Category Archives: Events

Reserve your demo table today for the TechCrunch Winter Party at Galvanize

There are just three short weeks until Silicon Valley’s startup community takes a night off to relax, connect and get down at the 2nd Annual TechCrunch Winter Party at Galvanize. It’s not just an opportunity to have a great time — although you will. It’s also the chance for promising early-stage startups to strut their stuff. We have a handful of demo tables available, but they won’t last long. Why not book a demo table today? You never know who might attend the party and facilitate your big break.

Here’s one legendary example. TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington used to hold these parties in his back yard. And that’s where Box founders Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith met one of their first investors, DFJ. Demo your early-stage startup at our Winter Party, and you just might start your own legend.

What can you expect at our Winter fete? Great food, delicious libations and outstanding company for starters. Last year, nearly 1,000 of the early-stage startup community — movers, shakers and star-makers — attended. Join us for a great night of community, networking and fun.

Here’s the lowdown on the particulars:

  • When: Friday, February 8, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Where: Galvanize, 44 Tehama St., San Francisco, CA 94105
  • Tickets: $85
  • Demo table: $1,500 (includes three attendee tickets)

Demo tables are open to early-stage startups with $3 million or less in funding.

Along with conversation and networking, every TechCrunch bash includes plenty of games, activities, photo ops, swag and giveaways. Who wants free tickets to Disrupt 2019? You do! So, book your demo table now, before they’re gone. Come party with your people on February 8 and show us your stuff!

New tickets available for TechCrunch Winter Party at Galvanize

If you haven’t snagged a ticket to the 2nd Annual TechCrunch Winter Party on February 8, listen up and listen good. We just released the third round of our first-come-first-serve tickets, and the first two batches sold like proverbial hotcakes. Buy your ticket while you still can, because you don’t want to miss out on a ton of fun and opportunity.

The festivities take place at Galvanize in San Francisco, a multi-level venue that’s roomy enough for nearly 1,000 of the Valley’s finest founders, investors, developers, marketers and makers to get comfy and celebrate the spirit of this remarkable startup community. Plus, you’ll nosh on plenty of yummy appetizers and enjoy top-notch cocktails.

It’s a convivial environment to talk, network and connect — or reconnect — with like-minded people. You never know who you’ll meet and what opportunities a chance encounter might produce.

It’s also an opportunity to check out interesting early-stage startups showing their stuff at the demo tables. Hold on a minute — you might own an early-stage startup, so why not buy a demo table and place your baby smack dab in front of a highly influential audience? Genius! The $1,500 price tag buys your table and three tickets to the party.

Here’s the lowdown on logistics:

  • When: Friday, February 8, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Where: Galvanize, 44 Tehama St., San Francisco, CA 94105
  • Ticket price: $85

TechCrunch parties always include a big dose of fun, games and prizes. Who doesn’t love prizes? Along with spectacularly sweet swag, you might win tickets to Disrupt San Francisco 2019.

Tickets to the TechCrunch Winter Party at Galvanize are available right now, but who knows for how long? Go buy a ticket now and join us at Galvanize for a night of fabulous fun and awesome opportunity.

More tickets released for TechCrunch Winter Party at Galvanize

Silicon Valley loves a party, and we’re ready to help you get your swerve on. We’ve just released a fresh batch of tickets to the 2nd Annual TechCrunch Winter Party. Our fabulous midwinter fete takes place on Friday, February 8 at Galvanize in San Francisco.

Here’s a hot tip: buy your ticket now, because they won’t sit around for long. Last year, nearly 1,000 people came to the party and — as cliché as it sounds — a good time was had by all. You do not want to miss this event.

Never been to a TechCrunch party? You’re in for great fun and even better opportunity. Relax with cocktails, tasty canapés and the chance to connect and converse with your entrepreneurial siblings — as well as some of the Valley’s prominent movers, shakers and potential star-makers.

And, if you really want to shine a spotlight on your early-stage startup, buy a demo table for $1,500. You never know who might stop by your booth and potentially turn the party into a major cause for celebration. Oh, and that price also includes three attendee tickets. Score!

Of course, it’s not a TechCrunch party without plenty of games, activities, giveaways (free tickets to Disrupt San Francisco, anyone?) and, ‘natch, awesome swag.

Here are the party particulars.

