Category Archives: Events

Apply to be a TC Top Pick at Disrupt San Francisco 2019

Savvy early-stage startup founders are making plans to attend our flagship event, Disrupt San Francisco 2019, on October 2-4 at Moscone North. It’s three jam-packed days of connection, inspiration and discovery that you don’t want to miss. But here’s a hot tip for founders who want to wring every drop of opportunity out of their time at Disrupt. Apply to be a TC Top Pick. It’s easy to do, and it’s free.

Earning our TC Top Picks designation is a highly competitive and curated process. TechCrunch editors will thoroughly review each application and select up to five standout startups in each of the following categories: AI/Machine Learning, Biotech/Healthtech, Blockchain, Fintech, Mobility, Privacy/Security, Retail/E-commerce, Robotics/IoT/Hardware, SaaS and Social Impact & Education.

All TC Top Picks receive a free Startup Alley Exhibition package, prime real estate in the Startup Alley exhibition hall and invitations to VIP events. You’ll also be interviewed by a TechCrunch editor on the Showcase stage. The Top Pick startups garner an intense amount of media and investor attention, which can take your business to the next level. But hey, don’t take our word for it. Take it from someone who experienced the value of applying to TC Top Picks firsthand.

Australia-based Sonder Designs earned a TC Top Pick designation at Disrupt SF 2018. The startup designed a keyboard — using E-Ink technology — and the keyboard’s display changes dynamically based on whatever application or language you use.

In five days, three of which included Disrupt, founder Francisco Serra-Martins reports they held 41 meetings with venture capitalists and 11 meetings with B2B customers. The company received more investor interest than it initially forecasted, which led them to increase the investment round size. They’re currently working on due diligence and closing a $2.2 million round.

Top Picks receive a lot of media attention — the gift that keeps on giving — and that invaluable exposure landed Serra-Martins on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

“Being a TC Top Pick at Disrupt San Francisco not only helped us close out an additional $1 million investment for our seed round, it was an incredible opportunity to highlight our technology to an international community and to engage with the San Francisco startup ecosystem,” said Serra-Martins.

That’s some serious ROI, amirite? Looking for more ways to get the most out of your Disrupt experience? Want to win $100,00 in equity-free cash? Apply to compete in Startup Battlefield, our epic startup pitch competition.

You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. Disrupt San Francisco 2019 takes place on October 2-4, and this is your chance to take your startup to a new level. Apply to our TC Top Pick program today.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt SF? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

Discount student tickets still available for TC Sessions: Robotics + AI 2019

Here’s a shout-out to students fascinated by the world of robots and artificial intelligence. There’s a limited supply of discounted tickets left for TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics + AI, a one-day conference that takes place at UC Berkeley on April 18. Apply now to reserve your $45 student ticket, and spend a full day learning from the best minds, makers and investors in the business.

What can you expect at TC Sessions: Robotics + AI? A jam-packed day of panel discussions, workshops, Q&As, demos and world-class networking. Here’s a sample:

  • A panel discussion on human-robot interaction with Anca Dragan (UC Berkeley’s Interact Lab), Rana el Kaliouby (Affectiva) and Matt Willis (SoftBank Robotics).
  • A workshop with Eric Migicovsky (Y Combinator): How to Launch a Robotics Startup
  • A Q&A with startup founders gives you the opportunity to ask questions of some of the greatest minds in technology
  • A robot demo by Marc Raibert featuring SpotMini, Boston Dynamic’s latest creation

In a classic “but wait, there’s more” moment, we’re holding back some juicy agenda updates, so keep checking back for the latest.

For students looking for an internship, or a job, in robotics or AI, networking is key. TC Sessions: Robotics + AI draws more than 1,000 of the industry’s top technologists, founders and investors for one powerful day. You’ll have ample opportunity to talk, connect and rub elbows with these dream-makers and game-changers.

