September 15, 2011
TechCrunch Disrupt 2011: Where Start-ups, Venture Guys & Fireside Chats Collide
Why event and conference organizers don't talk to each other is beyond me. Intel, Microsoft, TechCrunch, SF Music Tech and DEMOfall all had events on the same three days earlier this week in the San Francisco Bay Area.
While the attendees may not be identical, there are plenty of people, press included, who wanted to be at two or three of them.
Coordinate marketing teams, coordinate. The industry wants you to. Really.
I was scurrying back and forth between events, starting with the early agenda at TechCrunch Disrupt on Day one where they had a fabulous line-up, including Greylock and LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman and Mike McCue of Flipboard(both in a fireside chat format), followed by founder Stories with Andrew Stalbow, Rovio and Tom Conrad from Pandora. Also on day one was Doug Leone of Sequoia Capital, Paul Graham of Y Combinator, Peter Thiel with the Founders Fund, and Max Levchin.
The start-up alley was glittered (literally) with start-ups from various parts of the globe, some so early stage that their product wasn't "quite ready" yet.....that means of course, neither was their pitch.
"Some" had it nailed down however and were doing their best to get the most of their $2K or so investment to have a pod on floor. Ford even had presence on the floor, hiring this guy to create posters from a template that was designed by UK artist Jonny Wan.
The template was a two color process that included the Ford logo and the TechCrunch Disrupt imprint.
The stellar line-up continued throughout the week with the Rise of (Profitable) Open Source Hardware panel where John Biggs moderated a session with Joshua Brandon Myer (Applied Platonics), Steve Hodges (Microsoft Research), Luke Soules (iFixIt.com) and Eric Wilhelm (Instructables).
Education was covered as well so we saw the latest from K12’s startups, hosted by education incubator
co-founder Geoff Ralston. Sadly because I was running back and forth between the other side of San Francisco and Santa Clara, I missed a fireside chat Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers John Doerr, a serial entrepreneur and investor Silicon Valley and the rest of the industry adores.
I had fun talking to Happy Toy Machine's CEO Scott Schube who walked me through how to design my own toy, a stuffed bear in this case. I called my creation magic sauce naturally and here's a photo of my end result, an adorable brown bear with floppy ears.
On the afternoon of the last day, TechCrunch Disrupt Alumni companies were allowed to present their latest, which I tweeted about: Badgeville, Qwiki, Miso Media, Sonar and GetAround all had new announcements. Last year's presenters (and winners) did their unveiling shortly before a Marissa Meyer interview with Mike Arrington, who remarked to her that he has probably interviewed her more than anyone in the past several years.
Shortly thereafter and before the judges (Roelof Botha (Sequoia Capital), Matt Cohler (Benchmark Capital), Ron Conway (SV Angel), Marissa Mayer (Google), Hadi Partovi (founder and investor), unveiled the winners, Erick Schonfeld got a tad sentimental over Arrington's departure, reminding the packed room that it would be the last time the "entire team" would be together.
Here's a link to the ultimate guide which is full of content, the panels, speakers, agenda and photos.
Below Startup Battlefield Finalists pose backstage at Day 3.
(Above two photos by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for TechCrunch). For more photos, including Start-up Alley, refer to TechCrunch's flickr stream.
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