  • When: Friday, February 8, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Where: Galvanize, 44 Tehama St., San Francisco, CA 94105
  • Ticket price: $85

We’ll keep releasing tickets in batches over the next couple of weeks, so if you miss this round, keep your eyes on our Facebook and Twitter feeds to stay up to date on the next release.

Join us to celebrate everything startup while enjoying plenty of food, drink and opportunity. Get your tickets to the 2nd Annual TechCrunch Winter Party today.

See you in Vegas next week!

It’s on like Donkey Kong! We’ll be seeing you next week, on January 9, 2019 at 6:00 PM, where we’ll mingle and run a full TC pitch-off with a bunch of great hardware companies. I’ve added 40 extra tickets, so hurry!

The event will be held at Work In Progress, 317 South 6th Street. Special thanks to those amazing folks who opened their doors to us during one of the busiest weeks in LV.

I’ve contacted the companies that will be pitching. If anyone drops out, I’ll choose some more, so there is still a chance to pitch.

Very special thanks go out to Shenzhen Valley Ventures, a hardware-focused venture capital firm for engineers, by engineers. They will be on hand to talk about their firm and would love to hear your pitches… and they are paying for the beer and pizza!

See you soon!

What to expect from CES 2019

The timing is… less than ideal. Just as the industry is recovering from a holiday-induced hangover, we’re thrust into the country’s largest consumer electronics show. The timing, of course, is not coincidental. The show is intended to offer a preview for the tech year to come.

Many companies thrive on CES’s pace. It’s a five-day deluge of tech news, and, for many, it’s the largest platform they’ll get all year. The show is fairly unique in its ability to juggle announcements from all sizes of companies, from Samsung to startup, all vying for a little mindshare.

In recent years, its focus has shifted. Many larger companies have opted to make announcements on their own stages — and their own terms. CES, meanwhile, has changed accordingly, offering smaller companies a platform through showcases like Eureka Park, while making automotive and transportation a more essential plank of the show.

We’re about a week out from CES really kicking off in earnest, so it’s time to take a look at some of the trends that are beginning to emerge in the lead-up to the big show.

5G beyond the phone

5g illustration taken during the inauguration of the Media group Altice' s Campus in Paris on October 9, 2018.

5G illustration, taken during the inauguration of the Media group Altice’ s Campus in Paris on October 9, 2018. (Photo by ERIC PIERMONT / AFP)

The big tech story of the year will no doubt also be the centerpiece of CES. The major U.S. carriers have already committed to rolling out 5G in 2019, so the show marks a perfect opportunity for hardware companies to get in on the action, as well.

Expect to see a lot of news out of component makers on this front, Intel especially. Qualcomm mostly showcased its 2019 offerings at its summit earlier this month, but the company will no doubt drill down on specifics, including the ways in which next-gen wireless will push IoT, automotive and other devices beyond the smartphone (more on that below).

In fact, I anticipate that’s going to be the big story here: 5G’s role beyond mobile. The big carriers — AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint — are intent on demonstrating how the faster technology will keep us gulp more connected than ever. That’s going to apply to everything from enterprise products to health-monitoring wearables and smart home devices.

It’s a future where everything is always-on — and tapped directly into your bank account.

AR/VR

Barring any unforeseen trends, VR’s going to mostly have to sit this one out. We’ll likely see a trend toward cheaper, standalone headsets à la the Oculus Go, but most companies are currently a lot more interested in what augmented reality holds in the short-term.

AR’s immediate future is two-pronged. Most developers are focused on leveraging existing devices like smartphones and tablets, using ARKit/ARCore. But a number of headsets/glasses have already begun to pop up on the periphery. Expect plenty of these to be on display at the show as startups attempt to convince us that it’s an experience we need to bring directly to our collective faces.

Automotive

As noted, automotive/transportation has become an increasingly important presence at CES over the past several years. Car stuff now comprises a full hall and several of the keynotes, as automakers invested more in tech breakthroughs and the consumer electronics side of things.

A number of key trends are already starting to emerge ahead of the event. As in past years, expect to see a focus on on-site demos of EV and self-driving technologies. Augmented reality — including head’s up displays  — will be a big part of the showcase, as will smaller transport products, including delivery robots.

Smart Home

The smart home ruled last year’s show. 5G is expected to take the title in 2019, but connected home products won’t give up without a fight. They’re going to be EVERYWHERE. From door locks to cameras to microwave to wall clocks — if you can name it, there will be a smart version at CES this year.

