Discount student tickets available for TC Sessions: Mobility 2020

“Revolutionary” may be an over-used adjective, but how else to describe the rapid evolution in mobility technology? Join us in San Jose, Calif., on May 14 for TC Sessions: Mobility 2020. Our second annual day-long conference cuts through the hype and explores the current and future state of the technology and its social, regulatory and economic impact.

If you’re a student with a passion for mobility and transportation tech, listen up. We can’t talk about the future if we’re not willing to invest in the next generation of mobility visionaries. That’s why we offer student tickets at a deep discount — $50 each. Invest in your future, save $200 and spend the day with more than 1,000 of mobility tech’s brightest minds, movers and makers.

As always, you can count on a program packed with top-notch speakers, panel discussions, fireside chats and workshops. We’re in the process of building our agenda, but we’re ready to share our first two guests with you: Boris Sofman and Nancy Sun.

Sofman is the engineering director at Waymo and former co-founder and CEO of Anki. Sun is the co-founder and chief engineer of Ike Robotics. Read more about Sofman and Sun’s accomplishments here. We can’t wait to hear what they have to say about automation and robotics.

Keep checking back, because we’ll announce more exciting speakers in the coming weeks.

You’ll also have plenty of time for world-class networking. What better place for a student to impress — and possibly score a great internship or job? You might even meet a future co-founder or an investor. That knocking sound you hear is opportunity. Open the door.

Hold up… you’re not a student but still love a bargain? We’ve got you covered, too. You can save $100 if you purchase an early-bird ticket before April 9.

Be part of the revolution. Join the mobility and transportation tech community — the top technologists, investors researchers and visionaries — on May 14 at TC Sessions: Mobility 2020 in San Jose. Get your student ticket today.

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

TRI-AD’s James Kuffner and Max Bajracharya are coming to TC Sessions: Robotics+AI 2020

With the Tokyo Summer Olympics rapidly approaching, 2020 is shaping up to be a big year for TRI-AD (Toyota Research Institute – Advanced Development). Opened in 2018, the research wing is devoted to bringing some of TRI’s work into practice. The organization is heavily invested in both autonomous driving and other key robotics projects.

TRI-AD’s CEO James Kuffner and VP of Robotics Max Bajracharya will be joining us onstage at TC Sessions Robotics+AI on March 3 at UC Berkeley to discuss their work in the field. The company has been working to promote accessibility, both in terms of its work in automotive and smart cities, as well as robotics aimed to help assist Japan’s aging population.

The Summer Olympics will serve as an opportunity for TRI-AD to showcase those technologies in practice. Kuffner and Bajracharya will discuss why companies like Toyota are investing in robotics and working to make every day robotics a reality.

Early-Bird tickets are now on sale for $275. Book your tickets now and save $150 before prices go up!

Student Tickets are just $50 — grab yours here.

Startups, book a demo exhibitor table and get four tickets to the show and a demo area to showcase your company. Packages run $2,200.

Grab ’em quick: More tickets released for 3rd Annual Winter Party at Galvanize

You better move fast if you want to party with us and 1,000 of your closest startup entrepreneur and investor friends. We just released a fresh round of tickets to our 3rd Annual Winter Party at Galvanize in San Francisco on February 7. Tickets are limited, and they fly off the shelf faster than you can say seed funding. Don’t get shut out — buy your tickets here.

What can you do at the Winter Party? Plenty. Commune with the Silicon Valley community over craft beer and signature cocktails. Nosh on delectable appetizers. Converse and connect in a fun, relaxed setting. You never know who you’ll meet, but you can be sure to find influencers eager to meet and greet.

Demo your startup and introduce your genius product to the Valley’s finest thinkers, makers and investors. We have a very limited number of tables available — only two demo tables left — so get cracking. FYI: The price of a demo table includes four tickets to the party. Bring your crew and maximize your networking mojo.

What else goes down at the Winter Party? Lots of laughter, party games and activities — killer karaoke, anyone? — and plenty of photo ops. You might even score door prizes, like TC swag and tickets to Disrupt SF, our flagship event coming in September 2020. We’ll toss in a few surprises that night, too. Sweet!

Here’s the Winter Party lowdown.

  • When: Friday, February 7, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Where: Galvanize, 44 Tehama St., San Francisco, CA 94105
  • Ticket price: $85
  • Demo tables: $1,500 (buy tickets and tables here)

Remember, we release tickets in batches. If you don’t score a ticket this time, keep your eyes peeled for the next round. Don’t miss out!

