One of the best ways startup founders can hone their pitch until it’s sharp enough to impress VCs — and bring home the bacon — is by watching other founders pitch to investors. And there’s no better place to do that than by watching the Startup Battlefield competition at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023.
Be in the room where it all goes down: Buy a Disrupt pass before August 11, and you’ll save up to $600.
Twenty contenders will pitch to panels of top-tier VCs, followed by an intense Q&A. That’s where you’ll gain invaluable insight into how VCs think, what they look for in a founder and what motivates them to invite you to that all-important first meeting.
Meet three more judges for Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023
Mamoon Hamid, partner, Kleiner Perkins
Mamoon Hamid has been an early investor in, and served on the boards of, some of the most innovative software companies of recent times, including Box, Figma, Intercom, Netskope, Slack and Yammer (acquired by Microsoft). Prior to joining Kleiner Perkins, Hamid was a co-founder of Social Capital and, prior to that he was a partner at U.S. Venture Partners. He started his Silicon Valley career at Xilinx, where he held various engineering and business roles.
Hamid also serves as a chairman of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP), which uses strategic legal advocacy to defend constitutional rights and values. He was born in Pakistan and spent most of his childhood in Germany. Hamid moved to the United States to attend Purdue University, where he graduated with a BS in electrical engineering. He also has an MS from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Sara Ittelson, Partner, Accel
Sara Ittelson joined Accel in 2022 and focuses on early-stage consumer and enterprise companies. Prior to joining Accel, she spent several years at Faire as head of strategic partnerships. During her tenure, she helped the company go from a $535 million valuation to its most recent mark of $12.4 billion.
Before Faire, Ittelson spent four years at Uber on the global business development team, working first on the ride-share business and then on Uber Eats. Following a passion for education, she began her operator career in edtech. Ittelson was also an angel investor, investing in and advising early-stage companies in industries such as e-commerce, SaaS, SMB tech and enterprise tools.
Originally from Chico, California, Ittelson graduated from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Northwestern University.
Surbhi Sarna, group partner, Y Combinator
Before joining YC, Surbhi Sarna was the founder and former CEO of nVision Medical, which developed a first-in-kind microcatheter for detecting ovarian cancer. After raising $17 million in venture funding, completing three clinical trials and obtaining two first-in-class FDA approvals, nVision was acquired by Boston Scientific for $275 million, more than 15x money-in.
Sarna stayed at Boston Scientific for two years, running the 150+ person commercial organization in preparation for launch. She sits on both private and public company boards.
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