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Win a Wild Card to compete in Startup Battlefield at Disrupt 2020

By Marquise Foster

Ready to take advantage of every opportunity to keep your startup on track and moving forward? Yes, yes you are. Exhibiting in Startup Alley during Disrupt SF 2020 is nothing but opportunity. It offers founders beaucoup benefits, but there’s one more whopper waiting for two standout startups. We’re talking about the Wild Card entry to compete in Startup Battlefield.

Yup, buy yourself a Startup Alley Exhibitor Package and you’ll have a shot at joining Disrupt SF 2020’s elite Startup Battlefield cohort. The winner of this epic pitch competition takes home the coveted Disrupt Cup and $100,000. And who couldn’t use that kind of equity-free cash infusion right about now?

Here’s how it all works. Exhibit in Startup Alley, where you’ll demo your tech products, platforms or services to potential investors, customers, engineers, media outlets and, well, the list goes on. This is no time to take your foot off the gas, and Startup Alley offers a prime opportunity to network one-on-one and build relationships with the people who can help keep your startup moving forward.

Now, about that Wild Card. The discerning TechCrunch editorial team will review all exhibiting startups and — talk about a tough task — select only two companies to compete in Startup Battlefield.

If you’re chosen, you’ll join the other Battlefield competitors and deliver a 6-minute pitch and demo to a panel of judges — top-name VCs and technologists. You’ll also answer a Q&A after your pitch. If you make it through to round two, you’ll do it all again to a fresh set of experts.

Does it sound a bit far-fetched — going from mild-mannered exhibitor to Battlefield Champion — hoisting the Disrupt Cup and hauling $100K back home? Okay, it’s longshot, but it’s not unprecedented! The folks at RecordGram pulled it off, why not you?

Even if you don’t win the competition, you’ll launch in front of the global startup community, be on the receiving end of intense media and investor interest and join the ranks of the Startup Battlefield Alumni community — more than 900 companies (including the likes of Dropbox, Mint, Yammer and Vurb) that have collectively raised $9 billion and produced 115 exits.

Don’t miss your double dose of opportunity. Exhibit in Startup Alley at Disrupt SF 2020, drive your dream to the next level and take a shot at winning a Wild Card. Who knows? You might just be the next Startup Battlefield champ.

TechCrunch is mindful of the COVID-19 issue and its impact on live events. You can follow updates here.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt San Francisco 2020? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

Startup Battlefield is going virtual with TechCrunch Disrupt 2020

By Neesha A. Tambe

You read that right. The big announcement came yesterday – TechCrunch Disrupt is now fully virtual. What does this mean for Startup Battlefield? More opportunity. The best companies from across the globe, an even bigger launch platform, the eyes of more investors from around the world and press exposure at the biggest conference TechCrunch has held to-date. The conference will be available globally, spanning 5 days – September 14-18. Founders. This. Is. Your. Shot. Applications will close June 19th, so get your app in ASAP.

Successful startup founders face challenging circumstances with determination and persistence — and they grab hold of every opportunity to pave a path forward. Are you ready to pave your path? And a chance to win the $100,000 equity-free prize and the Disrupt Cup?

The virtual Startup Battlefield works much like last year’s onsite battle, but with a few twists and added benefits.

Apply. You’re eligible — no matter where you are around the world — if your company meets these criteria: it’s early stage; you have an MVP that includes a tech component (software, hardware or platform); your company has not received much, if any, major media coverage. Here’s good news: it won’t cost you a thing to apply or participate in the Battlefield. And TechCrunch does not take any equity.

The TechCrunch editorial team will review every application looking for innovative, game-changing startups from verticals spanning the tech spectrum. They’ll select a cadre of startups to compete virtually in front of influencers who have to power to change the course of your business.

Prepare for battle. All competing teams go through a free weeks-long training with TechCrunch team. That coaching will whip your pitch into fighting trim, cut the fat from your business models, sharpen your presentation skills and fine-tune your demo. You’ll also hear from industry experts on developing various aspects of your business – from go-to-market strategy to executive communications.

