Want a free ticket to Startup Battlefield Africa 2018?

We’re entering the final days leading up to Startup Battlefield Africa 2018, which takes place on 11 December. We have our passports, we’re packing our bags and we can’t wait to arrive in Lagos, Nigeria to watch 15 of the continent’s best startups launch to the world.

Will you be there cheering the competitors and celebrating the richness of Africa’s growing startup scene? We’ve sold out of tickets to the day-long event, but — and this is great news — we set aside a limited quantity of tickets that we’re giving away for free. If you want one, act now and apply for a free ticket before they disappear.

Center stage of this day-long, action-packed event is, of course, our renowned pitch competition, Startup Battlefield. Out of hundreds of applications, we winnowed the field to 15 remarkable early-stage startups across Africa. Startup Battlefield consists of three preliminary rounds — five teams per round — followed by a final round.

Teams have only six minutes to pitch and demo their product to a panel of expert judges. After each pitch, the judges run the presenting founders through a gauntlet of tough questions. Up to five teams will move on to the finals to pitch and answer questions again.

One team will claim the Startup Battlefield Cup, along with US$25,000 in no-equity cash. Plus, the winning founders also win a trip for two and the opportunity to compete in Startup Battlefield at a TechCrunch Disrupt in 2019.

Between rounds, we have a slew of outstanding presentations and panelists scheduled to discuss the most pressing issues facing early-stage startups in the region. Check out the conference agenda, but some of the people you’ll hear and learn from include:

  • Omobola Johnson, a senior partner at TLcom Capital, is the former minister of communication technology for Nigeria. Her 25-year tenure at Accenture — as managing director — informs her expansive knowledge of startup investing.
  • Lexi Novitske, the principal investment officer for Singularity Investments, manages the firm’s Africa portfolio. She’s a proponent of understanding local complexities, modifying Western business attitudes and working with companies to ensure desired results.
  • Marième Diop, an investor at Orange Digital Ventures Africa, focuses on early-stage African startups, and she’ll be talking all about venture capital.
  • Shikoh Gitau, the head of product at Safaricom’s Alpha incubator, will share her perspective on the talent and innovation within Africa’s expanding startup landscape. She’ll also talk about repatriating entrepreneurs.

Come and join us in Lagos on 11 December. Experience Startup Battlefield Africa 2018, engage in world-class networking and spend a full day celebrating the awesome talent of the region’s startup community. All you need to do is apply for your free ticket right here.

Don’t miss out on free tickets to Startup Battlefield Africa 2018

Sorry folks. If you wanted to buy a ticket to Startup Battlefield Africa 2018 you’re out of luck. We’re sold out. However, you could be one of the lucky few to score a free ticket to our day-long startup-pitch extravaganza in Lagos, Nigeria on 11 December. We have a limited number of tickets available, so apply for your free ticket here — before they’re all gone.

Don’t miss 15 of the continent’s top early-stage startup founders as they launch their companies on a global stage in front of a live, enthusiastic audience. Choosing the Startup Battlefield competitors from hundreds of applications was no easy feat — a testament to the depth and creativity of the region’s growing startup scene.

A quick reminder of how Startup Battlefield works. The 15 teams compete in three preliminary rounds — five startups per round. They get only six minutes to pitch and present a live demo to a panel of expert technologists and VC investors. After each pitch, the judges have six minutes to grill the team with tough questions. That’s when all the free pitch-coaching they received from TechCrunch editors will come in handy.

If you’re curious about the judges, here are just a few of the many experts we’ve tapped to pick the Startup Battlefield champion.

  • Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin, founder and chief executive of blueMoon, Ethiopia’s first youth agribusiness/agritech incubator and seed investor
  • Erik Hersman, CEO of BRCK, a rugged wireless Wi-Fi device designed and engineered in Kenya for use throughout the emerging markets
  • Sangu Delle, co-founder and managing director of Africa Health Holdings, based in West Africa and focused on “building Africa’s healthcare future”

And if you’re curious about the stakes, the winning founders receive the Battlefield Cup, US$25,000 in no-equity cash plus a trip for two and the opportunity to compete in Startup Battlefield at a TechCrunch Disrupt in 2019.

While the Startup Battlefield is the crown jewel, it’s by no means the only event of the day. We’ve scheduled an impressive agenda filled with presentations from the region’s leading experts discussing a range of topics. For example, Kola Aina, CEO and founder of Lagos-based Ventures Platform, will be on hand to discuss venture capital investing. And Flutterwave’s IIyinoluwa Aboyeji will share his take on blockchain.

The competitors are busy preparing for battle, the speakers are ready to dive deep on their respective topics. You’re the remaining piece of the puzzle. Apply now for a free ticket to Startup Battlefield Africa 2018 and join us on 11 December in Lagos, Nigeria to celebrate these exceptional African startups.

Late registration discounts to Disrupt Berlin 2018 end tomorrow

We’re in the home stretch of Disrupt Berlin 2018. The conference kicks off in just two days, and if you want to attend, the time is officially now o’clock — late registration closes tomorrow on 28 November. Once that happens, it’s auf Wiedersehen. See you next time. Don’t let that happen. Buy your pass to Disrupt Berlin today.

Disrupt Berlin is where you need to be to place your company, products and ideas in front of European and international startup movers and shakers. Last year, we hosted 2,600 attendees and 416 Startup Alley exhibitors, and we’re on track to surpass those numbers on 29-30 November.

No matter what role you play in the tech startup world, you’ll find plenty of reasons to attend Disrupt Berlin — an event that drives opportunity. Here are just a few of the comments attendees have shared about their Disrupt experiences.

“Disrupt is one of the best startup conferences. It’s massive but so well organized, and the media exposure is much better than at other events. It’s a great place for startups to network for leads, investors, industry contacts and partnerships.” — Jana Rosenfelder, co-founder and COO, Actijoy.

“I scheduled more than 35 meetings with startups that I pre-vetted using CrunchMatch, and we made a significant investment in Collider, who came to our attention through the platform.” — Michael Kocan, managing partner, Trend Discovery.

“I spent time exploring Startup Alley just to get out of my own day-to-day, to learn new ways of thinking and to get inspired. The conversations I had with startups that weren’t directly involved in content, media or social networking gave me fresh ideas that I can modify and apply in my own industry.” — Carrie Friedrich, senior product marketing manager, LinkedIn.

And don’t forget that Disrupt is famous for its roster of speakers that grace the Main Stage. At Disrupt Berlin you’ll hear from the likes of Sophia Bendz of Atomico, Saul Klein of Localglobe, Caen Contee of Lime and many more. Be sure to check out the full conference agenda.

There’s tons more programming, panel discussions, networking opportunities and, of course, the killer After Party. It all happens this week in Berlin, and time is running out. Late registration closes on 28 November, so go buy your pass to Disrupt Berlin 2018 right now.

Cyber Monday Special: Buy a pass to Disrupt Berlin 2018 and snag a $200 gift

Disrupt Berlin 2018 kicks off in just three days, the holidays are upon us, and we here at TechCrunch are feelin’ the season. What better way to celebrate both events than to share the spirit of entrepreneurism and gift-giving with a Cyber Monday special.

Today — and today only — when you buy any pass to Disrupt Berlin 2018 (excluding student and government passes) you’ll get to select a gift (up to a $200 USD value not including tax or shipping) from the TechCrunch Holiday Gift Guide. It’s our annual, curated list of all the really good stuff.

Whatever puts you in the holiday mood, we’ve got you covered. STEM gifts for the kids, podcast tools, something for the frequent flyer in your life or maybe a little tchotchke just for you (we won’t tell).

Gifts are great — especially the $200 variety. But the coolest gift you can give yourself this year is a ticket to Disrupt Berlin 2018. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving.

It’s the gift of opportunity — network and connect with founders, investors, developers and more — every stripe of tech enthusiast imaginable. Find future partners and customers. Explore hundreds of early-stage companies exhibiting in Startup Alley, hear from top tech and investment leaders, enjoy the thrill ride that is Startup Battlefield.

No matter where you roam or who you want to meet at Disrupt Berlin, we’ve made networking easier than ever by making our free business match-matching service, CrunchMatch, available to all attendees.

Go buy your pass to Disrupt Berlin 2018, and then we’ll be in touch the week of 3 December to coordinate your something sweet from our awesome gift guide. We can’t wait to see you in Berlin!

Black Friday only: 2-for-1 Innovator passes to Disrupt Berlin 2018

We love a great deal almost as much as we love early-stage startups. So, we decided to combine both into an awesome Black Friday mashup for Disrupt Berlin 2018. Europe’s premier tech startup conference takes place next week on 29-30 November, and this is your chance to save some serious euros.

For the next 24 hours, you can buy two Innovator passes to Disrupt Berlin for the price of one — that’s €1,184, VAT included. The clock runs out on this Black Friday special at midnight, CET, so don’t wait. Buy your 2-4-1 Innovator passes now.

Innovator passes are perfect for software engineers, product managers, marketers, consultants and all-around tech enthusiasts. They grant you access to all the Disrupt stages where you’ll hear from tech titans, startup veterans, up-and-coming founders and innovative investors.

Don’t miss compelling topics from the likes of Raycho Raychev, EnduroSat’s CEO — he’ll discuss making satellites more affordable. And that’s just one example of our stellar speaker lineup. You’ll find the full Disrupt Berlin agenda here.

Use your 2-for-1 Innovator passes to go watch Startup Battlefield, where a cadre of exceptional founders will launch their early-stage startups to the world while competing for the legendary Disrupt Cup, $50,000 in non-equity cash, media exposure and life-changing investor love.

Since 2007, Startup Battlefield has helped launch 778 companies — including the likes of Mint, Dropbox and Yammer — that have gone on to collectively raise $8.5 billion and generated 105 exits. Be in the room to cheer on the next generation of Startup Battlefield warriors and, who knows, you might witness the birth of the next tech unicorn.

Innovator passes also open the door to Startup Alley — our famed exhibition hall — where you’ll find more than 400 early-stage startups plying innovative tech products, platforms and services.

When you’re in the Alley, be sure to visit our TC Top Picks. These exceptional startups represent exciting innovations in the following tech categories: AI/Machine Learning, Blockchain, CRM/Enterprise, E-commerce, Education, Fintech, Healthtech/Biotech, Hardware, Robotics, IoT, Mobility and Gaming.

You’ll find networking opportunities everywhere at Disrupt Berlin, so take advantage of CrunchMatch and save your shoe leather. Our free business match-matching platform makes quick work of connecting you with tech service providers, product managers, developers, marketers or engineers, founders or investors — the choice is yours. CrunchMatch is curated, automated and efficient, and it’s all based on the criteria you provide.

Disrupt Berlin 2018 takes place on 29-30 November, and this is your last chance to get two Innovator passes for the price of one. Our Black Friday mashup offer disappears at 12 midnight CET, so buy your discounted Innovator passes right now. We’ll see you next week in Berlin!

Only one week left until Disrupt Berlin 2018 begins

Heiliger Strohsack! Holy smokes — Disrupt Berlin 2018 kicks off in exactly one week! We’re beyond excited to welcome thousands of startup movers, shakers and makers to Europe’s premier tech startup conference.

We’ve packed a ton of top-notch programming into 29-30 November, and we can’t wait for you to arrive in Berlin and get the party started. And for any last-minute decision makers out there, we’ve got you covered. Pull the trigger and buy your pass today.

Here’s just some of the glorious startup action in store for you at Disrupt Berlin. For a pure adrenaline rush, you can’t beat Startup Battlefield, our renowned pitch competition. We’ve selected a cohort of exceptional early-stage startup founders to compete head-to-head for a shot at the coveted Disrupt Cup and a $50,000 non-equity cash prize. On top of that, all Battlefield competitors bask in a potentially life-changing spotlight of media and investor attention. Don’t miss your chance to be in the audience and see it all happen live and in person.

Let’s talk speakers and panels. The Disrupt Main Stage is home to some of the best minds in the startup, tech and investment worlds, and you’ll get to hear them share their entrepreneurial experiences, their insights and their take on critical issues facing the startup community. Be sure to check out the conference agenda here.

If you’re hungry for interactive discussions that delve deeper, you’ll want to attend our Q&A Sessions. These are smaller, more intimate panels moderated by a TechCrunch editor, and many Main Stage speakers will be on hand to answer questions from the audience. Get to the Sessions early to secure your seat, because we don’t record or live-stream these events. The only way to hear the discussions is to be in the room.

Of course, no trip to Disrupt is complete without spending time in Startup Alley, the expo floor, where you’ll find more than 400 early-stage startups showcasing the very latest in technology products, services and platforms. While you’re there, be sure to check out our TC Top Picks — a group of exceptional startups representing 12 tech categories.

No matter where you roam or who you want to meet, Disrupt Berlin is networking nirvana — a trove of opportunity. With thousands of attendees, we figured you could use some help connecting with the right people, so we’ve made CrunchMatch — our free business-networking service — available to all Disrupt Berlin attendees. Registered attendees will receive an email explaining how to access and use the service. It’ll help you find the right people quickly and efficiently. Networking made simple!

Only one week left until Disrupt Berlin 2018 rocks your startup world. If you don’t already have a pass, buy your ticket today. Heiliger Strohsack, people! Come to Berlin and connect with your community. Opportunity awaits!

Last Chance to get a table in Startup Alley at Disrupt Berlin

Going once, going twice for tables in Startup Alley! Disrupt Berlin is less than two weeks away, and registration is about to close for startups looking to showcase their product or company to thousands of people on the Disrupt floor. According to Crunchbase, startups that exhibited in Startup Alley at Disrupt Berlin 2017 raised more than $42 million in seed and Series A funding post-Disrupt.

For €895 + VAT, you’ll get one full day to exhibit in Startup Alley, two full conference Founder passes to Disrupt Berlin, admission to our After Party, and all women will get to attend the Women of Disrupt Lunch. Ready to join us? You can secure your exhibit spot here — last year we sold out of tables, so get yours before it’s gone.

Remember, being a part of Startup Alley means you’ll also get access to CrunchMatch, Disrupt’s startup and investor matching program. It’s designed to make it easy for startups to meet investors based on a curated analysis of which startups fit with a given investor’s profile.

Also, Startup Alley companies have the opportunity to be selected as a “Wild Card” and participate in the famous Startup Battlefield competition. The TechCrunch editors will pick one company out of Startup Alley to be part of this opportunity. At Disrupt NY 2017, RecordGram went from Startup Alley to the Battlefield stage and ended up winning the Startup Battlefield competition — and took home $50,000!

Over the course of the two-day conference, you’ll make tons of connections with other tech enthusiasts, and listen to panels covering topics ranging from artificial intelligence and machine learning to hardware — and more.

So, if your company is less than two years old and has less than $2.5 million of funding, Startup Alley is the place for you. Secure your table here!

Win a shot to compete in Startup Battlefield at Disrupt Berlin 2018

Still crying in your Red Bull because you missed the deadline to compete in Startup Battlefield at Disrupt Berlin 2018? Don’t despair. You have one more chance to step onto the Main Stage and go head-to-head against some of the best pre-series A startups across Europe.

How? Grab an exhibitor’s table in Startup Alley. Every exhibitor has a chance of being selected as a Wild Card winner. Who does the selecting, you ask? Our crack TechCrunch editorial team designates the Wild Card from among the hundreds of early-stage Startups in Startup Alley, and that one amazing exhibitor will compete for $50,000 cash, the Disrupt Cup and potentially life-changing investor and media attention.

No one says this will be a walk in the park, but the opportunity is very real. Just last year at Disrupt NY 2017, RecordGram decided to exhibit in Startup Alley. They were chosen as a Wild Card company and wound up winning the Startup Battlefield competition. What have you got to lose?

Whether or not you win the Wild Card, Startup Alley is a landscape full of opportunity. More than 2,500 attendees pass through the Alley, and it’s the perfect place to find your future customers, investors, partners, advisors, employees, marketers, media coverage — holy cats — the list is endless. You’ll find the names of companies exhibiting in Startup Alley here.

Here’s what two founders told us about their experience as Startup Alley exhibitors.

“We met so many people, I still can’t get over it. We got to demo our technology in front of hundreds of people. I’d say it was one of the coolest things we’ve ever done.” — Caleb John, CEO of Cedar Robotics.

“Startup Alley was full of all the people you could possibly hope to meet at a tech conference. They spanned diverse backgrounds and industries. We talked to people looking for partnerships, investments, new ideas, and collaboration.” — Vlad Larin, co-founder of Zeroqode.

And you’ll have access to CrunchMatch, our free business match-making service that makes networking easier than ever. Plus, you’ll enjoy a terrific lineup of speakers, panels, Q&A Sessions and workshops. Check the full agenda here.

Disrupt Berlin 2018 takes place on 29-30 November. We believe in second chances and wildcards. Sign up for an exhibitor’s table today, show the startup world exactly what makes your company Wild Card-worthy and take another swing at Startup Battlefield. We’ll look for you in Startup Alley!

Volunteer at Disrupt Berlin 2018 and score a free Innovator pass

Looking for a way to experience Disrupt Berlin 2018, but your budget simply won’t cooperate? Sign up as a volunteer, and we’ll thank you with a complimentary Innovator pass good for both days of the show. A lot of work goes into making Disrupt Berlin an outstanding event for every attendee, and this is a great opportunity to learn what it takes to produce an event of this magnitude.

Interested in joining our awesome volunteer squad? Apply right here.

What, exactly do the volunteers do? Excellent question. We might ask you to handle any number of tasks. You might help with pre-marketing activities, scan tickets, work at registration, place signage, stuff goodie bags or direct attendees. We’ll definitely keep you busy, but don’t worry — you’ll still have time to enjoy the show.

Here’s what we require from our volunteers — also known as the fine print.

  • Submit your volunteer application by 21 November
  • You must commit to a total of 12 volunteer hours
  • Attend the mandatory, in-person orientation on Tuesday evening, 27 November at Arena Berlin
  • You must be available for any assigned shift for the duration of the Disrupt conference starting on Wednesday 28 November and running through Friday 30 November
  • You provide your own housing and travel
  • Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age
  • Due to the high volume of applications, we will inform only the people we select as volunteers

That’s all there is to it. Whether you want to be a startup founder, a marketer or an event coordinator, volunteering is a great way to get a behind-the-scenes look at producing a tech conference — and still explore everything Disrupt Berlin has to offer. The deadline for volunteer applications is 21 November. Apply today, and thanks for your help!

Don’t miss out on tickets to Startup Battlefield Africa 2018

On December 11, just slightly more than a month away, up to 15 exceptional startups will arrive in Lagos, Nigeria to compete in Startup Battlefield Africa 2018. Don’t miss your opportunity to watch founders of Africa’s best early-stage tech startups as they launch on a global stage to vie for a cash infusion, investor attention and serious bragging rights.

We have a limited number of spectator tickets, and they’re selling fast, so be sure to grab yours while you still can. Buy your ticket here today for just $10 + VAT.

The price of admission provides a full day packed with action. We’re interspersing three rounds of Startup Battlefield competition with an amazing roster of speakers and panel discussions addressing the continent’s rapidly expanding startup scene.

You’ll hear from speakers like Marième Diop, an investor at Orange Digital Ventures Africa. Diop focuses on early-stage African startups (like a $16 million round for South African fintech startup, Yoco, and an $8.6 million round to business enterprise software startup, Africa’s Talking), and she’ll discuss venture capital in Africa.

We also have on tap Shikoh Gitau, the head of product at Safaricom’s Alpha incubator. Gitau led a Pan-African and global search for candidates to form the incubator team, and she’ll share her perspective on the talent and innovation within Africa’s expanding startup landscape. She’ll also talk about repatriating entrepreneurs.

If you haven’t ever experienced a Startup Battlefield, you’re in for a huge adrenaline rush. The competing founders have been honing their pitch skills with coaching help from seasoned TechCrunch editors, and they’ll be fired up and ready to make their case. Here’s how the Battlefield works.

Startup Battlefield consists of three preliminary rounds with up to five startups in each round. Startup teams get six minutes to pitch and present a live demo to a panel of judges consisting of top tech founders and VCs. Those judges then have six minutes to question each team thoroughly.

No more than five teams move to the finals for another round of pitches and more challenging questions. Only one startup will claim the auspicious title of Startup Battlefield Africa 2018 champion.

The winning founders receive US$25,000 in no-equity cash, plus a trip for two to compete in Startup Battlefield in San Francisco at TechCrunch Disrupt 2019 (assuming the company still qualifies to compete at the time).

Startup Battlefield Africa 2018 takes place December 11 in Lagos, Nigeria, and spectator tickets are limited and going fast. Buy your tickets now and join us for an exciting day focused on the very best that Africa’s startup ecosystem has to offer.