Sam O'Keefe

Sam O’Keefe is currently the Director of Special Projects at TechCrunch. In this capacity, she manages the Startup Battlefield, the preeminent startup competition for seed stage companies. Sam recruits, selects and coaches startups to launch on-stage at TechCrunch events in San Francisco, New York, London and Las Vegas. Sam also oversees Include, TechCrunch’s diversity program, leading efforts on reporting internal diversity numbers and creating programs such as a monthly office hour series connecting underrepresented founders with top venture capitalists.

Previously, Sam was a founder at MicroEval, an enterprise software startup, and participated in Y-Combinator(S12).

Sam serves on the Board of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she received both her BS and MS degrees. She also is a Global Shaper, an initiative of the World Economic Forum.

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Featured Picks from Sam O'Keefe


Latest from Sam O'Keefe

  • ReplyBuy brings an AI concierge to the sports and entertainment market

    ReplyBuy brings an AI concierge to the sports and entertainment market

    Whether you’re a high school student or an NFL team owner, everybody texts. ReplyBuy, a finalist in the 1st and Future competition, wants to use the text message to get you tickets for sporting events. 1st and Future is a sports-centric startup competition produced as a joint effort between the NFL, Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and TechCrunch. The current version… Read More

  • Former Battlefield finalist Photomath’s app can now solve your handwritten math problems

    Former Battlefield finalist Photomath’s app can now solve your handwritten math problems

    Learning any new subject can be challenging — for many students, that subject is math. Fortunately, Photomath is here to help. Photomath, a finalist in the Startup Battlefield at Disrupt Europe 2014, is an app that solves complex math problems using your smartphone’s camera. Since Disrupt, Photomath founder and CEO Damir Sabol tells TechCrunch that the app has been downloaded over… Read More

  • Robo Wunderkind raises $500k and releases new apps for its robot that anyone can build

    Robo Wunderkind raises $500k and releases new apps for its robot that anyone can build

    When we last saw Robo Wunderkind, the company was on stage as part of the Startup Battlefield competition at Disrupt SF 2015. This week it is announcing that it has closed an additional $500,000 in funding. The round was led by Arkley VC, angel investor Juergen Habichler and the Austrian Federal Promotional Bank (AWS) also participated. Read More

  • Underrepresented founders: apply now for Include Office Hours with USV

    Underrepresented founders: apply now for Include Office Hours with USV

    TechCrunch Include Office Hours are happening in NYC on September 27! Albert Wenger and Andy Weissman of Union Square Ventures will join TechCrunch to provide valuable advice and feedback to startups. Launched in 2014, Include is TechCrunch’s diversity program, aimed at facilitating opportunities for underrepresented groups in tech to take their startups to the next level. The Office… Read More

  • Apply now to the Startup Battlefield at Disrupt London

    Apply now to the Startup Battlefield at Disrupt London

    Applications are now open for the Startup Battlefield at Disrupt London this December 5-6th. Apply now! The Battlefield is TechCrunch’s premiere startup competition. Three times a year, the Battlefield takes place at TechCrunch Disrupt, where 20-something new companies will have the opportunity to present their product live onstage. They then face questions from our expert judging… Read More

  • Announcing The Startup Battlefield Of Disrupt SF 2016

    Announcing The Startup Battlefield Of Disrupt SF 2016

    TechCrunch is pleased to announce the 23 startups selected to participate in the Disrupt SF 2016 Startup Battlefield. Over the next three days, these companies will compete on tech’s biggest stage for $50,000 and the coveted Disrupt Cup. The Battlefield represents the crème de la crème; the startups onstage represent just over 2.5 percent of those that applied. Startup Battlefield… Read More

  • Paranoid Fan wants to make sure you’re ready for football this season

    Paranoid Fan wants to make sure you’re ready for football this season

    The 2016 National Football League season is set to kick off tonight. Thousands of fans will be navigating parking, food and bathroom lines, finding their seats and attempting to meet up with friends. It’s not uncommon for fans to spend 30+ minutes not watching the game and instead wandering around the stadium in search of a reasonable beer line. Enter Paranoid Fan. The TechCrunch 1st… Read More

  • Retail POS service Green Bits wants to revolutionize the budding marijuana industry

    Retail POS service Green Bits wants to revolutionize the budding marijuana industry

    With the sale of marijuana either for recreational or medicinal purposes becoming legal in more and more states, new and existing retailers are struggling to find ways to keep track of inventory while remaining compliant with various state and federal laws. Former Outright co-founders, a cloud-based financial management application, are tackling this problem with their next venture, Green Bits. Read More

  • Hardware Battlefield Alum Health2Sync raises $3 million Series A round

    Hardware Battlefield Alum Health2Sync raises $3 million Series A round

    When it comes to keeping track of diabetes, the manual process can be a bit of a pain. Healthtech startup Health2Sync, which launched at the Hardware Battlefield at CES 2014, wants to change all that with a cheap accessory that connects to most standard glucose meters and syncs your blood glucose levels straight to your phone. The company announced today it has secured a $3 million Series A… Read More

  • Female founders, apply now for Include Office Hours with Greylock

    Female founders, apply now for Include Office Hours with Greylock

    It’s happening! On Friday, September 9th from 4-6 p.m, Greylock Partners will join TechCrunch in hosting Include Office Hours. Apply now. Unlike previous sessions, the upcoming office hours are solely focused on teams with at least one female founder. To sweeten the deal, teams that are selected for office hours will also be invited to an exclusive Women in Tech(Crunch) event, also… Read More

  • Apply now for Include Office Hours with General Catalyst and CrunchFund!

