About Startup Battlefield

TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield is the world’s preeminent startup competition. Startup Battlefield features 15-30 top early stage startups pitching top judges in front of a vast live audience, present in person and online. Teams go through an intensive mini-accelerator for 8 weeks before each event, honing their business models and pitches. Startups pitch on stage for six minutes, followed by an intense question and answer session with top investors, entrepreneurs, and technologists, including prominent Silicon Valley figures like Marissa Mayer, Ron Conway, Fred Wilson and Roelof Botha, among many others – just like an investment pitch meeting.

Companies that launched on our stage include Vurb, TrelloMint, Dropbox, Yammer, Tripit, Redbeacon, Qwiki, Getaround, and Soluto. The statistics on the 763 startups that have participated since the first competition, TC40 in 2007,  tell a strong story:  in aggregate, as of February 2019, they have raised $8.8 billion, while 108 have been acquired or have gone public. TechCrunch makes the complete details of past Battlefields and participants available on the Battlefield leaderboard. 

It’s important to note that TechCrunch takes no fees or equity from the startups. Applying and participating in the Battlefield is 100% free.

The TechCrunch Startup Battlefield is about the great startups of tomorrow. You get a glimpse of what the future will look like. David Lee, SV Angel

Startup Battlefields take place both regionally and at TechCrunch Disrupt. Startup Battlefield at at TechCrunch Disrupt is industry and regionally agnostic. The winner takes away the Disrupt Cup, an equity-free check for $100,000 (at SF), and all the contestants enjoy immense press, investor and partner attention, along with membership in the elite ranks of Battlefield alums and to Extra Crunch.

In 2016, TechCrunch took the renowned competition on the road with our new Battlefield X events. Working with partners like the NFL, Facebook and others, TechCrunch Startup Battlefield X highlights startups in specific industries or regions with an exceptional emerging ecosystem. The Startup Battlefield X winners also win prize money, worldwide press recognition, the eyes of the global investment community, and an opportunity to appear on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco.

Companies that launched on our stage include Vurb, Trello, Mint, Dropbox, Yammer, Tripit, Redbeacon, Qwiki, Getaround, and Soluto. The statistics on the 857 startups that have participated since the first competition, TC40  in 2007, tell a strong story: in aggregate, as of January 2019, they have raised $8.8 billion, while 108 have been acquired or have gone public. TechCrunch makes the complete details of past Battlefields and participants available on the Battlefield leaderboard.

It’s important to note that TechCrunch takes no fees or equity from the startups who participate. Applying and participating in Startup Battlefield is 100% free.

When does it happen?

TechCrunch stages the Battlefield several times a year, once at each of our Disrupt conferences in San Francisco and Berlin and in our new Startup Battlefield X events in emerging markets. Applications to each Battlefield open three months before the actual event. To be eligible, startups must be launching a product to the public for the first time and have little to no prior press exposure. Selection is highly competitive; the acceptance rate ranges from 3 to 6% per event. Applications are now open for the global Startup Battlefield San Francisco.

What’s the process?

TechCrunch reviews the applicants and selects the Battlefield contestants based their team, product and market potential. Successful applicants are notified six weeks before the event and TechCrunch schedules practice sessions with each company to help them develop and rehearse their pitches for the judges. Those sessions engage TechCrunch editors as well as guest VCs and entrepreneurs.

How does it work?

A batch of companies are selected to compete at the live event – TechCrunch Disrupt or TechCrunch Startup Battlefield X. After weeks of extensive preparation and coaching, companies pitch on stage for a set time followed by a question and answer session with the judges during the semi final round.

At the end of the semifinals, TechCrunch announces the 4 to 6 finalist companies. They pitch a fresh group of finalists judges on the final day of the show. Startup Battlefield is the highlight of Disrupt and the audience is always packed. Following the last pitch, the judges go off stage to decide the winner.  At the event end of the show, TechCrunch’s editors come on stage to announce the runner-up and present the winner with the prizes for that event. It’s a wildly exciting conclusion to the hugely rewarding Startup Battlefield process.

The Battlefield highlights the best of the entrepreneurial experience; big ideas, hard work, tough conversations and lots of hustle. TechCrunch followed five Battlefield startups participants Disrupt SF 2013 to document all the highs and lows in our film series “The Road to Disrupt,” which is great viewing for anyone interested in Battlefield or the startups in general. We love startups and we hope you will consider applying to Battlefield. For more information, email battlefield@techcrunch.com.