You might wonder how you’ll connect with the people you’re most interested in meeting. Good news on that front. We’re making CrunchMatch, TC’s free business match-making service, available to all attendees. The CrunchMatch platform (powered by Brella) helps you find and connect with people based on specific mutual criteria, goals and interests. It makes effective networking easier and more efficient.

Just one month to go before TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics + AI takes place on April 18 at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. Apply for your $45 student ticket today and, once we verify your student status, we’ll release your ticket. Can’t wait to see you in Berkeley!

Last day to save $100 on TC Sessions: Robotics + AI 2019

Like all good things must, early-bird pricing for tickets to TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics + AI comes to an end today. This is your last chance to save $100 on our day-long gathering of the greatest minds, makers and investors in the robotics and AI communities. Procrastination has a price. Buy your $249 ticket today or pay $349 tomorrow. That’s basic math right there.

TC Sessions: Robotics + AI takes place on April 18 at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall, and we’re stoked about the agenda of incredible speakers, panel discussions, demos and workshops we have planned. We think you’ll love it, too.

Previously on TechCrunch, we shared just a few of the heavy-hitters you’ll hear from, including Marc Raibert, Melonee Wise, Ken Goldberg, Anca Dragan Anthony Levandowski and Laura Major. But wait, there’s more!

We’re beyond thrilled to add Colin Angle, iRobot co-founder and CEO, to our list of industry headliners gracing our stage. If anyone knows mainstream home robots, it’s this guy. He’s one of the creators of Roomba, the first successful consumer robot and the best-selling vacuum in the U.S. Angle will discuss Terra, iRobot’s new robotic lawnmower, and the 10 years of R&D involved in bringing it to market.

What does it take for someone to invest in a robotics startup? That’s a red-hot topic, and you’ll get to hear Peter Barrett (Playground Global), Hidetaka Aoki (Global Brain), Helen Liang (FoundersX Ventures) and Andy Wheeler (GV) discuss what they’ve learned in a panel called, “Investing in Robotics and AI: Lessons from the Industry’s VCs.”

We expect more than 1,000 members of the robotics and AI community to attend, and that makes it a networking event you won’t want to miss. These are the influencers, the people who can help you make your robotic dreams come to life. Or perhaps you’ll invest in the next robot unicorn. It’s a day full of opportunity and potential. Be sure to use CrunchMatch (powered by Brella), our free business match-making service. It’s curated and automated, and it makes connecting with the right people painless and efficient.

TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics + AI takes place at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall on April 18, 2019. If you’re part of the robotics/AI startup ecosystem, you do not want to miss this event. And you certainly don’t want to pay more than necessary. Today’s the last day to save $100 on admission. Buy your early-bird ticket now, and we’ll see you in April.

UC Berkeley’s Ken Goldberg and Michael I. Jordan will discuss AI at TC Sessions: Robotics + AI April 18

We’re just over a month out from our TC Sessions: Robotics + AI event at UC Berkeley on April 18. We’ve already announced a number of marquee guests for the event, including Marc Raibert, Colin Angle, Melonee Wise and Anthony Levandowski. Today we’ve got another exciting panel to unveil and, as an FYI, our early-bird sale ends Friday!

This is our third robotics event, but it’s the first time artificial intelligence has shared the spotlight. Today we’re revealing that two of UC Berkeley’s top names in the space will be sharing the stage to discuss the role of AI in society for a panel titled “Artificial Intelligence: Minds, Economies and Systems that Learn.”

The pair of professors will be discussing how AI grew to become one of modern society’s most ubiquitous and wide-ranging technologies. The panel will also explore where the tech will go from here.

Ken Goldberg is a professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at UC Berkeley. He has co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed papers on automation, robotics and social information. He is the editor-in-chief of IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering and co-founder of the Berkeley Center for New Media.

Michael I. Jordan is the Pehong Chen Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Department of Statistics at UC Berkeley. His work touches on a wide range of topics, including computer science, AI and computational biology. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Early-bird ticket sales end tomorrow, Friday. Book your tickets today and save $100 before prices increase.