Come to the 3rd Annual Winter Party at Galvanize and hang out with your people. Enjoy the food, the drinks, the fun and the opportunity to expand your network in a relaxed setting. We’ll see you in February!

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at the 3rd Annual Winter Party at Galvanize? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

Waymo’s Anca Dragan and Ike Robotics CTO Jur van den Berg are coming to TC Sessions: Robotics+AI

The road to “solving” self-driving cars is riddled with challenges from perception and decision making to figuring out the interaction between human and robots.

Today we’re announcing that joining us at TC Sessions: Robotics+AI on March 3 at UC Berkeley are two experts who play important roles in the development and deployment of autonomous vehicle technology: Anca Dragan and Jur van den Berg.

Dragan is assistant professor at UC Berkeley’s electrical engineering and computer sciences department as well as a senior research scientist and consultant for Waymo, the former Google self-driving project that is now a business under Alphabet. She runs the InterACT Lab at UC-Berkeley, which focuses on on algorithms for human-robot interaction. Dragan also helped found and serve on the steering committee for the Berkeley AI Research Lab, and is co-PI of the Center for Human-Compatible AI.

Last year, Dragan was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Van den Berg is the co-founder and CTO of Ike Robotics, a self-driving truck startup that last year raised $52 million in a Series A funding round led by Bain Capital  Ventures. Van den Berg has been part of the most important, secretive and even controversial companies in the autonomous vehicle technology industry. He was a senior researcher and developer in Apple’s special projects group, before jumping to self-driving trucks startup Otto. He became a senior autonomy engineer at Uber after the ride-hailing company acquired Otto .

All of this led to Ike, which was founded in 2018 with Nancy Sun and Alden Woodrow, who were also veterans of Apple, Google and Uber Advanced Technologies Group’s self-driving truck program

TC Sessions: Robotics+AI returns to Berkeley on March 3. Make sure to grab your early-bird tickets today for $275 before prices go up by $100. Students, grab your tickets for just $50 here.

Startups, book a demo table right here and get in front of 1,000+ of Robotics/AI’s best and brightest — each table comes with four attendee tickets.

Going fast: Buy a demo table at TC Sessions: Robotics+AI 2020

Startup founders, set your sites on TC Sessions: Robotics+AI, which takes place on March 3, 2020. This annual day-long event draws the brightest minds and makers from these two industries — 1,500 attendees last year alone. And if you really want to make 2020 a game-changing year, grab yourself a demo table and showcase your early-stage robotics or AI startup in front of those big names and serious influencers.

Simply purchase an Early-Stage Startup Exhibitor Package — the price includes four tickets to the event, so bring your crew, flex your networking mojo and take in some of the many discussions throughout the day. Get yours before they’re gone — only eight left.

The day’s programming covers a wide range of crucial issues focused on robotics and AI. TC editors conduct in-depth interviews and moderate panel discussions and Q&As with the industries’ leading minds, makers, technologists, researchers and investors. You’ll enjoy workshops, demos and plenty of networking opportunities.

We’re talking topics that appeal to every hungry startup founder. Like a panel discussion on investing featuring Eric Migicovsky, Kelly Chen and Dror Berman — all top VCs in robotics and AI.

These folks have their fingers on the pulse of robotics, AI and automation. They’ll be on hand to share insights on future industry trends, talk about the most compelling startups and what they look for when it comes to funding.

We’ll be sharing details and the names of plenty more speakers in the coming weeks, so keep checking back. You can always check out last year’s program to get a sense of what to expect.

Did you know we have a new twist to this year’s Session? It’s a pitch competition — Pitch Night. It takes place the night before, it doesn’t cost a thing and it’s open to founders of early-stage startups focused on robotics and AI. There’s only one small hoop to jump through: apply here by February 1.

TC Sessions: Robotics+AI takes place on March 3, 2020 at UC Berkeley. Buy your Early-Stage Startup Exhibitor Package today, and come impress the top technologists, makers, thinkers, researchers and investors. Make 2020 your game-changing year.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TC Sessions: Robotics+AI 2020? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

Ben Horowitz will explain how to create and sustain culture at TC Early Stage SF

The hardest challenges to tackle are usually the most nebulous. Culture, for example, is hard to define, implement, cultivate and evolve… How do you structure culture within a business or organization? Are there steps to follow? Is there a manual?

Interestingly enough, there is. What You Do Is Who You Are is the latest book from legendary investor, entrepreneur and founding partner at Andreesen Horowitz Ben Horowitz. We are absolutely thrilled to announce that he’ll be joining us on April 28th at our brand new TC Early Stage event in San Francisco to discuss his new book and the lessons within it.

From the sleeve:

To Horowitz, culture is how a company makes decisions, and he explains how to make your culture purposeful by examining four intriguing models of leadership and culture-building well outside the usual business case studies: Haiti’s Toussaint Louverture, who was the leader of the only successful slave revolt in history; the Samurai, who ruled Japan for seven hundred years and shaped modern Japanese culture; Genghis Khan, who built the world’s largest empire; and Shaka Senghor, an American ex-con who created the most formidable prison gang in the yard and ultimately transformed prison culture.

Horowitz also authored the New York Times Bestseller The Hard Thing About Hard Things, which is one of the most practical guides to entrepreneurialism and the challenges that come with it of the past decade. The 2014 book speaks to founders in a way that business school can’t, offering empathy and solutions to real-world, human problems that founders face.

And let’s not forget the wealth of wisdom and experience that comes with helming Andreesen Horowitz since its inception in 2009. The firm has more than $10 billion under management, with portfolio companies that include Box, Facebook, Lyft, Slack, GitHub, Instagram, and Skype. And those are just the exits.

Horowitz himself sits on the boards of 14 portfolio companies, including Okta, Lyft, Foursquare, Genius, Medium and Databricks.

Suffice it to say, there is plenty to learn from Horowitz at TC Early Stage come April 28 in San Francisco.

TC’s Early Stage is meant to give founders a place to learn directly from the experts who have come before. All day long, seasoned VCs and operators will be holding breakout sessions where they identify the biggest challenges in their fields and tangible, actionable insights on how to take on those challenges. These experts will cover a wide range of core startup disciplines, including but not limited to growth, legal, product management, tech stack, recruiting, design, and company culture.

Horowitz joins Cyan Banister (How to get your first yes), Asher Abramson (How to create great growth assets for paid channels), Lior Zorea (What VCs want in a term sheet (and how you can get what you want), and Dalton Caldwell (How to get into Y Combinator). We’ll be announcing many, many more speakers over the coming weeks, totaling more than 50 breakouts for the entire day.

Here’s the fine print. Each of the breakout sessions is limited to around 100 attendees. We expect a lot more attendees, of course, so signups for each session are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Buy your ticket today and you can sign up for the breakouts we are announcing today. Pass holders will also receive 24-hour advance notice before we announce the next batch. (And yes, you can “drop” a breakout session in favor of a new one, in the event there is a schedule conflict.)

TC Early Stage SF 2020 goes down on April 28. You can pick up your ticket and start registering for breakout sessions right now.

Interested in sponsoring TC Early Stage SF? Contact us here and we’ll send you more information.

What to Expect from CES 2020

It’s the second most wonderful time of the year. As the rest of the world returns to work, nursing a week-long New Year’s hangover, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed tech journalists will descend upon Sin City to discover the biggest news the tech world has to offer.

CES is about more than just product announcements, however. Granted, it’s MOSTLY about product announcements, but next week in Vegas will also set the tenor of the year’s largest tech trends. From mobile to automotive to robotics to sex tech, CES is the first and, in many cases, the best opportunity for companies to set the stage for the year to come.

As ever, TechCrunch will have a full staff on the ground, covering news as it happens — but here’s a taste of some of the trends we expect out of hardware’s biggest week.

Smart home

An Amazon Echo Show smart speaker and screen sits on display at the Inc. Spheres headquarters during an unveiling event in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. Inc. unveiled its vision for smart homes powered by the Alexa voice assistant, with a dizzying array of new gadgets and features for almost every room in the house — from a microwave oven to a security camera and wall clock. Photographer: Andrew Burton/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Connected home technology has dominated the show for several years now, and I don’t expect that to change. Big names like Amazon and Google will likely have a large presence at the show (Amazon made most of its hardware announcements late last year, but Google will no doubt have some on-tap). Expect connected home everything, from locks to ovens to fridges and washing machines to even more bizarre niche products.