Compete. When game day arrives, each team presents a 6-minute pitch to a bevy of judges consisting of top VCs and technologists. An intense Q&A follows each presentation, but with all that coaching under your belt you won’t break a sweat. The judges will select teams to move into the finals — and those founders will pitch yet again to a fresh panel of judges on the final day of the virtual conference.

From that impressive lot, the judges will choose one stellar startup to claim the Disrupt Cup and the $100,000 prize. The whole event takes place online in front of a huge global audience — they can watch all the action with a free Disrupt  Digital pass.

Network and grow your business. Although only one startup wins the cash, all Startup Battlefield competitors gain invaluable exposure to investors, media and potential customers — and they join the ranks of the Startup Battlefield Alumni. That impressive cohort has collectively raised $9 billion and generated 115 exits. We’re talking companies like Vurb, Dropbox, GetAround, Mint, Yammer, Fitbit and many more. Talk about prime networking.

Startup Battlefield competitors also get to exhibit in Digital Startup Alley and enjoy these added benefits:

  • Leading Voices Webinars: Top industry minds will share their thoughts and strategies on adapting and thriving during and after this pandemic. Startup Alley exhibitors get exclusive access to this webinar series.
  • A launch article posted on
  • A YouTube video promoted on
  • Free subscription to Extra Crunch
  • Free passes to future TechCrunch events

Plus, you’ll receive loads of press and investor attention and use of CrunchMatch, our AI-powered networking platform, to set up virtual meetings. Keep checking back because we’re not quite finished adding extra perks.

You’re determined. You’re persistent. Apply to compete in Startup Battlefield at Disrupt 2020 for an opportunity to pave your path to success.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt 2020? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

TechCrunch Disrupt 2020 is going virtual

By Matthew Panzarino

The headline says it all. TechCrunch’s big yearly event, Disrupt, is going fully virtual in 2020. As you can imagine, this is largely due to the impact that the coronavirus has had on the world. But it also gives us a chance to make our event even more accessible to more people than ever before, and we’re incredibly excited about that. And Disrupt will stretch over five days — September 14-18 — in order to make it easier for everyone to take in all the amazing programming. 

This is a daunting and intense task for all of us, but we’re also insanely excited by the challenge. We know how to make great in-person events. Now, the rules are re-written and we get the chance to set that same high standard in the virtual events space.

This is a challenging time for the industry that we cover relentlessly. There are massive risks, and massive opportunities for companies, investors and entrepreneurs. That’s what this Disrupt will be all about, helping you to understand our new realities in order to build hardy, innovative companies that not only weather this storm, but flourish.

Some of the companies that were founded during the last financial crisis or in its aftermath include Uber, Slack, Pinterest, Airbnb, Square, Instagram and Stripe. We’ll look at lessons from those companies and founders, and talk to investors about what they’re looking for from the startups of the future.

Our job now is to build a stellar virtual experience for speakers, sponsors, attendees and, most importantly, the startups that depend on Disrupt. Just like at our physical events, you will be able to meet investors, bring your innovative products to market and connect with media. You will be able to check out hundreds of startups, listen to and interact with some of the most important people in the startup world and attend virtual networking events. You will be able to build new partnerships, talk about your programs and build awareness of what you’re making. 

One of the things we’re most excited about is that anyone from anywhere around the globe can join us in a virtual event. And, because of this, we expect this to be one of the largest and most diverse events in Disrupt history. 

Entrepreneurs from around the world have always gathered at Disrupt, but now the barriers to attend will be lower than ever. Great companies from San Francisco to Seoul can participate in the Startup Battlefield competition this year, making it more possible than ever for us to gather the most incredibly interesting companies together with no geographic or logistical restrictions.

When 2020 began, we didn’t expect to be taking on such a big project this year. But the truth is, we’re ready. As news of the true spread of the coronavirus broke, the TechCrunch team began taking action. We launched Extra Crunch Live, delivering virtual events with guests like Aileen Lee, Kirsten Green, Mark Cuban, Charles Hudson and Roelof Botha. We’re taking our learnings there and applying them to the programming of our two virtual stages at Disrupt. 

