About Startup Battlefield
TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield is the world’s preeminent startup competition. The Battlefield features 15-30 top early stage startups pitching top judges in front of a vast live audience, present in person and online. The winner takes away the Disrupt Cup and check for $50,000, and all the contestants enjoy immense press, investor and partner attention, along with membership in the elite ranks of Battlefield alums.
Those include companies like Mint, Dropbox, Yammer, Tripit, Redbeacon, Qwiki, Getaround, and Soluto. The statistics on the 648 startups that have participated since the first competition, TC40 in 2007, tell a strong story: in aggregate, as of February 2017, they have raised $6.9 billion, while 94 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.
TechCrunch stages the Battlefield four times a year, once at each of our three Disrupt conferences, — in New York City, San Francisco, and London– and also at a special Hardware Battlefield at CES in Las Vegas. Applications to each Battlefield open three months before the actual event. To be eligible, startups must be launching 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 open for the Startup Battlefield at Disrupt New York!
TechCrunch reviews the applicants and selects the Battlefield contestants based their team, product and market potential. Successful applicants are notified one month 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.
The TechCrunch Startup Battlefield is about the great startups of tomorrow. You get a glimpse of what the future will look like.
The Battlefield competition at TechCrunch’s Disrupt events take place over three days. The preliminary rounds are on the first two days. Each company has six minutes to pitch top investors, entrepreneurs, and technologists, including prominent Silicon Valley figures Marissa Mayer, Michael Arrington, Ron Conway, Fred Wilson, Roelof Botha, among many others. The judges then have six minutes to ask questions. Typically there 1000-2000 people in the stage audience and another 10,000 watching live online. When not on stage, the Battlefield contestants make the most of the free exhibit space TechCrunch provides Battlefield contestants on the floor of the exhibit area.
At the end of the preliminaries, TechCrunch announces the 4 to 6 finalist companies. They pitch a fresh group of finalists judges on the final day of the show. The Battlefield finals are 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 Disrupt Cup and a $50,000 check. It’s a wildly exciting conclusion to the hugely rewarding 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Battlefield not only put us on the radar of international news, it also was a one of a kind experience meeting like minded entrepreneurs ready to disrupt entire industries! Impossible is nothing - that's the spirit. Valentin Stalf, CEO Number26
Launching LOCK8 on the Battlefield was the stepping stone for the company to reach worldwide recognition within 24 hours. Daniel Zajarias, Founder Lock8
Launching on Battlefield helped us rise above the noise, and put us on the radar of customers, investors, and talent early on. We also met a community of amazing founders and the family at TechCrunch, who have helped us grow ever since. If you're launching a new company or product, this is the stage you want to be on. Cathy Han, CEO 42
What one event drives VC Funding, hiring and new customer acquisition? BF Finals did all of that for us and put us on the map! Guru Hariharan, Founder Boomerang Commerce
Presenting on Disrupt Battlefield was the ideal stage to really communicate this mission to influencers, investors, and the broader technology community. Disrupt generated an enormous amount of interest and support for our mission and was instrumental in our Series A raise shortly after. Bobby Lo, CEO Vurb
Battlefield completely changed the game for Luka: we got crazy amount of inbound interest from investors and media. It helped us get out of the local market we were operating in - plus after Battlefield we got into Y Combinator. It also helped us polish our pitch which was crucial while fundraising. Eugenia Kuyda, CEO Luka.ai
TechCrunch was the best event for our startup we have ever attended. We got exposed to a ton of new users and lots of investors knocking at our doors. It simply put us on the map. Christian Lutz, CEO Crate.io
"Battlefield finds companies to highlight with not just flashy demos but substance underneath. I find myself following up with many of them after my judging is complete and, in fact, one of Homebrew's investments was a Disrupt winner." Hunter Walk
Disrupt has created an incredibly powerful platform to highlight new, ambitious companies. I love my experience judging -- it's been fantastic to connect with interesting, passionate entrepreneurs. John Lilly
Disrupt Battlefield provides start-ups an opportunity for global exposure and instant access to customers, press, and investment opportunities. It's a one-of-a-kind competition that creates instant credibility and serves as a tremendous catalyst in launching your start-up to the next level. Brain Pokorny