All you need to know about Startup Battlefield

The Startup Battlefield competition is one of the most popular and exciting events of TechCrunch’s Disrupt San Francisco conference. It brings together some of the most exciting startups of the year to help them grow and gain funding for their projects. In this article, we’ll focus on all you need to know about Startup Battlefield, from what it entails, to how it works, how to sign up and what you can get out of participating in it. But, first, let’s give you some context.

What is TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco?

techcrunch - Startup Battlefield

TechCrunch is an online publisher whose main focus is on the tech industry. It is also behind the Disrupt conference, which was held for the first time in Beijing back in 2011. Since then, the event has expanded to San Francisco and Europe, and has carried out online events over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The San Francisco event gathers more than 10,000 attendees and includes over 400 media outlets. The conference includes the Startup Alley—where exhibitors raise dozens of millions of dollars each year—as well as talks, workshops, Q&As and book signings. There is also a variety of networking events, as well as a networking app called CrunchMatch available that helps you connect with other attendees to make the most of the experience.

The 2021 edition will not be held in San Francisco, but remotely just as the 2020 one. The date has already been set for September 21-23 and, although there are still a few months ahead, a few wheels have started turning on Startup Battlefield, our topic of choice. Moreover, you can already buy your tickets for the conference here. They range from $49 to $199 depending on the type of access you want. 

What is Startup Battlefield?

Startup Battlefield - TechCrunch

Startup Battlefield makes up a large chunk of the TechCrunch Disrupt conferences. This exciting competition features startups that go through an 8-week mini accelerator before pitching their projects to judges at the Disrupt conference.

Dropbox, Trello and Mint are just three of the big names that started on the Battlefield stage, which has hosted 922 companies, 115 of which have been acquired or gone public. In total, Battlefield companies have raised 9 billion dollars to date. San Francisco-based startup Canix won the 2020 edition taking home the $100,000 prize, as well as the Disrupt Cup. Just to give you an idea, the company currently has locations all over the US, as well as Australia and Canada. Of course, the competition not only gives startups the chance to win the prize, but also provides a platform to show off their service or product and raise even more funding.

How does it work?

Applications for Startup Battlefield usually open several times each year for different locations all over the globe and there are no costs involved. The selection process is based on team, product and market potential, and the current application round is open until May 13.

Those selected undergo several rehearsals (at least three) with the TechCrunch team as well as other industry experts to make sure they are prepared to pitch their projects and face their on-stage Q&A. These rehearsals are usually hosted in San Francisco, New York and Berlin if it is possible to carry them out in person.

During the Disrupt San Francisco conference, Startup Battlefield contestants have six minutes to pitch a live demo, as well as another six minutes to answer judges’ questions, and the whole process is live-streamed. The judges and TechCrunch editors then select a group of finalists (about 4-6 startups) that will get the chance to do a second pitch before a new set of judges. These judges then select a runner-up and, of course, a winner, who takes home the prize money and the Disrupt Cup.

Why should you apply to Startup Battlefield?

In addition to the chance of winning the competition and taking home some cash to invest in your project, your pitch will be watched by quite a few potential investors. Meanwhile, the only investment you need to make is your time. There are no application fees and no equity required if you win. And, if you are selected to participate in the competition, you will receive several weeks of training that will help your startup regardless of whether you win or not. You also get the chance to exhibit in the Startup Alley area and get to meet the existing alumni community, giving you first-class networking opportunities. Moreover, Startup Battlefield alumni can attend future TechCrunch events free of charge.

Final thoughts on Startup Battlefield

If you are a startup looking to show off your hard work and earn some funding, Startup Battlefield is the perfect place to do it. Not to mention, TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco offers once-in-a-lifetime investment and learning opportunities for everyone in the tech industry. If you are looking to sign up, remember you have time until May 13th to register right here and can find more information about the 2021 edition here.