Announcing the Early Stage Pitch-Off judges

TechCrunch Early Stage Part Two is set to take place July 8th and 9th. You can still shoot your shot to pitch to an amazing panel of judges and thousands of TC viewers. TechCrunch editors will select 10 founders from around the world to pitch on stage July 9th. Apply here.

Startups will have five minutes to pitch their companies, business models and innovative ideas — followed by a Q&A with our superb panel of judges. The winner will get a feature article on, one-year free subscription to Extra Crunch and a complimentary Founder Pass to TechCrunch Disrupt this fall.

TechCrunch Early Stage Part Two is set to be a game-changer for founders looking to take their startups to the next level. At this two-day virtual event, early-stage founders can take part in highly interactive group sessions with top investors and ecosystem experts, in fields ranging from fundraising and marketplace positioning, to growth marketing and content development.

Without further ado, here are your judges for the Early Stage Pitch-Off:

Ben Sun, Primary Venture Partners

Image Credits: Primary Venture Partners

Ben is a co-founder and general partner at Primary Venture Partners. He has been a serial entrepreneur and investor as a co-founder of LaunchTime, an incubator and investor in early-stage tech startups and as a co-founder of Community Connect, which was one of the first social networking companies. Ben focuses his investing activities on primarily consumer-facing companies. His previous investments include Coupang,, MakeSpace, Ollie, Mirror, Slice, Bounce Exchange, Selfmade, Shoptalk and Penrose Hill. Ben has been active in the NYC tech community for almost 20 years. Prior to working as an entrepreneur and investor, Ben worked at Merrill Lynch in the Technology Investment Banking Group. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Economics.

Leah Solivan, Fuel Capital

Image Credits: Leah Solivan

Leah Solivan is general partner at Fuel Capital, where she invests in early-stage companies across consumer technology, hardware, marketplaces and retail. She’s passionate about supporting teams who are taking on world-changing ideas. Leah relates so well to founders because she is one herself. She created one of the most widely recognized consumer brands of the past decade with TaskRabbit. As TaskRabbit’s CEO for eight years, Leah scaled the company to 44 cities and raised more than $50 million. In 2016, Leah transitioned into the role of executive chairwoman and in 2017, TaskRabbit was acquired by IKEA.


Shardul Shah, Index Ventures

Image Credits: Index Ventures

Shardul joined Index in 2008. He focuses on security, cloud infrastructure and enterprise software investments. He is a director of Attack IQ, Brightback, Castle Intelligence, Datadog (Nasdaq:DDOG), Expel, Gatsby and Shardul was previously a director of Adallom (Microsoft), SourceClear (CA Technologies), Koality (Docker), Lacoon (Check Point), Base (Zendesk) and an investor in Duo Security (Cisco). After graduating from the University of Chicago, Shardul worked with Summit Partners where he focused on healthcare and internet technologies.