What is the application process?
About four times per year we open applications for the Startup Battlefield. The Startup Battlefield makes up a large portion of the TechCrunch Disrupt Conferences and TechCrunch’s CES coverage. Applications are now open for Battlefield Middle East North Africa, Battlefield Latin America, Battlefield Africa, and Battlefield Berlin – apply today.
What are rehearsals?
Companies selected for Battlefield go through a minimum of three rehearsals with our TechCrunch Battlefield Team and other experts. They are required to ensure that all teams are prepared to pitch and field Q/A on-stage. Whenever possible, rehearsals are held in person as we find these to be the most effective. We host rehearsals in San Francisco/Silicon Valley, New York City and Berlin.
We often work with Sequoia Capital and other VCs/Angels to provide feedback to our startups.
What happens at Disrupt?
The Battlefield contestants receive free tickets to attend Disrupt as well as a free demo booth in Startup Alley for the conference. They are also invited to our VIP Dinner as well as any other private events aimed at Battlefield founders.
During the afternoon sessions at Disrupt, each Battlefield company will pitch and live-demo on-stage for 6 minutes and then answer judges’ questions for six minutes. All pitches will be live-streamed on TechCrunch’s homepage. TechCrunch will do a post on each Battlefield company as it presents. The video and photo assets from the pitch are available to the teams after Disrupt. Recently we’ve partnered with Crunchbase, ProductHunt, AngelList and Indiegogo to ensure our startups receive maximum visibility when they launch.
Following all Battlefield sessions, judges and TechCrunch editors select a group of finalists, typically 4-6 companies. Finalists will pitch for a second time to a new group of judges. The judges and the editors pick the winner, who receives $50K and the Disrupt Cup, and the runner up.
What happens after Disrupt?
The Battlefield alumni are provided free tickets to future TechCrunch events including Meetups, the Crunchies and of course Disrupt. We also host community events around the major TechCrunch conferences to bring Battlefield founders together.
What is Hardware Battlefield?
We do one Battlefield that is outside Disrupt and focused entirely on hardware startups. We stage this Battlefield at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January each year. The rules are the same as for other Battlefield, apart from the hardware requirement. Note: Hardware startups are welcome to participate in all Battlefields, not just the Vegas Hardware Battlefield.
Does it cost anything to participate?
No, participation in the Startup Battlefield is free. Teams are responsible however for travel and accommodate to/from rehearsals and Disrupt.
Is my application confidential?
Yes, your application will be kept confidential and shared with the internal TechCrunch review committee only.
Is there an opportunity to interview?
Due to the volume of applications, we cannot interview everyone. Occasionally we will interview an applicant but there is no “application round.” Most of our participants are selected without an interview.
There is a video required for the application. What are you looking for?
Let’s start with what we’re not looking for. We’re not looking for a classic animated startup video with oddly cheery music in the background with a voice-over narration about what you do. That video has a place but it is not with us.
Since we cannot interview everyone your video is important. We want to see your product working learn a little bit about how it works. That’s it. Walk us through a use-case and show us how a user would get utility from your product. We understand that you’re probably showing us a prototype with limited features or maybe part of it is hacked together. We’d still love to see it.
Feel free to use your phone or screen grabs to record the video. Production quality isn’t important.
When will participants be notified?
Typically applicants are notified about one month after the application deadline. For the current application cycle, applicants will be notified by the end of March. If you have not received by April 1st, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you invest in participants?
No, we do not invest or take equity in our Battlefield participants. That said, one of the strengths of the program is the visibility of the startups to top VCs. Many of our companies raise funds in the months following Disrupt. To see how Battlefield companies perform when it comes to fund raising, check out our Battlefield Leaderboard page.
Our group has two ideas. Can we submit two applications?
You can but be sure to submit under two different accounts in the application portal.
Will you fund multiple startups working on the same idea?
It’s rare that we have similar companies in the same batch.
Any tips on how to prepare a successful application?
Why didn’t you accept our application?
We receive hundreds of great applications from around the globe and in our effort to find the most disruptive, funded and unfunded ventures representing different verticals and geographies, we have to pass on many outstanding companies. Our decision has little bearing on your future success as we’ve had many companies go on to greatness without us.
At the time of application, companies must have a functional prototype to demo to the selection committee. In selecting final contestants, we will give preference to companies that launch for the first time to the public and press through our competition. Companies that are in closed beta, private beta, limited release or generally have been flying under the radar are eligible. Hardware companies can have completed crowdfunding but those funds should have been directed to an earlier product prototype. Existing companies launching new feature sets do not qualify.
Do you only work with software companies?
Definitely not! We work with startups in every vertical from mobile search to connected home devices to healthcare and 3D printing.
Do we need to be incorporated in the U.S. or be U.S.citizens to apply?
We welcome startups from around the globe to submit their startups for consideration!
Can you get us visas?
We are happy to write a letter on behalf on companies to include in their visa request but we do not deal directly with securing visas.
We already have funding. Can we still apply?
Yes, there is no cap on money raised to participate. We recognize that a team working on wireless power will likely have had to raise a bit more money than one working on a sharing economy platform. A good number of our teams are also bootstrapped!
We don’t want to participate but we want TechCrunch coverage.
You’ve come to the wrong place. Find a writer who covers startups like yours and email them. Or send your pitch to email@example.com.