It’s the one category that practically every company both large and small will have a hand in. That said, two big names with an increased presence are going to drive much of the conversation. Since bringing the Echo and Home to market, CES has become an increasingly important show for both Amazon and Google. Expect Alexa and Assistant on everything at CES.

Smartphones

Much of this has, admittedly, already been detailed in my recent “Top smartphones trends to watch in 2019” post. Of course, what actually gets announced at CES is a different conversation altogether. For one thing, more companies are opting to make big announcements at their own events. For another, Mobile World Congress is just over a month away, and it’s been known to take plenty of smartphone wind out of CES’s sails.

That said, I’d expect to see a handful of 5G handsets on display at the show. And while CES 2019 probably won’t be a watershed moment for the future of foldable smartphones, we’re going to get a closer look at the final version of Royole’s handset. I would also anticipate seeing plenty of foldable concepts hinted at, even as the final product will still be a ways away.

2018 was the toughest year for smartphones in recent memory. As such, a lot of companies are feeling the pressure to do some soul-searching and go back to the drawing board. If nothing else, at least we’ll get some interesting concepts out of the deal.

TVs

Another year, another K. This year, 8K will very much be the thing. It’s like 4K, but with more Ks. Is it a gimmick? Kind of. Is it cool? Sure. Mostly, however, it’s the latest reason to get you to upgrade that three-year-old TV that cost you three months’ rent.

Companies have been showing off 8K sets for half a decade now. This is the year manufacturers will really get serious about the technology — though the same probably can’t be said for content.

Tech Moves: Alder gets a CFO; Eventcore snags sales VP; Redfin hires head of renovations

Carlos Campoy is the new CFO at Alder BioPharmaceuticals. The Bothell, Wash.-based drug company is developing eptinezumab, an antibody-based migraine treatment that’s currently undergoing a pivotal phase 3 trial.

Campoy brings two decades of financial experience in health care to the company. He was VP of finance at Allergan’s international unit and spent 18 years at Eli Lilly, where he rose to become CFO of the company’s Japan operations.

“Carlos is a highly experienced, performance-driven CFO with deep financial and operational expertise across competitive markets,” said Alder CEO Bob Azelby in a statement. Alder founder Randall Schatzman stepped down as CEO in March and was replaced by Azelby in June.

“I look forward to leading Alder’s financial function and working closely with Bob and the leadership team as the company continues to build out its processes and infrastructure to prepare for the successful commercialization of eptinezumab,” said Campoy.

Aaron Noe joins real estate tech company Redfin in a brand new role: national head of renovations. The company is expanding its direct home-buying program RedfinNow in response to the trend of “iBuyer” businesses that has attracted Zillow, Opendoor, Knock and Offerpad.

Noe managed a portfolio of 45,000 homes in his prior role at American Homes 4 Rent, a real estate investment trust company, Redfin said.

“I look forward to helping grow the RedfinNow business and using my experience and creativity to streamline our renovation process so that we can bring this convenient home-selling option to more consumers,” Noe said in a statement.

“Aaron brings the operational chops to build our home renovations program,” said Quinn Hawkins, head of RedfinNow.

— Live event technology company Eventcore has brought in Camille Beatty Falor as VP of sales. Eventcore is behind a number of large tech events, including the Microsoft Tech Summit, Zillow’s Premier Agent Forum and the Red Hat Summit. The company announced it raised $4.1 million in February to fuel an expansion.

Beatty Falor previously led sales at Seattle’s Sesame Communications. She also held senior sales roles at StreamLink Software in Cleveland and Coupa Software in San Mateo, Calif.

“Having a great team and a great product is crucial in sales, and I couldn’t be more excited to help build on the already outstanding team in place working to keep Eventcore as the premier technology solution for event registration,” Beatty Falor said in a statement.

“Camille has an extremely impressive track record of helping companies strategically grow their customer bases,” said Eventcore CEO Mark Johnson.

Editor’s note: Check out previous Tech Moves columns here

GeekWire Gala highlights: Seattle tech celebrates the holidays in style at our 8th annual event

More than 800 people came together at the GeekWire Gala at The Showbox at the Market in downtown Seattle on Thursday. (GeekWire Photos / Dan DeLong)

It was an electric scene at the historic Showbox on Thursday evening as the Seattle community came out in full force to celebrate the holidays.

Did you attend the GeekWire Gala? Fill out this brief survey. 

We had so much fun welcoming more than 800 of you for our eighth annual GeekWire Gala, presented by Smartsheet.

Entrepreneurs, engineers, and everyone in between partied in the heart of downtown Seattle with an evening of eating, drinking, networking, and of course, dancing.

The evening kicked off with a special live GeekWire podcast event for VIP attendees. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer joined us for a conversation about data, which is the focus of our new Numbers Geek podcast with Ballmer that debuted this week. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee took the stage for the second segment, answering questions about the future of this state and a potential 2020 presidential run.

Steve Ballmer (left) and Todd Bishop talk about Numbers Geek, a new GeekWire podcast series featuring the former Microsoft CEO about numbers and data.
GeekWire Civic Innovation Editor Monica Nickelsburg interviews Washington Gov. Jay Inslee at the GeekWire Gala 2018.

The Gala is one of our favorite events of the year, and 2018 certainly did not disappoint. The food (Beecher’s Mac and Cheese; Dick’s burger delivery); the drinks (Alaska Airlines Aviator cocktails); and the music (via KEXP DJ whiz Michele Myers) all had a fun Seattle flair.

A late night Dick’s delivery kept the party going on Thursday.

Seattle’s fashion game was surprisingly impressive on Thursday. Two top candidates for best dressed of the evening: Lana Neyolova and Kellen Ball, winners of our Geek Style Reboot, presented by Nordstrom.

Lana Neyolova and Kellen Ball, winners of our Geek Style Reboot.

We’ll post more photos to our Facebook page later today. Attendees can check out photo booth shots below.

A big thank you to everyone for coming out on Thursday. And of course, this holiday tradition would not be possible without our wonderful GeekWire Gala Sponsors. They are:

PRESENTING SPONSOR

GOLD SPONSORS
OfferUp | Avalara | Perkins Coie | Calgary Economic Development

SILVER SPONSORS
Nordstrom | Alaska Airlines | Moz | EY | RealSelf | University of Washington Foster MSIS Program

SUPPORTING SPONSORS
Bader Martin | Flywheel Investment Conference | First Tech Federal Credit Union

PARTNERS
ALLtech | United Way of King County

Join TechCrunch for our 2nd Annual Winter Party

After last year’s stellar turn out of almost 1,000 Silicon Valley shakers and movers at our inaugural Winter Party, TechCrunch is returning with the 2nd Annual Winter Party in San Francisco on February 8.

The party will feature tasty cocktails and canapés, party games and activities, plenty of photo ops, giveaways and some fun surprises. As you network your way across the sea of attendees, you’ll also get to check-out a handful of promising early-stage startups just waiting for their big break.

The shindig will be held in the multi-level facility at Galvanize in San Francisco on Friday, February 8. While the venue is large, it won’t be able to hold all of Silicon Valley, so tickets are very limited and will be released on a rolling basis for $85 each. If you’re a startup and want to demo your product at this event, demo tables are available for purchase at $1,500 each. Demo tickets are limited too, so get yours before we sell out!

More about the Winter Party:

When? Friday, February 8, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Where? Galvanize, 44 Tehama St., San Francisco, CA 94105

How? Get tickets here for just $85 each. There are only a limited number of tickets for this event. Tickets will be released in batches, so if you don’t see any availability, stay tuned to TechCrunch for our next release (following us on Facebook or Twitter works great), as they sell out quickly. TechCrunch parties have a history of being the place you want to meet your future investor, acquirer or co-founder. And to top it all off, we’re going to give away some really great door prizes, like TC swag and tickets to Disrupt SF, our flagship event this October.

Hope to see you all there!

Our sponsors help make TechCrunch events happen. If you are interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities, please contact our sponsorship team by filling out this form.

Announcing the final batch of judges for Startup Battlefield Africa

Startup Battlefield Africa in Lagos, Nigeria, is coming up fast. As usual, we have a great lineup of panels that will include investors and founders discussing issues such as blockchain, raising venture capital on the continent and beyond and more.

And of course companies will compete in Startup Battlefield, our premier startup competition. Startup Battlefield consists of 15 teams competing in three preliminary rounds — five startups per round — which have only six minutes to pitch and present a live demo to a panel of expert technologists and VC investors. Five of the original 15 startups will be chosen to pitch a second time to a fresh set of judges. One startup will emerge the winner and receive a US$25,000 no-equity cash prize and win a trip for two to compete in the Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2019 (assuming the company still qualifies to compete at the time). The event is now sold out, but keep your eyes on TechCrunch for video of all the panels and the Battlefield competition.

