Author: Ned Desmond

TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield is coming soon to Beirut, São Paolo and Lagos

TECHCRUNCH Everyone knows there are thriving startup communities outside of obvious hubs, like San Francisco, Berlin, Bangalore and Beijing, but they don’t always get the support they deserve. Last year, TechCrunch took a major page from its playbook, the Startup Battlefield competition, and staged the event in Nairobi, Kenya to find the best early stage startup in Sub-Saharan Africa, and also to Sydney, Australia, to find the same for Australia and New Zealand. Both were successes, thanks to talented founders and the hard traveling TechCrunch team. And now we’re pleased to announce that we’re stepping up our commitment to emerging ecosystems. TechCrunch is once again teaming up with Facebook, our partner for last year’s Nairobi event, to bring the Startup Battlefield to three major cities representing regions with vital, emerging startup communities. In Beirut, TechCrunch’s editors will strive to find the best early stage startup in the Middle East and North Africa. In São Paolo, the hunt is for the best in Latin America. And in Lagos, Nigeria, TechCrunch will once again find the top startup in Sub-Saharan Africa. Early stage startups are welcome to apply. We will choose 15 companies in each region to compete, and we will provide travel support for the finalists to reach the host city. The finalists will also receive intensive coaching from TechCrunch’s editors to hone their pitches to a razor’s edge before...

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Catch these biotech investors speaking at Disrupt SF (Sept. 5-7)

TECHCRUNCH TechCrunch’s Disrupt SF (Sept. 5-7) will be one for the record books, with twice the attendees and twice the programming sessions compared to past Disrupts, which means we can tackle emerging, super exciting categories like biotech with both great speakers and a section of Start Up Alley devoted to biotech startups. (Pssst biotech founders…there is still time to win a free TC Top Picks exhibition spot in Startup Alley complete with three Founder Passes to take in all of Disrupt SF.  Apply here.) Today we’re delighted to announce a panel of three top biotech investors, who will share their...

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Dr. Kai-Fu Lee Is coming to Disrupt SF to talk about how AI will eat everything, especially jobs

TECHCRUNCH At our upcoming TechCrunch Disrupt SF (Sept. 5-7), TechCrunch committed to go deep on Artificial Intelligence, and we’re pleased to announce a speaker who has few peers in that realm as a technologist or investor.  Dr. Kai-Fu Lee is the CEO and chairman of Sinovation, a venture firm based in the U.S. and China, and he has emerged as one of the world’s top prognosticators on artificial intelligence and how the technology will disrupt just about everything. Dr. Lee wrote in The New York Times last year that AI is “poised to bring about a wide-scale decimation of...

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First speaker announcements for the Next stage at Disrupt SF (Sept 5-7)

TECHCRUNCH One of the many new features at TechCrunch Disrupt SF (Sept. 5-7) is the addition of another stage, which we’re calling The Next Stage. The goal of The Next Stage is to deliver more insights and wisdom to Disrupt SF attendees, especially founders, to help them navigate the startup odyssey better and faster. The Next Stage is also where much of the programming for the 13 tracks at Disrupt SF will take place. We’re delighted to announce our first sessions on The Next stage. Consumer brands take forever to earn consumer confidence, unless you happen to be brands...

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Announcing how startups can exhibit for free at Disrupt SF with Top Picks

TECHCRUNCH TechCrunch’s top goal at Disrupt SF (Sept 5-7) is to help early stage founders get lots of attention, which is why every year we introduce more and better ways to make that happen. This year we’re adding TC Top Picks, a new program that will provide 60 top founders the opportunity to exhibit free of charge for one day in Startup Alley and three free Founder Passes for all three days of the show, including access to CrunchMatch, TechCrunch’s founder-investor matching service. Here is how founders can win a top spot in TC Top Picks. To qualify, the startup must fit in one of the categories listed below, which reflect the major tracks at Disrupt SF. The editors will pick five TC Top Picks startups for each category and they get the exhibition space with special “TC Top Picks” signage, three free Founder Passes plus a 3 minute interview on our Showcase Stage. Click here to fill out the application, which should take about five minutes. (Note we have also launched an updated application app, which allows founders to create a single application and use it across all TechCrunch’s programs – including Startup Battlefield. TechCrunch will notify the winners by July 20 but applications close June 29 so don’t lose any time and apply today. Here are the categories we’re featuring at Disrupt SF: Artificial intelligence (AI) “What’s your AI strategy?” supplanted “What’s...

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Announcing the agenda for TC Sessions: Robotics at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall on May 11

TECHCRUNCH TechCrunch is partnering with UC Berkeley on May 11 to produce TC Sessions: Robotics, a one-day show focused on emerging robotic technologies and the startup scene. The editorial team had a blast planning this agenda as, between the Bay Area’s universities and startup ecosystem, there are far more robotics-driven technology projects and startups on the West Coast than most appreciate. There is no question that the huge steps forward in AI, sensors and GPUs are quickly shifting robotics to the fast lane of the startups ecosystem. Tickets are currently available and at an early-bird rate – buy your...

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CrunchMatch Connects Investors and Founders at Disrupt SF 2018

TECHCRUNCH Disrupt San Francisco 2018 promises to be our biggest Disrupt event ever — with three times the convention floor space and more than 10,000 attendees. That’s incredibly exciting, and it also presents a challenge for startup founders and tech investors eager to network and connect. Who wants to waste valuable time talking to the wrong people? Enter CrunchMatch for the win. CrunchMatch — a free, business match-making service — efficiently connects founders and investors with similar business interests and profiles. Founders who register for Disrupt provide information on their company – category, stage, location, funding status. Investors fill...

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UC Berkeley Professor Abbeel to speak at TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics, May 11 at Zellerbach Hall

TECHCRUNCH TechCrunch’s upcoming TC Sessions: Robotics is fast taking shape. The single-day event, held on May 11, will focus on the crossroads of the latest AI and robotics technology and the startup ecosystem. We’re really pleased to announce two sessions for the show — as well as throw open the application for an early-stage robotics startup pitch competition. Robotics and Deep Learning Pieter Abbeel is a professor at UC Berkeley (EECS, BAIR) and co-founder of Embodied Intelligence, which is applying advances in deep imitation and deep reinforcement learning to train robots for new assignments. Abbeel’s lab has pioneered deep learning for robotics, including learning locomotion and visuomotor skills. His...

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