We launched the Disrupt Digital Pro Pass that offers live stream and video on demand access to all of the programming, great targeted networking opportunities, access to Startup Alley and access to our sponsors. We’ve launched virtual sponsorship options that will give our partners the opportunity to build their brand, deliver their content, network with interesting people and develop the critical relationships that will help their businesses thrive. 

Disrupt’s dates are coming up fast (September 14-18th, 2020) so register as soon as you can. 

Stepping off this ledge is one of the scariest and yet most thrilling things we’ve ever done at TechCrunch and we’re really glad that we have an audience that knows exactly how that feels. 

Thank you, and we’ll see you at the first-ever TechCrunch Disrupt online.

Joey Hinson, Director of Operations

Matthew Panzarino, Editor in Chief

Everlywell gains first FDA authorization for a standalone, at-home, COVID-19 test sample collection kit

By Darrell Etherington

Everlywell was one of the first startups to announce that it was working on a self-administered, at-home COVID-19 diagnostic kit, but it initially sought out to ship kits before regulators made clear that this was not in line with its guidelines. Everlywell then became intent on working with the FDA to secure a proper Emergency Use Authorization for its kits before sending any to consumers, and that approach has paid off with the U.S. drug regulator issuing an EUA for Everlywell’s tech today.

Everlywell‘s COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit is the first standalone sample collection kit to be granted a proper EUA by the FDA. Other kits have been in use through physician-prescribed and directed collection, and others still have been authorized specifically for use with one test (where provider of both kit and test are the same). This approval is unique because Everlywell is offering its sample kit independent of any specific testing lab, and can work with a variety of labs to potentially provide a broader testing footprint.

The test kits are then sent to one of two labs currently authorized under separate EUAs for COVID-19 testing, and the administration notes that this could expand to other test providers in future should they file for an EUA and provide the requisite data that goes along with the verification required for that emergency approval. The FDA cites Everlywell’s work in collecting and presenting data from studies including those supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to show that samples collected at home using its nasal swab collection method remain stable during shipping.

That data is also now available to others looking to provide similar test kit offerings, the FDA notes, which should reduce the burden of proof on anyone looking to gain authorization for a competing product. That could potentially open up testing even further, reducing a bottleneck that many public health professionals see as one of the key drivers of a successful recovery.

“The authorization of a COVID-19 at-home collection kit that can be used with multiple tests at multiple labs not only provides increased patient access to tests, but also protects others from potential exposure,” said Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “Today’s action is also another great example of public-private partnerships in which data from a privately funded study was used by industry to support an EUA request, saving precious time as we continue our fight against this pandemic.”

Grab your Disrupt Digital Pro Pass today for Disrupt SF 2020

By Emma Comeau

We’ve always wanted to make the Disrupt SF (September 14-16) experience available to people who can’t travel to San Francisco. Nothing like a global pandemic to shift priorities and spur innovation. We’ve reserved the Moscone Center for September 14-16, but if you can’t attend in person — for any reason — why not join us online with a Disrupt Digital Pass?

The Digital Pass offers unprecedented, interactive online access to a range of Disrupt SF content. As always, we offer different pricing tiers to keep Disrupt accessible to as many people as possible. You have your choice of two digital ways to play.

Looking for the most immersive, interactive Disrupt experience and the opportunity to engage with the global TechCrunch community? We’ve got you covered — and it won’t break the bank.

The Disrupt Digital Pro Pass is just $245 for a limited time and includes access to content from all stages via live-stream and videos-on-demand so you can watch on your own schedule. You’ll have live-stream and VOD access to:

The Extra Crunch Stage — where top experts (think growth gurus, investors, legal eagles and leading technologists) join TechCrunch editors to discuss the crucial topics founders need to succeed

The Q&A Stage submit questions during live Q&A sessions with speakers who have appeared with TechCrunch editors on the Disrupt and Extra Crunch stages.

The Showcase Stage — watch as top founders exhibiting in Startup Alley step on stage, pitch their products and field questions from TechCrunch editors.

Startup Alley — peruse and interact virtually with hundreds of exhibiting startups, view product demos and schedule virtual one-on-one meetings with founders.

