We’re in the less-than-30-day countdown to TechCrunch Disrupt 202 and the show’s crown jewel, the Startup Battlefield competition. You do not want to miss the global launching pad of some of tech’s most successful companies, including Cloudflare, Dropbox, Fitbit, Mint and Yammer. More than 900 Startup Battlefield alumni companies have generated over 121 exits and more than $9.7 billion in funding raised.
We’re fortunate to have world-class VCs and founders signed on to judge the competition, and here’s the latest group that our 20 contenders will have to impress if they want to bring home the $100,000 equity-free prize.
Round six: Startup Battlefield judges at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023
Tess Hatch, partner, Bessemer Venture Partners
Tess Hatch fosters entrepreneurship of frontier technology, specifically the commercialization of space, drones, autonomous vehicles and the future of agriculture and food technology. She wants to invest in technology and people who believe as strongly as she does that frontier technology will develop solutions for societal problems.
Hatch earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics engineering from Stanford. She went on to work for Boeing and then SpaceX ,where she worked with the government on integrating its payloads with the Falcon 9 rocket.
She remains close to her alma mater by co-teaching a class at Stanford for professors interested in commercializing their research and serving on the board of advisers for the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. She also founded the Stanford Aero/Astro Alumni Association. Hatch was recently named Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Venture Capital.
Steve Jang, founder and managing partner, Kindred Ventures
Steve Jang’s Kindred Ventures — a seed-stage $550 million AUM venture capital fund based in San Francisco — has backed Coinbase, Humane, Tonal, Postmates, Color Health, dYdX, Zora and more than 80 other startups.
Jang served as an early adviser and angel investor with Uber and was previously a software entrepreneur and the co-founder of several companies in the consumer internet space. In 2023, he was featured in the Forbes’ Midas List of Top Venture Capital Investors.
Marissa Mayer, co-founder and CEO, Sunshine
Marissa Mayer’s startup, Sunshine, builds smart, everyday apps to help manage your relationships and free up your time. Sunshine Smart Contacts and Sunshine Birthdays are available now in the App Store.
Previously, Mayer was CEO of Yahoo, where she led a transformation of the company — rejuvenating its culture, growing to more than 1 billion users worldwide and reinventing Yahoo’s business. Mayer also spent 13 years at Google as an early employee and the first woman engineer.
Mayer led product management for Google Search, Google Maps, Google News and other consumer products for more than a decade. She has degrees from Stanford in symbolic systems and computer science with a focus on artificial intelligence.
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