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. Startup Battlefields take place both regionally and at TechCrunch Disrupt. The winner of Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt 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. Regional Startup Battlefield winners also win prize money, worldwide press recognition, and the eyes of the global investment community.

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 December 2017, they have raised $8.2 billion, while 100 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 a few times a year, once at each of our three Disrupt conferences and now also in new Startup Battlefields in new and emerging markets. 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 global Startup Battlefield Dubai.

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. David Lee, SV Angel

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.

Battlefield is TechCrunch’s renowned competition now taken on the road to new and emerging markets. The stakes are a different – we focus on only startups from the region and tailor the competition depending on where we are. The media coverage, world stage, and investor connections are the same and just as incredible as Startup Battlefield at Disrupt

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.