killer mobile Web app the browser?
To help navigate through these choices, I am pleased to announce some of the people who have graciously agreed to participate in the Roundtable so far. They include: Sam Altman (CEO of mobile social network Loopt); Marc Davis (chief scientist of Yahoo’s mobile group); Omar Hamoui (CEO of mobile ad network AdMob); Joe Hewitt (one of the original developers behind Firefox, he is now at Facebook and single-handedly created its iPhone application); and Richard Wong (a partner at Accel who previously was a senior exec at Openwave). And more will be added soon.
We are also seeking a few sponsors to help underwrite the cost of the Roundtable. Sponsors will receive tickets to the Roundtable, the August Capital MeetUp and prominent branding as hosts of our Roundtable discussion. We also have demo tables and other sponsorship opportunities specifically for the August Capital MeetUp. If you are interested in sponsorships, please contact Jeanne Logozzo or Heather Harde. If you are a blogger or member of the press wanting to cover the event, please contact Sarah Ross.
Attendee identification will be checked at the door. Due to the strong demand for tickets, we regret tickets are not transferable and not refundable. If you use your name to purchase multiple tickets, your guests must arrive with you to check in at the door.