Smart displays will no doubt take center stage, as well. We already wrote up one from Lenovo focused on offices — certainly a trend to watch, going forward.

5G and foldables

Samsung Galaxy Fold

CES is always a little hit or miss when it comes to mobile. A lot of this can be chalked up to the fact that Mobile World Congress, the biggest smartphone show, is a little over a month later. Add to that the fact that many manufacturers (see: Samsung, Apple, et al.) have opted to hold their own announcements on their own terms.

There will likely be a smattering of foldables on-site, including the already released Samsung Galaxy Fold and the already announced Huawei Mate X — though Huawei’s presence at the U.S.-based show will be…interesting to say the least. I expect most companies will wait until Barcelona for any new announcements on this front.

That said, 2020 is going to be about all things 5G, as carriers finally begin to saturate the market with coverage. Expect a wide range of devices beyond just handsets to sport the next-gen wireless technology.

8K, smart and weird TV form factors

CES has always been a big show for home entertainment. All of the big players will be present, with new ways to get you to spend your hard-earned cash. 8K will be a big theme, even as companies struggle to actually get 8K content to consumers. Last year’s show had some unique form factors, including LG’s rollable display. More of that, this year, though be mindful of the use of words like “concept.”

TVs are another place where assistants like Google and Alexa will be virtual inescapable, along with other factors designed to better integrate them into the smart home.

Sleep tech

The Oura Ring monitors a wearer’s sleep quality

Last year I wrote that “mental well-being took center stage at CES.” More of that this year, as companies look to combat things like screen time with even more technology. Expect that to extend to sleep tech in a major way. From wearables to smart beds, startups are now vying to control your sleep patterns.


Porsche mission e concept car 2015 porsche ag

The interior of the Mission E concept, which was first shown in September 2015

Two biggies to be on the lookout for here. First is ADAS — that’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. In other words, automotive makers taking learnings from autonomous driving to better assistant human drivers. Fully autonomous systems have hit some…roadblocks in recent years, but driver assistant presents both a good opportunity for automakers and a baby step toward self-driving vehicles. And yeah, voice is going to be big here, too. Expect natural voice interaction to play a large role in entertainment systems, as well as other aspects of the driving experience.


North’s first-generation Focals smart glasses

Wearables will move beyond the exercise band, both into serious health through things like ECG and also to other parts of the body, including heads-up displays. AR (and to a less extent VR) will be a big piece of that puzzle. With Apple and Google making big plays in the category, smaller hardware makers are going to be attempting to stake their claim in the category.

Also be on the lookout for some creative takes on the laptop/tablet hybrid space. Cannabis and sex tech should be super hot-button topics, after CES has attempted to put the kibosh on them in past years. The streaming wars should be playing out on the floor big time, as well.

Oh, and Ivanka Trump will be there for some reason, too. I dunno. It’s CES. Anything can happen. 

CES 2020 coverage - TechCrunch

Exhibit your startup at TC Sessions: Mobility 2020

Mobility mavericks, get ready to strut your stuff at TC Sessions: Mobility 2020 on May 14. Don’t miss our second annual day-long conference devoted to technologies that move people and parcels around the world in new, exciting ways.

More than 1,000 of the industry’s mightiest minds, makers, innovators and investors will converge in San Jose for a mobile mind meld. That spells opportunity for early-stage mobility startup founders. Buy an Early-Stage Startup Exhibitor Package and plant your company in front of the influencers who can drive your mobility dreams to the next level.

Whether you’re racing to perfect autonomous vehicles or flying cars, developing AI-based applications, focused on improving battery technology — or you want to recruit a few brilliant engineers — exhibiting at TC Sessions: Mobility offers invaluable exposure and opportunity.

Your exhibitor package includes a 30-inch high-boy table, power, linen and signage. Even better — it includes four tickets to the event. That’s four times the networking power. And it gives you time to take in some of the show’s many panel discussions, fireside chats and workshops.

Because, of course, the day will be loaded with top-notch speakers who, along with TC editors, will discuss the opportunities and challenges — social, economic and regulatory — that come from creating new mobile paradigms.

We’re building our slate of speakers for this year’s event, and we’ll be announcing them on a rolling basis in the coming months. Know someone who should be onstage at this event? You can nominate a speaker here. In the meantime, here are just a couple of examples of what went down at last year’s Session.

