What is the application process?
For 2021, there will be one Global Startup Battlefield taking place virtually at TechCrunch Disrupt 2021. Applications are now open: apply.techcrunch.com
What exactly do you mean by early stage?
Companies must have an MVP. Ideally, we are looking for companies that are bootstapped, Pre-Seed, Seed, or Series A. The ideal fit for Startup Battlefield has had minimal press coverage, and is going to showcase something disruptive on stage
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. Sessions will be held virtually.
What happens at Disrupt?
The Battlefield contestants receive free tickets to attend Disrupt as well as a free virtual demo booth in Startup Alley for the conference. They are also invited to our digital events 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 the virtual 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. 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 $100,000 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, Sessions and of course Disrupt. We also host community events around the major TechCrunch conferences to bring Battlefield founders together.
Does it cost anything to participate?
No, participation in Startup Battlefield is free. Because the 2021 event is virtual, travel is not required to pitch. Supplementary events are optional.
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 “interview round.” Most of our participants are selected without an interview.
There is a video required for the application. What are you looking for?
We DO want to see your product working in real-time. MVPs are great for this. Feel free to use your phone or screen grabs to record the video. Production quality isn’t important.
We are NOT looking for a classic animated startup video with oddly cheery music in the background with a voice-over narration about what you do.
Are applications for Disrupt limited to certain locations?
No, anyone around the world can apply.
What do you mean: minimal media coverage?
Typically, local coverage or industry specific coverage is fine. Some founder features are okay as long as the crux of the technology has yet to be showcased!
I accidentally submitted my application before it was finished. Am I doomed?
No – you aren’t. Don’t worry: you can re-submit until the deadline.
Can you unlock my application so I can edit it?
No, not at this time.
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 July.
Do you invest in participants?
No, we do not invest or take equity in our Startup 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.
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 exceedingly rare that we have similar companies in the same batch.
Any tips on how to prepare a successful application?
Ensure that your product video shows your actual product/CPG/software/hardware functioning (exceptions made for biotech). Understanding a competitive landscape is a crutial part of building a successful business. Clearly outline your competition and why you will win regardless. Lastly, your founder experience/journey is an integral part of your origin story. Share it!
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. Many Startup Battlefield companies have applied multiple times before being selected.
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 some part of their product or business 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.
What might set my application apart?
Everything. We encourage you to put your best forward. However, encourage you to be diligent in evaluating and being transparent about your competitive landscape.
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, agricultural robotics, and 3D printing, and more.
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 provided their country is in good business standing with the United States.
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, though not needed for virtual events.
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 already have funding. Can we still apply?
Yes, there is no cap on money raised to participate. We recognize that a team working on medtech or robotics 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.