And now to announce our next batch of judges who will be grilling the startups after their pitches. See you next week!


Jason Njoku, Iroko

Jason Njoku is the founder and CEO of Iroko, the home of Nollywood content. He has pioneered the African digital content market by bringing Nollywood (Nigerian cinema) to a global audience, and in the process has raised more than $40 million in investment from international VCs, including Tiger Global, Kinnevik, RISE Capital and Canal+.

In 2013, Njoku was crowned as the CNBC Africa West Africa Young Business Leader, and in 2014, he was recognized as one of Fast Company’s Top 1000 most Creative People in Business.

Dapo Olagunju, J.P. Morgan

Dapo Olagunju is head of West Africa at J.P. Morgan. In this capacity, he represents J.P. Morgan’s global platform to clients, regulators and other stakeholders in the region.

Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, he was a general manager at Access Bank Plc where he oversaw the financial markets division of the bank. He was a member of the bank’s Digital Council, which had overall responsibility for the bank’s digital strategy, approved partnership with fintech companies and monitored the implementation of digital initiatives. He was, at different times, a consultant on peacekeeping financing at the United Nations in New York and chief dealer at Investment Banking & Trust Company Limited (now Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, a member of the Standard Bank Group). He was also co-founder of 234Give.com — an online fundraising platform.

Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, Facebook

Konstantinos Papamiltiadis is the director of developer platforms and programs for Facebook, supporting the company’s product and platform strategy through partnerships with technology companies and programs for startups.

Prior to that he supervised product and engineering at Taptu (sold to Mediafed) a Cambridge, U.K.-based startup. Prior to Taptu, he led the Yahoo EMEA mobile product team. His team supervised the development and launch of mobile sites for Search, Mail and IM across Europe, as well as News, Sports and Finance for iPhone and Blackberry apps. Before joining Yahoo he was a product manager at Skype and Vodafone R&D.

Bosun Tijani, Co-Creation Hub

Bosun Tijani is the co-founder and CEO of Co-Creation Hub, a social innovation center based in Nigeria dedicated to accelerating the application of social capital and technology for economic prosperity. In pursuit of an active lifestyle, he also founded and serves as the CEO and founder of Truppr, an emerging fitness brand in Africa that connects users to fitness events across the world. In addition, he is a partner at Growth Capital, Nigeria’s first social innovation fund for high-potential, early-stage businesses.

He has more than 15 years of experience across public and private corporations, including Pera Innovation Network (U.K.), Hewlett Packard (EMEA) and International Trade Centre (UNCTAD/WTO), both in Geneva, Switzerland.

Bringing internet to the masses and investing in telecoms at Startup Battlefield Africa

Despite a year-end goal of 30 percent broadband internet penetration in Nigeria, the country is unlikely to hit that target. As of 2017, internet penetration in Nigeria was at 22 percent — among the lowest in the world, according to the ICT Development Index, which is published by the United Nations International Telecommunication Union.

MainOne, a broadband infrastructure provider, is one of the operators looking to increase connectivity and access to broadband in Nigeria and beyond. In 2010, MainOne became the first private subsea cable to bring open-access broadband capacities to West Africa. Founded and led by Funke Opeke, MainOne aims to close the digital divide between West Africa and the rest of the world.

Just this month, MainOne partnered with Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology to offer high-speed internet access to the MEST incubator in Ikoyi, Lagos. To date, MainOne has deployed cable landings in Lagos, Nigeria; Accra, Ghana; and Seixal, Portugal. In the near term, MainOne has its eyes on Casablanca, Morocco; Bonny, Nigeria and other African countries.

At TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa, we’ll hear from Opeke about what it will take to reach the goal of 30 percent internet penetration and beyond.

We’ll also hear from Omobola Johnson, Nigeria’s former Minister of Communication, who was one of the people responsible for developing the broadband plan in 2013. Since developing that five-year strategy to increase internet and broadband penetration in Nigeria, Johnson has gone on to work with entrepreneurs.

Currently, Johnson is a senior partner at TLcom Capital, which invests in telecom, media and technology companies. The firm has backed startups like Andela, mSurvey, Upstream and others.

The event is now sold out, but keep your eyes on TechCrunch for video of all the panels and the Battlefield competition.