TechCrunch’s Disrupt SF is the pride of TechCrunch’s event line-up, and last September the event reached new heights, including 5,000 attendees, 1,220 investor-founder meetings, 500 exhibiting startups, and millions tuning in online. Most importantly, early-stage founders and investors gave Disrupt great reviews on our reason for being: helping startups excel.
There’s just one thing Disrupt SF needs more of, and that’s floor space. Startups want more space to exhibit, founders want more workshops, TechCrunch editors want to deliver more programming, and everyone wants more room to conduct meetings and get work done.
On September 5-7, 2018, TechCrunch will deliver all that and more when Disrupt SF takes over San Francisco’s Moscone Center West, which brings three times more space and far more comfortable amenities than any previous Disrupt SF venues in San Francisco.
We’ll miss those iconic, funky spaces — the now-defunct Design Center concourse, Dogpatch’s Pier 70, and China Basin’s Pier 48 — where we’ve staged Disrupt in the past. They embodied the lean, no-frills vibe that defines early-stage startups and TechCrunch. On the other hand, we won’t miss dodgy HVAC, portable toilets and other charms of raw space.
What we are most looking forward to is a greatly improved Disrupt SF experience.
With more space, we’ll be able to go deeper — more exhibiting startups, workshops, programming and demos — on fast-emerging, new categories like AI, CRISPR, blockchain, mobility, crypto-currencies, AR/VR, autonomous vehicles and space and robotics, to name a few. And none of that will take away from more “traditional” startup categories like enterprise, e-commerce and the rest.
At the same time, we’ll have ample space for attendees’ business meetings, catching up on email, and just chilling. One of the most intriguing things we’ve seen at our events large and small is that they are bringing diverse groups of people together to have discussions and interact, and we want to give people more time and space for that. And for Disrupt partners eager for their own luncheons, receptions and dedicated lounges, consider yourself well-covered.
Going big also has another advantage: There’ll be more ticket price points than before, which will help to extend access to the show for everyone.
The new Disrupt SF will attract an audience twice the size of past years, but should still be much more intimate than many other conferences. We’re confident that attendees will have the most focused and satisfying experience of any Disrupt. Making that possible will be signature Disrupt features such as CrunchMatch, which connects well-matched founders and investors; offers sidebar programming, which brings speakers and attendees together for moderated discussions; and our Showcase stage, where exhibiting startups pitch their stories.
Mark September 5-7 on the calendar now for a groundbreaking new Disrupt SF at the Moscone Center. If you’d like to keep posted on show developments, sign up for updates here. We’ll be doing some fun giveaways in the coming weeks, so make sure you get notified first by signing up for our mailing list.
Speaking of big changes, here are two more worthy of note.
First, for the past eight years we’ve staged a Disrupt in New York City and we’re proud to have contributed to that terrific startup ecosystem. At the same time, we’re still a lean team that has to choose how we focus all of our programming energies carefully. Next year, we’re going to take a stab at a single, truly epic Disrupt on our slab between the Pacific and the Atlantic. TechCrunch loves New York, which makes this a really tough one, but we will not stage a Disrupt NY in 2018. Needless to say, we’ll welcome New Yorkers with open arms to San Francisco in September.
On December 4-5th TechCrunch Disrupt will be in Berlin, and it’s shaping up to be fantastic. And yes, we will still produce a Disrupt in Europe next year. Stay tuned for more information on that one.
Second, the Crunchies are officially retiring. Yes, the not-so-serious awards show that TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington launched 10 years ago will not return in 2018. That may come as a surprise to Crunchies fans, and it’s a little sad for us too, but the Crunchies came to life at a time when the San Francisco startup community needed lots of pats on the back and excuses to socialize — it was a fun event that brought the scene together. These days, startups are global news, and to be honest it’s awkward to try to answer unanswerable questions — What is the best startup? Who is the best VC?
We’re happy to consign the Crunchies to TechCrunch’s first wonderful decade and to the realm of future trivia quiz questions. What won the best new gadget for 2007 at the first Crunchies? Answer: Apple’s iPhone. Enough said. If you’re the proud recipient of a past Crunchie Monkey, hold onto it because it just became part of a finite supply and thus infinitely valuable, you know, like bitcoin.
And don’t cross us off your calendar in February just yet. TechCrunch will still host a fun, brand-new community event in San Francisco to be announced soon.
Last but far from least, there are the Startup Battlefields, which in recent years we’ve taken on the road with the NFL at Stanford, and to Nairobi with Facebook and Sydney (this Nov. 16) with Elevacao. Extending the Battlefield beyond Disrupt has been great for the startup scene in special categories and far-flung geographies. Expect to see a lot more in 2018. And there are also TechCrunch Sessions, single-day deep dives on hot topics, like Justice and Robotics, which we also launched last year. Look for new TC Sessions in 2018.