FAQs for TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018

Why should I participate in Startup Battlefield?

Participants in the Startup Battlefield compete for $100K and the illustrious Disrupt Cup. But the real reason to participate is the exposure and connections you make throughout the event. In Startup Battlefield, your startup will pitch on-stage at Disrupt in front of judges who represent the top VCs and several thousand people in a live audience. The pitches are also livestreamed on TechCrunch and a writer will cover your company and release a post during the event. Startup Battlefield teams are provided a free passes to Disrupt, a booth in a designated section of Startup Alley for Startup Battlefield companies, invites to exclusive Disrupt dinner, After Parties, and of course, Startup Battlefield swag. To promote Startup Battlefield companies further, we collaborate with Crunchbase, ProductHunt, and AngelList to make sure our startups are visible everywhere when they launch!

Do you accept startups from certain countries?

Your startup can be from anywhere around the globe to participate in Startup Battlefield. See the eligibility tab for more information.

What startups are eligible?

Qualifying startups should: Be early-stage companies in “launch” stage Be a resident from our eligible countries Have a fully working product/beta or MVP Have received limited press or publicity to date Have no known intellectual property conflicts

Who are former Startup Battlefield participants? What happens to startups after they participate in Startup Battlefield?

We're pretty proud of what our Startup Battlefield alumni have accomplished. In total, they've raised $8B and include standouts Yammer, Dropbox, Mint, LearnVest, Zenefits, Trello, Fitbit, Betterment, CloudFlare, Postmates and more. Check out all the info at our Startup Battlefield page. As an alumni of Startup Battlefield, each company will also receive one complimentary ticket to future TechCrunch events like our Summer Party and future Disrupt events.

What is required when you participate in Startup Battlefield?

The days prior to the event there is a required on-site technical check to ensure your product, demo and team look great on-stage.

Does it cost money to participate?

No, TechCrunch does not charge or take equity from Startup Battlefield participants. Each Startup Battlefield company will be provided up to four passes to Disrupt SF for founders of your company. If San Francisco is not your home city, your company is responsible for getting to/from the conference as well as any required rehearsals.

Is there an interview round?

Not really. We occasionally interview startups which we need more information or would like to see a live demo. However, you do not have to have an interview to be selected for Startup Battlefield. So basically, don't worry about it.

When will finalists be notified?

We generally take about one month from the close of submissions to select and notify our participants. All applicants will be notified on or before July 20, 2018. If you have any questions please contact startupapplications@techcrunch.com If you worried about missing early-bird pricing for Startup Alley, go ahead and purchase the booth. If selected for the Battlefield, we will refund you the cost.

What are you looking for in a video?

The video is required so that we have an opportunity to see your product in action. Do not worry about production quality, camera phones or screen captures are more than enough. The important thing is that you show us some functional hardware or software. We understand that it might have limited features or not be the final prototype but show us anyway. Pro tip, we love it when you can walk us through a use case.

What do the winners receive?

Apart from the exposure that comes from pitching to the global TechCrunch audience, as well as the live audience of distinguished technologists, entrepreneurs and investors in Europe, the overall winner will receive a $100,000 no-equity cash prize.

Who picks the startups that will compete?

The TechCrunch editors who run the TechCrunch Startup Battlefield competition will choose the finalists from the application pool.

Who will judge Startup Battlefield?

TechCrunch will select judges. They will be noted entrepreneurs, investors and technologists with experience relevant to the category. A TechCrunch editor will moderate the judging, and cast the tie-breaker ballot, if needed.

What is the pitch-off format?

Each company will have six minutes to present. The judges will have six minutes to ask questions. Live demos are required. If selected for the final round, each company will present the same 6 minute presentation to a new set of judges followed by 12 minutes of Q & A.

What are the judging criteria?

One overall winner will be chosen. The judges are looking for the company most likely to produce an exit or IPO.

When is the application deadline?

June 13, 2018 at 9pm PST. Applicants will be notified on or before July 20, 2018.

Will TechCrunch’s team help prepare startups for the pitch-off?

Yes, in-person training and rehearsal sessions will be required, as well as in-person rehearsal in the days preceding the event.

Who can see the information in my application?

For applications associated with Startup Battlefield, Top Picks and Startup Alley programs, the data provided by applicants will be viewed only by The TechCrunch events and editorial teams. The data will be retained unless the applicants request deletion. Requests for deletion should be sent to startupapplications@techcrunch.com. You can view TechCrunch’s terms of service here and privacy policy here.


TC Top Picks is a program at TechCrunch’s flagship Disrupt events that provides five startups in each of 10+ designated categories (found below) with an entirely free exhibition in Startup Alley for the show. But you’ll also get exposure to investors, members of the media, hundreds of attendees, and more.

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Augmented & Virtual Reality
  • Blockchain
  • BioTech
  • HealthTech
  • FinTech
  • Privacy/Security
  • Space
  • Mobility
  • Robotics
  • Hardware + IoT
  • Gaming
  • Retail
  • TC Top Picks


Qualifying startups should:

  • Be Pre-Series A
  • Have a minimally viable product
  • Fall into one of the following categories: Artificial Intelligence, AR/VR, Blockchain, BioTech, HealthTech, FinTech, Privacy/Security, Space, Mobility, and Robotics


If your company is selected as a TC Top Pick, you will receive at no cost:

  • One day to exhibit in your designated category in Startup Alley (Exhibit day to be selected in advance by TC Staff)
  • Three Founder Passes to the three-day long show
  • 3 minute interview with the TC team on the Showcase Stage
  • Meet top tier investors and global press
  • Participation in CrunchMatch investor matching at Disrupt events
  • Consideration for the Wild Card Startup Battlefield Spot
  • Access to the Startup Alley Exhibitor Lounge space
  • Access to the Disrupt Press List


Finalists will be notified by July 20, 2018.


TechCrunch’s editors pick top applicants in each category.


Yes, you can pick up to three categories. TechCrunch editors will review the applications to determine which category you're the best fit for.


The application deadline to apply to TC Top Picks at Disrupt SF is June 29, 2018. All applicants will be notified on or before July 20, 2018.

TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018

Learn More

Startup Battlefield

Deadline at June 13 at 9 PM PST

TC Top Picks

Deadline at June 29 at 9 PM PST

More events: