We’re disrupting TechCrunch Disrupt: 8 stages, 3 days, 1 city
For founders and investors, there’s no platform like TechCrunch Disrupt. Just as the industry is always evolving and innovating — especially in recent months — we’re doing the same to keep Disrupt on the cutting edge for first-time founders, seasoned investors, visionaries and everybody in between.
It’s time to disrupt TechCrunch Disrupt
This year, we’re reimagining and refreshing Disrupt to deliver the essential tools, knowledge, and connections that help ignite ideas and accelerate the next generation of startups. For three days in September, founders, investors and industry experts will gather in San Francisco to discuss the most groundbreaking developments across six industry tracks, dig deep into expert learnings on the Builders Stage, and watch the world’s next great companies face off in Startup Battlefield 200 — plus enjoy all those networking and connection opportunities at workshops, after-hours events, and the TechCrunch Lounge.
Startups start here, which is why we’ve tailored Disrupt 2023 to showcase the game-changing ideas, technologies and industries that are shaping the future of the tech community.
Six new stages for six breakthrough sectors
We heard loud and clear that you wanted more Disrupt, so this year, we’re packing the entire Disrupt ecosystem into the main event! Our popular, stand-alone TC Sessions are coming to the mothership for the very first time: In addition to the Disrupt Stage, we’re filling six stages with salon-like programs that focus on the industries that matter most to the tech world today.
Guided by industry leaders with deep subject matter expertise, these tracks are selected and curated by TechCrunch’s own staff as the most important topics for founders right now. Each industry stage will also feature partner sessions, where TechCrunch partners get the spotlight to share their POV on their sector directly to an audience of their peers.
🤖 AI Stage: Covers the latest artificial intelligence tech related to NLG, speech recognition, virtual agents, biometrics, RPA, deep learning platforms, reactive machines, and P2P networks. Sessions will include DeepMind and Benchmark.
🌿 Sustainability Stage: Tackles social and environmental solutions such as urban mobility, sustainable tech, green infrastructure, and new mobilities. Sessions will include Breakthrough Energy Ventures, S2G, and the City of Atlanta.
🧑💻 SaaS Stage: Considers how software-as-a-service unlocks creativity and efficiency with mobile apps, cloud-based resources, collaboration tools, creator communities, developer tools, e-commerce, low code, recurring revenue and marketing tools. Sessions will include GitHub, Cloudflare, and Atlassian.
🏦 Fintech Stage: Digs into the evolution of monetary exchanges across DeFi, challenger banks, blockchain, NFTs and web3. Sessions will include Plaid, Andreessen Horowitz, and Starling Bank.
🔐 Security Stage: Puts on its white hat to share best practices for data protection, privacy regulations, information sharing, risk management. Sessions will include Google and Citizen Lab.
🖥️ Hardware Stage: Uncovers the mechanics and code powering our smart world, featuring topics like articulated robots, autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), commercial hardware, humanoids, IoT hardware, and interstellar technologies. Sessions will include Alphabet and Magic Leap.
Disrupt 2023 isn’t just a conference, though. It’s also a platform for making connections. For founders and investors curious about an emerging category, these sessions are a chance to cross-pollinate. Catching a session will offer a deep view that might inspire you to update your thesis…or even spot that huge, undiscovered opportunity.
Hands-on learning on the Builders Stage
As the original startup conference, we’re extremely proud of how Disrupt has helped generations of founders build their businesses. That’s why we’re bringing back the TechCrunch Stage under a new name: The Builders Stage.
Across dozens of panels and interviews with experts, the Builders Stage will cover the nuts and bolts of running a startup, from operations and hiring to fundraising, scaling, and beyond. It’s designed with a founder-first mindset, whether they’re seeking their next round of funding, acquiring insights for new tech enterprises, or making relationships that will help them level up faster as entrepreneurs. It’s like an MBA in a day — or three, to be exact.
While there’s a lot more to come from the Builders Stage, we’ve already announced the must-see agenda for Disrupt 2023:
- How to Build a New Venture Firm in Public (Supply Change Capital, RareBreed Ventures, and Banana Capital)
- When to Follow the Hype and When to Ignore It? (Trust Fund and Cleo Capital)
- How Founders Can Leverage a Soft Labor Market into a Competitive Edge (Hunt Club and speakers to be announced)
- How to Construct an Equitable Cap Table (Coalition Operators, Cowboy Ventures, and Finix)
- How to Stretch Your Venture Dollars (Afore Capital, Google Ventures, and NEA)
- How Founders with Nontraditional Backgrounds Can Use Their Experience to Excel (Promise, Career Karma, and Zūm)
- When Should Founders Provide Early Liquidity to Retain Staff? (Switchboard, Notice, and Beacon Capital)
- How to Build a Capital-Intensive Startup in a Tough Venture Market (Hadrian and Homebound)
- How Founders Should Approach the TAM Question When Venture Capital Is Scarce (Reach Capital, Phenomenal Ventures, and Cake Ventures)
- How to Build Intelligent Startup Ops that Will Scale with Your Business (Airbnb and Instacart)
- Why Bootstrapping Is No Longer a Dirty Word in 2023 (Unorthodox Ventures and Arta Finance)
Discover the next unicorn at Startup Battlefield 200
Each year, thousands of early-stage startups vie to make the cut for Startup Battlefield 200. Only the top 200 win a coveted spot on the show floor in San Francisco, plus the attention of media and investors on the lookout for the next big disruptor.
The TechCrunch editorial team meticulously analyzes each Startup Battlefield applicant — looking at the team, the positioning, the problem solution set and the total addressable market, among other factors — to determine who makes it to the final 200, but it doesn’t end there. From those 200, the 20 best of the best compete for TechCrunch’s $100,000 equity-free prize, as judged by TechCrunch editors and top VCs and entrepreneurs.
Startup Battlefield 200 is an unparalleled opportunity not just for founders ready for their big break, but also for investors eager to fund early-stage startups with the TechCrunch stamp of approval. Startup Battlefield alumni include more than 900 companies — such as Vurb, Dropbox, Mint, Yammer, and many more — with over 121 successful exits (IPOs or acquisitions) and a whopping $9.7 billion raised in funding.
And here’s the best part: It’s not too late to join the Startup Battlefield! We’re accepting applications from early-stage startups until May 15 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Founders, do you have what it takes? Apply today!
Support the startup community as a Disrupt partner
If you want to reach the world’s most ambitious founders, investors, and technologists, there’s no better place than TechCrunch Disrupt.
This is no ordinary tech conference: The core Disrupt audience spans the most influential corners of the startup community, from visionaries and prominent funders to cutting-edge innovators in the Fortune Global 500. More than 10,000 people from across the tech ecosystem attend Disrupt, and 75% of those attendees work at the director level or above.
Year after year, Disrupt’s devoted audience returns not just to network and stay ahead of the curve on the next generation of startups, but also to learn from the brightest tech minds when they step onstage to share their knowledge.
The same goes for Disrupt partnerships: Whether our partners are running sponsored industry sessions, breakouts, roundtables, show floor activations, exhibit booths, or receptions (just to name a few opportunities!), they’re leveraging TechCrunch’s editorially driven programming to get their vision in front of audiences where they’ll pay attention.
CTA: Want to reach the biggest funders, founders and Disruptors? Contact TechCrunch about Disrupt partnership opportunities today.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.