Students, grab your discounted $45 tickets here.

Startups, make sure to check out our demo table packages, which include three tickets, for just $1,500.

Take NVIDIA’s new Deep Learning Robotics Workshop at TC Sessions: Robotics + AI

As part of TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics + AI, we are happy to announce a partnership to deliver a brand new course from NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Institute (DLI). Called the NVIDIA Deep Learning for Robotics Workshop, this brand new, never before offered workshop will provide training in a new 3D accelerated remote desktop environment on April 17 in Berkeley, the day before the main show.

Under this supervision of a NVIDIA DLI instructor, the 60 participants will explore how to create robotics solutions on a Jetson for embedded applications and how to implement and deploy an end-to-end project through hands-on training. This eight-hour workshop will also teach how to:

  • Apply computer vision models to perform detection
  • Prune and optimize the model for embedded application
  • Train a robot to actuate the correct output based on the visual input

Upon completion, participants will know how to deploy high-performance deep learning applications for robotics and can earn an NVIDIA certificate upon completion of a code-based assessment.

What are the prerequisites? All that’s required is a basic familiarity with deep neural networks and basic coding experience in Python or a similar language.

Registration is $299* for workshop tickets. All supplies will be provided except for a laptop. (We’re providing the super-fat bandwidth the course requires.) There are only 60 spots available, so grab tickets while they last.

Check out the website for more information.

*Tickets to the April 17 NVIDIA workshop do not grant access to TC Sessions: Robotics + AI on April 18. Tickets are sold separately.

Only 3 days left to save on TC Sessions: Robotics + AI 2019 tickets

We can’t wait to see all of you at TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics + AI, which takes place April 18 at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. That’s still slightly more than a month away, but your opportunity to buy an early-bird ticket — and save $100 — disappears in just three short days. When that day arrives, the admission price goes up to $329. Why spend more than necessary? Go buy your early-bird ticket right now.

This is the first time we’ve rolled AI into the robotic mix, and it makes perfect sense. Our day-long intensive event highlights the top leaders and the most innovative startups in these two converging and rapidly evolving fields. You’ll hear from — and rub elbows with — the most influential makers, researchers, founders and investors in robotics and AI. Here’s a quick sampling of the programming you’ll enjoy.

Investing in robotics is a wild ride, and no one knows that better than Helen Liang, founding and managing partner of FoundersX Ventures, and Andy Wheeler, a general partner at GV (formerly Google Ventures). They’ll grace our stage to share their insight and experience. Liang, who also serves as founding president at Tech for Good, has invested in 20 early-stage robotics and AI startups. Wheeler focuses on bringing early-stage tech to market and has invested in Carbon, Farmer’s Business Network, Abundant Robotics and Orbital Insight.

If you wonder how and when robots will become a part of the construction crew, join Noah Ready-Campbell (Built Robotics) and Saurabh Ladha (Doxel AI) as they discuss whether robots can help us build faster, smarter and for less.

Who doesn’t love an awesome robot demo? Don’t miss Marc Raibert’s presentation, The Best Robots on Four Legs. He’ll demo SpotMini, Boston Dynamic’s latest creation, and talk about what it takes to bring a robotic product to market.

We still have a few surprises up our non-robotic sleeve, so keep checking our event agenda for the latest updates.

We’re expecting more than 1,000 people to attend this immersive event, and if you really want to stand out and connect with dream makers and game changers, consider buying a demo table. The price, $1,500, includes three attendee passes.

You’ll find comradery, connection and opportunity at TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics + AI. And if you buy an early-bird ticket, all that goodness will cost $100 less. You have just three days left to save. Buy your ticket today.

Apple sends out invites for March 25 ‘special event’

Apple sent out invites to reporters this afternoon for a March 25 special event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino.

Reports have suggested that the company will focus its keynote on the content side of its business. The invite offers some pretty heavy-handed hints that the video content service will be on full display at the event, mainly a film reel countdown timer that eventually reveals the phrase “It’s show time.”

Apple has been seeding a ton of TV shows and delivering plenty of announcements about the content that it has in the pipeline, but we’ve strangely heard quite little about the underlying platform or subscription that Apple has planned beyond media reports.

There’s also been some discussion about a subscription business for Apple News being announced here, but given the somewhat overt marketing references to the video service, the news product might either not be quite ready or could be playing second fiddle to the video announcements. Speaking of back burner, hardware announcements feel unlikely, though AirPower and a second-generation AirPods feel long overdue.

4 days left to save on tickets to TC Sessions: Robotics + AI 2019

When you love anything and everything related to robots and artificial intelligence, the only thing better than going to TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics + AI is saving $100 on the price of admission. But our $249 early-bird price flies the proverbial coop in just four days, on March 15, so buy your ticket now and keep that Benjamin in your wallet where it belongs.

Our day-long immersive program — which takes place at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall on April 18 — includes robot demos, workshops and interviews with the leading founders, investors, researchers and technologists in the field. We expect more than 1,000 attendees, which makes TC Sessions: Robotics + AI an outstanding opportunity to learn, share, network and build community.

What kind of programming can you expect? Excellent question. For starters, Alexei Efros from UC Berkeley and Hany Farid from Dartmouth College will address a crucial issue at the crossroads of artificial intelligence, reality and public trust. Don’t miss their presentation entitled, “This Reality Does Not Exist: Trust in an Age of Synthetic Media.”

If you love drones, you’ll love the conversation with DroneSeed’s Grant Canary, Aria Insights’ Laura Major and DJI’s Arnaud Thiercelin. They’ll discuss how people are using drones to stop poachers, deliver packages and inspect pipelines. They’ll also drone on — pun totally intended — about what’s coming next.

Come prepared for our investor Q&A session with Peter Barrett (Playground Global), Hidetaka Aoki (Global Brain) and Helen Liang (FoundersX Ventures). This is your chance to ask questions of some of the greatest investors in robotics and AI.

We’ve packed a lot of programming into our agenda, and we’ll be announcing special guests and adding a few more names to our schedule over the next few weeks. Be sure to check back for updates.

If you really want to make an impression and place your early-stage startup in front of the top influencers in robotics and AI, why not buy a demo table? Bring your posse, because the price includes three attendee passes.

TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics + AI takes place at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall on April 18, 2019. Student tickets cost a mere $45. As for the rest of you, don’t delay. You have only four days left to buy an early-bird ticket and save $100. Go get ‘er done!

GeekWire Bash recap: Dodgeball, ping pong, junior geek zone, and more at our 8th annual festival

The Regence dodgeball team prepares for competition at the 8th annual GeekWire Bash in Seattle. (GeekWIre Photos / Kevin Lisota)

Dodgeball squads hooted and hollered amid intense battles between Seattle tech companies. Elementary and middle school students chanted “We Love STEM!” over at the Robotics Cup competition. Attendees oohed and aahed after delicately-placed shots landed perfectly on the ping pong tables.

It was another exciting geek festival at the 8th annual GeekWire Bash, presented by First Tech Federal Credit Union. Nearly 2,000 people joined us in Seattle for a giant giant geek party that included everything from foosball to tabletop games to zipline rides to virtual reality laser tag — with a ton of networking, eating, drinking, and fun in between.

For the first time ever, the GeekWire Bash was open to geeks of all ages. Our new Junior Geek Zone featured the inaugural GeekWire Robotics Cup and other activities that let growing geeks participate in engaging games and learn about STEM subjects. More than 200 kids from across Washington state participated in the Robotics Cup — read a recap of the competition here.

Teammates work to position a robot. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
(GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

This year’s tournament winners beat out some serious competition and walked away with geeky trophies as newly-crowned GeekWire Bash champs. Colliers International ousted Zillow Group in dodgeball; familiar faces met again in ping pong; and new champs were crowned at the foosball and Settlers of Catan tables. See the full results here.

We loved welcoming back our Impact Partners — non-profit organizations that are making the Seattle community stronger through innovative programs related to education, science, leadership and inclusion.

Check out more photos below, including some fun ones from the photo booth. Shout out to photographer Kevin Lisota for snapping pics on Thursday. Once again, thanks so much for joining us for the GeekWire Bash. See everyone at our next event, the GeekWire Awards, on May 2 at Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture.

A big thanks to the 2019 GeekWire Bash title sponsor: First Tech Federal Credit Union.

Also, thanks to Avalara, the ping pong sponsor; T-Mobile, the dodgeball sponsor; NTT Communications, the sumo wrestling sponsor and Sirqul, the circle bar sponsor.

And thanks to our silver sponsors QumuloQualtrics, our supporting sponsors Big Fish GamesArivaleHiyaAlaska AirlinesDomain ToolsSeattle Army Recruiting Battalion and featured spirit Titos’ Handmade Vodka.
And to our partners: FIRST Washington, Virtual Sports, Meeples Games, Playtest Northwest, Niantic and ALLtech.
And this year’s Camp STEM participants: Pacific Science Center, The Museum of Flight, AIE and Toysmith.

Eagle Power, a team from Nespelem, Wash., competes. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
The LEGO Lassies from Kirkland, Wash., scored the most points and were named GeekWire Robotics Cup champs. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

Sign up before March 11 and save $500 on Disrupt SF 2019 tix

Want to trim a cool $500 off your ticket price to Disrupt San Francisco 2019? It’s easy to do, but you need to act before registration officially opens on Monday, March 11. Simply sign up for our mailing list. Seriously, just click the link, fill out four fields and hit the Submit button. Talk about easy money.

There’s nothing like a Disrupt conference, and our San Francisco event — which takes place October 2-4 — promises to be an epic record-breaker. Attendance is set to exceed last year’s 10,000+ crowd, and we’re hard at work building a stellar lineup of speakers, panelists, demos, Q&A Sessions and workshops.

In addition to four stages of programming, you can expect another rousing Startup Battlefield pitch competition. Plus, like last year, the top prize is $100,000 in equity-free cash. Yowza.

Sure, it’s wicked exciting to watch Startup Battlefield live and in-person, but it’s even more thrilling to compete. Participating in Startup Battlefield is about as close to being Disrupt royalty as you can get. Throw your founder’s hat into the ring and apply to compete in Startup Battlefield right here.

Make sure to explore Startup Alley while you’re there — Disrupt’s exhibition floor and home to hundreds of early-stage startups showing their latest tech innovations. You’ll find a range of technologies with a focus on these tracks: Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, Blockchain, Biotech/Healthtech, Fintech, Gaming, Mobility, Privacy/Security, E-commerce, Robotics and more.

Startup Alley is a networking paradise where you just might find your next investment, co-founder, employee, developer or mentor. It’s home to the TC Top Picks, a cadre of roughly 40 extraordinary startups vetted and hand-picked by discerning TechCrunch editors. If you think you’ve got what it takes, apply right here today.

The ever-popular TechCrunch Hackathon returns to Disrupt SF this year, running in tandem with the conference. Over the course of two days, hundreds of uber-talented hackers, software engineers, devs, students and makers of many stripes will form ad-hoc teams and compete to create new products. Along with the main event, there will be plenty of sponsored hack contests, prizes, cash and swag. It’s exhausting, demanding and fun — and a great way to show your stuff to an influential crowd.

So many reasons to attend Disrupt San Francisco 2019 and so little time left to save $500 on your passes. Hurry and sign up for our mailing list before registration opens on Monday, March 11 — and we’ll see you in October!

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt SF? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.