Disrupt wouldn’t be Disrupt without world-class networking, and that still holds true in 2020. Experience easy, effective networking from home with CrunchMatch. This AI-driven networking tool helps you find like-minded attendees, request meetings and connect via a private video conference. It’s the easiest way to network with the people who can help you move forward.

Engage with sponsors. They’re a smart bunch of folks, and Digital Pro pass holders will have plenty of opportunity to schedule one-on-one meetings with reps or watch sponsor presentations.

For those with tighter budgets, we created the free Disrupt Digital Pass. This pass provides access to the Disrupt Stage live stream and access to all the Disrupt Stage content via video on demand (VOD).

What happens on the Disrupt Stage? TechCrunch editors interview the biggest names in tech. Disrupt always features an amazing lineup of speakers with top founders, investors and experts from across the startup ecosystem. Case in point: Don’t miss the conversation with Atlassian co-founder and co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes, who also knows a thing or two about investing in software, fintech, agriculture and energy.

Disrupt SF 2020 takes place on September 14-16, and even if you can’t join us in person, you can still experience all the opportunities Disrupt offers. Get your Disrupt Digital Pass today, and keep your startup moving forward.

TechCrunch is mindful of the COVID-19 issue and its impact on live events. You can follow updates here.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt San Francisco 2020? Contact the sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

Throw us your best 60-second pitch on May 13 at Pitchers and Pitches

By Marquise Foster

Founders have always faced big challenges, but they pale in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Moving your business forward will require new thinking, new tools and new opportunities along with tried-and-true essentials. We’ve got you covered on all fronts.

Case in point — catching investor attention in this climate will require a pitch par excellence. Pour yourself a cold one (or a tall glass of water because that’s great, too!) and join us on May 13 at 4pm ET / 1pm PT for Pitchers and Pitches, an interactive elevator pitch feedback session with TechCrunch editors. Get feedback that can help you take your pitch to a whole new level.

Our first Pitchers and Pitches session is free and open to the public — register now. You can let us know during registration if you want to participate and we’ll randomly select 5 startups to give us their best 60 second pitch. Even if you’re not selected to pitch, it’ll be a learning experience for all who attend and you can also give feedback via live polling. You’ll gain valuable insight into the art of telling your startup’s story in under a minute.

While we’ll continue with a series of content sessions, they will be exclusive to Startup Alley exhibitors — both those who exhibit onsite at Disrupt San Francisco 2020 (September 14-16) and founders who purchase a Digital Startup Alley Package.

Wait — you haven’t heard about the Digital Startup Alley? We tapped our resources and industry connections to replicate the Startup Alley experience as a truly world-class virtual event. It’s designed to help you keep momentum despite lockdowns, travel restrictions or budgetary concerns.

We don’t have a crystal ball to see how long this pandemic will remain in play. However, if it turns out you can attend Disrupt SF in person, you have the option to upgrade your exhibit package and still access the benefits of Digital Startup Alley. Value, meet add.

Startups in the age of COVID-19 will need every tool in the shed — and a few new ones — to adapt and keep moving forward. Start with exceptional coaching and sharpen your pitch to a keen edge.

Register now for our free Pitchers and Pitches session, which takes place on May 13 at 4:00pm ET / 1:00pm PT.

TechCrunch is mindful of the COVID-19 issue and its impact on live events. You can follow our updates here.

Disruptor Beam relaunches as gaming infrastructure-maker Beamable

By Anthony Ha

Disruptor Beam, the mobile gaming startup behind Star Trek Timelines, has a new name and a new business. It’s now calling itself Beamable, and it’s selling a set of tools to help game developers add commerce and social functionality to their titles.

The company’s direction became clear earlier this year when it sold Timelines to Tilting Point so that it could focus on its developer tools. Now Beamable is officially launching its Early Access program for games that are live, or that are scheduled to go live in the next 12 months.

CEO Jon Radoff told me that Disruptor Beam first built this technology for its own games — not just Timelines, but also Game of Thrones Ascent and Walking Dead: March to War.

Radoff suggested that there’s a real need for this as gaming continues shifting towards a “games as a service” model, where developers don’t just release a title and move on, but rather continue adding new features and content, while additional ways to make money from players.

The largest developers with the most popular games can support this approach, but he said, “For the next 5,000 games on the app stores, any of the things they’ve built are pretty primitive and they really need help.”

Beamable screenshot

Image Credits: Beamable

He added, “For these developers, 30% or 40% of their effort goes into making a cool game, and all the other money and time goes into things the player doesn’t really see — the store and the commerce … It’s kind of like a tax on their ongoing operation.”

With Beamable, on the other hand, developers can add take advantage of the infrastructure that the company has already built for in-game storefronts, merchandising, content management and social interactions. The platform also ties together the company’s backend infrastructure with the Unity 3D editor and the live gameplay experience.

“Other products we’ve investigated are just middleware,” said Tap Slots CEO Markus Weichselbaum in a statement. “Beamable is fully-integrated with Unity, including user interfaces that work in both the Unity 3D editor and game clients. This saves us massive amounts of time we’d otherwise spend in the guts of the technology and rediscovering best practices, instead of doing what we need to do: designing great games.”

In addition to selling Timelines, Disruptor Beam also shifted its business by shutting down Ascent and March to War, and it’s sold an unnamed, still-in-development title to East Side Games.

Beamable team

The Beamable team Image Credits: Beamable

Radoff suggested that when Disruptor Beam started, the market for licensed games tied to major entertainment franchises was still “the Wild, Wild West” providing “a tremendous opportunity” for startups to innovate. Now, however, it’s a “mature market” that’s dominated by larger developers.

Radoff also acknowledged that he spent much of 2019 “trying to figure out how to have my cake and eat it too” — in other words, how the company could turn the game platform into a business while continuing to develop games of its own.

“Ultimately, I concluded that game development is an obsession,” he said. “When you have a company in which any amount of game development is happening, no matter what you do, you’re always going to be obsessed with game development, and that obsession tends to push out your ability to create great technology or a great product for developers.”

Instead, Radoff decided to sell off the company’s games and try to build an organization (now operating remotely via Zoom, like everyone else) that’s equally obsessed with building a development platform — primarily for mobile games, but also for PC and console.

Introducing the Digital Startup Alley Package for Disrupt SF

By Marquise Foster

Building a startup is hard enough. But COVID-19, our generation’s worst plot twist, gives new meaning to uncertainty and stress. No one had “pandemic” on their early-stage startup’s radar, which begs the question: How do you move your business forward in unprecedented times?

It’s a huge challenge, and we’ve worked hard to find a way to help you keep momentum in the face of lockdowns and travel restrictions. Drumroll please — the Digital Startup Alley Package, a virtual exhibition for startups at Disrupt SF (September 14-16).

Accept no virtual substitutes. Disrupt is the OG of startup conferences, and TechCrunch has the resources and industry connections to replicate the Startup Alley experience as a truly world-class virtual event.

The Digital Startup Alley Package lets early-stage, pre-Series A startups disrupt from home for only $445. Digital Startup Alley kicks off early, and it runs through the end of the physical event in September. Place your startup in front of thousands of influential investors, technologists, customers and media — with months to pitch, demo, network and schedule meetings.

The Digital Startup Alley Package covers three people and includes:

CrunchMatch: TechCrunch’s AI-powered founder/investor networking platform. Save time, zero in and connect with the people who can move your business forward. Each startup will create a customizable profile, allowing startups to easily note their value add and business model to potential customers and investors.

Exceptional Pitch Coaching: Grab a brew and join TechCrunch editors for Pitchers and Pitches — an interactive opportunity to learn from the best. Whip your pitch into shape with the team that coaches the Startup Battlefield competitors.

Exposure to Investors: Exhibiting startups will be included in a deck available exclusively to investors attending Disrupt SF.

Exhibitor Guide: The definitive resource to Startup Alley and Disrupt SF — modified to reflect our digital exhibitors. Plus, you get access to the content included with a Disrupt Digital Pro Pass.

