Listen up, early-stage startup founders! Do you know the line that Marlon Brando made famous in the classic film, “On the Waterfront?” Well, if you don’t act within the next 48 hours and apply to compete in Startup Battlefield , the phrase “I coulda been a contender” might haunt you for a very long time.
TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2018 — which takes place September 5-7 — is going big this year. We’re taking over Moscone Center West, tripling our floor space and playing host to more than 10,000 attendees, 1,200 exhibitors and more than 400 accredited media outlets. With such a <cough> disruptive Disrupt, no “ordinary” Startup Battlefield would do. So, we doubled the money to a very chill $100,000 equity-free cash prize.
You have absolutely nothing to lose by applying and a lot to gain if your company makes the cut. TechCrunch charges no fees and takes no equity from startups; applying to and competing in Startup Battlefield is 100 percent free. The selection process is highly competitive — savvy TechCrunch editors review every application and choose anywhere from 15-30 startups. The acceptance rate ranges between three and six percent.
But here’s the thing: Just making the first cut comes with a hefty load of benefits in the form of investor interest, media coverage and free exhibition space in Startup Alley — a birthing ground for magical wheeling and dealing — for all three days of the show.
Consider, for example, the case of Aircall , a cloud-based call center solution that competed in Startup Battlefield SF back in 2015. It didn’t move beyond round one but, trust us, they aren’t crying about it. Probably because Aircall recently scored $29 million in another round of funding . That brings its total funding to $40.5 million since its Battlefield debut.
Here’s another bennie at which you ought not sneeze. Every competing team joins the ranks of the Startup Battlefield alumni community. Imagine the connections you can make among the more than 800 companies in this elite cohort. Companies that have, by the way, collectively raised more than $8 billion in funding and produced more than 100 exits.
If you suffer from performance anxiety, we’ve got you covered on that score. Every Startup Battlefield team receives free expert pitch coaching from our experienced, seen-it-all TechCrunch editorial team. We’ve been doing this since 2007, folks. You WILL be prepared to step into the ring to give it your best shot.
Disrupt San Francisco 2018 takes place September 5-7 at Moscone Center West. Your chance to apply and be a contender disappears in just two short days. Steer clear of Palooka-ville. Apply to Startup Battlefield right now .