    Apply now for Include Office Hours with General Catalyst and CrunchFund!

    TechCrunch Include Office Hours are happening on August 31st! Adam Valkin, Spencer Lazar and Peter Boyce from General Catalyst in NYC, along with Pat Gallagher and Susan Hobbs from CrunchFund in SF, will join TechCrunch to provide valuable advice and feedback to startups. Launched in 2014, Include is TechCrunch’s diversity program, aimed at facilitating opportunities for… Read More

  • Leaf raises $2M seed round, launches sleek in-home cannabis growing system

    Leaf raises $2M seed round, launches sleek in-home cannabis growing system

    Marijuana use is a bit of a tricky subject in the United States. While public opinion on the matter may be shifting toward being more open to legalization — a YouGov poll released earlier this month showed that 55 percent of those surveyed supported legalizing marijuana, with more Republicans supporting legalization than not — only 25 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized… Read More

  • Watch 500 Startups’ Demo Day here

    Watch 500 Startups’ Demo Day here

    TechCrunch is pleased to bring you 500 Startups’ Batch 17 Demo Day today, August 2nd, starting at 1:00pm PT. 500 Startups is a global seed fund and startup accelerator founded by Dave McClure and Christine Tsai. 500 has invested in a variety of technology startups all over the world and maintains regional funds focused on Korea, Thailand, Turkey and North Africa, among other… Read More

  • Watch TechCode’s Demo Day here

    Watch TechCode’s Demo Day here

    TechCrunch is pleased to bring you TechCode‘s Demo Day today, Tuesday July 26th from Mountain View, California. TechCode’s U.S. accelerator program focuses on artificial intelligence and hardware startups that already have a prototype. The goal is to help expedite commercialization for these startups by introducing them to partners and investors. TechCode also provides supply… Read More

  • Ava launches a wearable to help couples conceive

    Ava launches a wearable to help couples conceive

    Tracking your period, peeing on a stick and carrying around a thermometer have been the dominant technologies over the past 20 years to help families conceive. If it sounds outdated, that’s because it is. TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield alum Ava is hoping to change that with a wearable that helps couples pinpoint when a woman is in her fertile window and the time is right to… Read More

  • ISI Technology raises $5M to bring their electric water heater to a home near you

    ISI Technology raises $5M to bring their electric water heater to a home near you

    Today, ISI Technology announced the closing of their $5 million Series A led by Wave Equity Partners. ISI is the maker of the Heatworks technology; a fully electronic water heater. It happens every morning in households across the US: Turn the water on then check your email, brush your teeth or just wander around the bathroom for several minutes, waiting for hot water to arrive. In that time… Read More

  • Where are they now? 1st & Future alum Radd3 raises $2.2M from HTC

    Where are they now? 1st & Future alum Radd3 raises $2.2M from HTC

    In coordination with Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium, TechCrunch partnered with Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and the National Football League on 1st & Future, a competition for startups looking to advance the stadium experience, enhance how fans enjoy the game at home and improve the performance and safety of athletes. Radd3, one of the startups competing in… Read More

  • Watch the Indiebio Demo Day here

    Watch the Indiebio Demo Day here

    TechCrunch is pleased to bring you Indiebio’s Demo Day this Thursday, July 14th from San Francisco. Backed by SOSV, Indiebio is the largest life sciences accelerator to date. Indiebio provides each startup in the accelerator with $250,000, lab space, and expert mentors including 23andMe co-founder Linda Avey and father of the Human Genome Project, George Church. IndieBio’s third… Read More

  • Teachers and mentors: apply to have your students attend Disrupt SF

    Teachers and mentors: apply to have your students attend Disrupt SF

    Applications are now open for student groups to attend Disrupt San Francisco at Pier 48 on Tuesday, September 13 or Wednesday, September 14th. The program is part of Include,  TechCrunch’s diversity program aimed at facilitating opportunities for underrepresented groups in tech to gain better access to the startup scene. For the past several Disrupts, TC has worked informally with… Read More

  • Underrepresented founders have 24 hours to apply to Include Office Hours

    Underrepresented founders have 24 hours to apply to Include Office Hours

    TechCrunch Include Office Hours are happening this July! In New York, Taylor Greene from Lerer Hippeau Ventures and in San Francisco, Sergio Monsalve and Ed Yip of Norwest Venture Partners will join TechCrunch to provide valuable advice and feedback to startups. Underrepresented founders have just 24 hours to apply here! Launched in 2014, Include is TechCrunch’s diversity program… Read More

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