Exclusive Founder Webinars: All Startup Alley exhibitors will get exclusive access to the brightest industry minds to hear their current thinking on ways startups can adapt and thrive both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pro Tip: Come September, if you can exhibit at Disrupt SF in person, you can upgrade your package and still enjoy the benefits of Digital Startup Alley.

Remember, founders don’t quit — they adapt and move forward. Buy your Digital Startup Alley Package today.

TechCrunch is mindful of the COVID-19 issue and its impact on live events. You can follow our updates here.

Take your shot: Apply to TC Top Picks at Disrupt SF 2020

By Neesha A. Tambe

TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco is known around the world as the place where the early-stage startup community gathers to learn and launch, connect and collaborate. We know COVID-19 has created challenges, but Disrupt SF is still on schedule (keep tabs on our updates here). Like startup founders everywhere, we quickly learn where, when and how to pivot. Case in point, check out our new Disrupt Digital Pass option.

In the current climate, it’s even more important to get the focus of investors and customers on your startup. And your chance to do just that goes down on September 14-16, 2020. But did you know there’s a way that founders can extract even more opportunity from their Disrupt experience — for free?

Apply to be a TC Top Pick. It doesn’t cost anything to apply or participate, and you’re welcome to apply if your early-stage startup falls into one of these categories:

Artificial Intelligence + Machine Learning, Biotech + Healthtech, Enterprise + SaaS, Fintech, Mobility, Retail + E-commerce, Robotics, Hardware + IOT, Security + Privacy, Social Impact + Education, and Space.

TechCrunch editors will review every application and select up to three startups they feel represent the very best in each category. Check out who we chose as TC Top Picks at Disrupt SF 2019.

Making the cut won’t be easy, but you have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain. For starters, every TC Top Pick startup receives a free Startup Alley Exhibitor Package and a VIP experience. You’ll exhibit for one full day in a prime, dedicated space in Startup Alley, our expo floor. Plus, you receive three complimentary Founder passes — you and your team can experience more of Disrupt’s extensive programming and networking opportunities.

Keep in mind that everyone at Disrupt wants to know who made the coveted Top Picks list. You’ll stand in a bright, metaphorical spotlight and draw attention from ardent investors, media looking for great stories, potential customers, could-be collaborators and, well, you just don’t know where a connection can lead you.

Don’t just take our word for it. Take it from one of your own.

“Earning a TC Top Pick is an awesome experience for an early-stage startup. As we grow bigger, we look forward to saying that our roots go back to TechCrunch Disrupt. Companies like Trello and Dropbox share the Disrupt pedigree. It’s a big deal, and I feel privileged to be part of that group.” — Joel Neidig, founder of SIMBA Chain.

We haven’t mentioned your live interview yet. Say what? Yup. A TechCrunch editor interviews every Top Pick — live on the Showcase Stage. We’ll record each interview, edit the video and promote it across our social media platforms. It’ll be yours to use as an impressive conversation starter with investors and customers. Again, take it from Joel Neidig.

“Our live interview with the TechCrunch editor was one of the best Top Pick perks. It’s an awesome long-term marketing tool.”

If you want to showcase your early-stage startup to the industry’s most influential movers, shakers, thinkers and makers, apply to be a TC Top Pick at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2020. You have nothing to lose — take your shot and buckle up for the ride of your startup life.

TechCrunch is mindful of the COVID-19 issue and its impact on live events. You can follow our updates here.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt San Francisco 2020? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

Apply to be a TC Top Pick at Disrupt SF 2020

By Neesha A. Tambe

If you’re an early-stage startup founder with a big vision and even bigger dreams, join us and more than 10,000 other like-minded startuppers at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2020 on September 14-16. Silicon Valley’s premiere early-stage startup extravaganza focuses on founders, investors and startup experts determined to disrupt and reshape technology.

Attending is awesome but attending and exhibiting at Disrupt — for free — is even better. What magic is this? No hocus-pocus required. Simply apply to our TC Top Picks program. Applying is also free, and it’s easy to do. However, earning that coveted Top Pick designation — not so easy.

TechCrunch editors have a keen eye for the qualities that translate into serious startup success. They’ll thoroughly review every application and then choose up to five stellar startups for each of the following categories.