Alisyn Malek, co-founder and COO of May Mobility, an autonomous transportation startup, talked about making transportation easier and accessible for everyone, and Jesse Levinson, Zoox CTO and co-founder, shared specifics on the company’s autonomous vehicle hardware design.

And here are just a few more of the speakers who graced the TC Sessions: Mobility 2019 stage:

  • Seleta Reynolds, head of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation
  • Caroline Samponaro, Lyft, head of Micromobility Policy
  • Ted Serbinski, Techstars, founder and managing director of The Mobility Program
  • Sarah Smith, Bain Capital Ventures, partner

You get the idea. And you can expect more high-caliber technologists, policy makers and investors to be in the house when TC Sessions: Mobility takes place May 14, 2020.

Plenty of reason to attend — and even more reason to exhibit. But don’t wait. Exhibition space is limited, and so are the number of packages available. Reserve your demo table here, and get ready to move your early-stage mobility startup in a whole new direction.

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

Listen to top VCs discuss the next generation of automation startups at TC Sessions: Robotics+AI

Robotics, AI and automation have long been one of the hottest categories for tech investments. After years and decades of talk, however, those big payouts are starting to pay off. Robotics are beginning to dominate nearly every aspect of work, from warehouse fulfillment to agriculture to retail and construction.

Our annual TC Sessions: Robotics+AI event on March 3 affords us the ability to bring together some of the top investors in the category to discuss the hottest startups, best bets and opine on where the industry is going. And this year’s VC panel is arguably our strongest yet:

  • Eric Migicovsky is a general partner a Y Combinator. Prior to joining the firm, he co-founded Pebble. The smartwatch pioneer was itself a YC-backed venture, along with raising three of Kickstarter’s all-time top crowdfunding campaigns. Migicovsky joined YC following Fitbit’s acquisition of the startup in 2016.
  • DCVC partner Kelly Chen focuses primarily on the AI, robotics, manufacturing and work-related sectors. Her work is generally focused on the world of hardware, along with the transformations of populations and labor.
  • Dror Berman co-founded Innovations Ventures in 2010 with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. A key driver in the firm’s investments in Uber, SoFi and Formlabs, Berman also focuses on robotics, including companies like Blue River Technology and Common Sense Robotics.

TC Sessions: Robotics+AI returns to Berkeley on March 3. Make sure to grab your early-bird tickets today for $275 before prices go up by $100. Startups, book a demo table right here and get in front of 1,000+ of Robotics/AI’s best and brightest — each table comes with four attendee tickets.

Buy your tickets to the 3rd Annual TechCrunch Winter Party

We love parties almost as much as we love startups, but we go absolutely bonkers for a hot startup/party mashup. That’s why we’re returning to host our 3rd Annual TechCrunch Winter Party in San Francisco on Friday, February 7. Even better news, party-goers — additional (the second batch) coveted tickets to this wild winter romp are available now. Better get your tickets while you can.

Last year’s inaugural event was a huge success, as nearly 1,000 of Silicon Valley’s brightest minds came to relax, connect and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of the startup community — and cast a keen eye over some promising startups.

This year’s soiree takes place at Galvanize and features tasty libations, delicious hors d’oeuvres and engaging conversation. That sounds so very civilized, right? Well, don’t dry clean your stuffed shirt just yet, because we’ll have plenty of party games and activities, giveaways and fun surprises. And, of course, plenty of photo ops, baby!

Galvanize may be a multi-level venue, but the space is still limited — as are the tickets. We’re rolling them out in batches over the next few weeks, so keep checking back if you can’t snag a ticket.

Here are the pertinent Winter Party details:

When: Friday, February 7, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Where: Galvanize, 44 Tehama St., San Francisco, CA 94105
Ticket price: $85 (buy them here)

Here’s another great idea. Why just mingle and schmooze when you can mingle, schmooze and demo your early-stage startup in front of hundreds of the Valley’s top star-makers? Buy a demo table for $1,500 (the price also includes four attendee tickets). Demo tables are limited, so act now before other founders snatch ’em up.

Of course, no TechCrunch party is complete without plenty of awesome prizes, including TC swag and tickets to Disrupt San Francisco 2020. Come on out for a great midwinter’s night of relaxed connection, fun and opportunity. Get your tickets to the 3rd Annual TechCrunch Winter Party at Galvanize today.