Introducing the Startup Battlefield Scholarship Fund

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TechCrunch is excited to formally announce a new addition to our competition — the Startup Battlefield Scholarship Fund.

The Battlefield is TechCrunch’s premier startup competition. The Battlefield takes place several times a year, where each time more than 20 new companies will have the opportunity to present their product live onstage.

While participation in the Battlefield has always been entirely free for participating companies, we recognize that the cost to participate extends beyond just tickets, and often includes airfare, cab rides and housing for almost a week in some of the most expensive markets in the world: SF, NYC and London.

What’s more, research has shown that underrepresented founders have a hard time raising early capital, meaning that these costs often make it difficult for those teams to participate.

For many years, TechCrunch itself was a startup struggling to survive. The business grew in large part because of early-stage founders trusting us with their stories. Many startups continue to do so today. We piloted the Startup Battlefield Scholarship Fund at Disrupt SF and had five companies benefit* from funding to offset their costs for participation. Based on feedback and our experience with the batch, we’re expanding the Scholarship Fund to Disrupt London 2016.

For the time being, the Scholarship will work as follows.

Teams will apply for the Startup Battlefield. There will be no information gathered on the potential scholarship needs of applicants. Selections for the Battlefield will proceed as usual.

Once the teams are selected, founders will be sent a short form asking them to outline their financial needs. The only hard criteria for the scholarship is that the team must have raised less than US$1 million.

Preference will be given to teams based outside the host city. Teams are also encouraged to submit proposals for costs outside of travel, including, but not limited to, airfare, childcare and transport of demo products.

Teams will need to front the money as TechCrunch’s financial processing will take longer than the few weeks’ notice startups have that they are selected for the program. For the time being, we expect most grants to offset rather than completely cover costs. For more information about the scholarship, head here.

Did we mention that applications are now open for the Startup Battlefield at Disrupt London this December 5-6th? Apply by Oct 5th!