AI, BioTech + HealthTech, Enterprise/SAAS, FinTech, Mobility, Retail + ecommerce, Robotics + Hardware IOT, Security/Privacy, Social Impact + Education, Space

Pro tip: Keep the phrase “up to five” in mind. If the editors feel only three startups fit the bill for any given category, they’ll stop at three.

Now that you know how to apply, let’s talk about why you should apply. Every Top Pick startup receives a free Startup Alley Exhibitor Package. As a Top Pick VIP, you’ll strut your impressive stuff for a full day in a prime location in Startup Alley, our exhibition floor. The package also includes three complimentary Founder passes to Disrupt SF 2020 — bring your crew and make the most of your time at the show.

Thousands of people, including investors and tech media, pour through Startup Alley, and everyone wants to know who made the Top Pick cut. You’ll reap invaluable exposure to potential customers, partners, mentors and again…investors. Who doesn’t love investors?

Here’s what Francisco Serra-Martins, founder of Australia-based Sonder Designs, says about his Top Pick experience.

“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 introduce our technology to an international community and to engage with the San Francisco startup ecosystem.”

One of the most exciting parts of earning a Top Pick designation is the media exposure. Hundreds of top media outlets attend Disrupt, and they’re all looking for great stories. And, drum roll please, your media experience also includes being interviewed by a TechCrunch editor live on the Showcase Stage.

We record the interview, edit the video and blast it across our social media networks. It’s a valuable marketing tool that you can use long after Disrupt ends.

Intrigued? Want to know more? Check out who we chose as TC Top Picks at Disrupt SF 2019.

TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2020 takes place on September 14-16 at Moscone West. Take a chance and apply to be a TC Top Pick. If you’re not quite there yet, that’s OK. Come to Disrupt and learn from the best minds in the startup ecosystem. Buy an early-bird ticket here and save up to $1,800.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt San Francisco 2020? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

Tilting Point acquires mobile game Star Trek Timelines

By Anthony Ha

Tilting Point announced this morning that it has acquired Star Trek Timelines, a free-to-play character collection game, from the game’s developer Disruptor Beam. It’s also hired Disruptor Beam team members to create a new studio, Wicked Realm Games.

This follows Disruptor Beam‘s shuttering of its other titles, Game of Thrones Ascent and The Walking Dead: March to War. Moving forward, the company says it will be focused on its Disruptor Engine tools for mobile game development and operations.

Tilting Point, meanwhile, had previously acquired the game Languinis and the monetization startup Gondola, but President Samir El Agili told me that this is the first time the company has acquired both a game and the development team behind it. CEO Kevin Segalla described this as an extension of Tilting Point’s “progressive publishing” model, where the company first works with developers on user acquisition, then develops a deeper business relationship over time.

In fact, Timelines — which Tilting Point says has been downloaded 8 million times and earned over $100 million — was one of the first games supported by the company’s user acquisition fund. And through those efforts, the Tilting Point team came to believe that there’s still plenty of opportunity for growth.

“We spent a good amount of time over the past year-and-a-half to two years helping the team scale the game to success, helping them bring a user to the game using our ability to do user acquisition, as well as improving the game itself in terms of our operations,” El Agili said. “What we have seen over this time is that Star Trek Timelines is a very impressive game, its users are very sticky.”

He noted that Tilting Point is increasing the size of the team working on Timelines from nine at Disruptor Beam to 19 at Wicked Realm Games, which will be led by Disruptor Beam’s former CTO David Cham.

The studio, El Agili said, will be “100 percent integrated from a financial standpoint, but they’re still going to be very independent way in the way they operate.” And while Wicked Realm will be focused on Timelines for the near future, there are “more ideas that we can build with them.”

Segalla also said that as a result of the deal, Tilting Point is essentially becoming the first Disruptor Engine customer.

“Tilting Point has been a great partner to us and have proven that they care about the game and its community and there’s no one better to take Star Trek Timelines to the next level,” said Disruptor Beam CEO Jon Radoff in a statement. “We are also excited that Tilting Point will be one of our first live customers for our live-ops technology and that we will be continuing our working relationship.”