Why early-stage founders are heading to Disrupt Berlin 2018

Technology 1 week ago TechCrunch 18

Attention all early-stage startup founders — we’re looking at you, because Disrupt Berlin 2018 (29-30 November) is right around the corner. Even if you’ve been part of the startup scene for only a short time you know about Disrupt, the premier technology conference hosted by TechCrunch.com.

But here’s the thing. Knowing about Disrupt and going to Disrupt are very different animals. So, we want to take a moment to share what your peers — other early-stage founders — told us about their experience at Disrupt events. And why you should plan to join us in Berlin on 29-30 November. You can keep reading or cut to the chase and purchase your Founder Pass or Startup Alley Exhibitor Package right here.

Funding and professional growth

David Hall is the co-founder and president of Park and Diamond, a startup with a collapsible bike helmet and a mission to engineer safer bike rides. His company exhibited in Startup Alley at Disrupt NY 2017, where they had hundreds of conversations with investors, technologists and potential customers.

“Attending Disrupt and exhibiting in Startup Alley is the best training ground for early-stage startup founders,” said Hall. “You’re in the thick of the action and learning as you go. It’s a tremendous opportunity to grow.”

Hall credits those conversations in Startup Alley with helping him hone his 30-second elevator pitch and becoming more comfortable approaching investors. But more than that, the exposure to the broad range of startup movers and shakers that attend Disrupt changed everything.

“We were a little college startup, and nobody had heard of us. The exposure we received at TechCrunch Disrupt completely changed our trajectory and made it easier to raise funds and jump to the next stage.”

Park and Diamond’s next stage involved closing the company’s first round of funding, which let them relocate from Virginia to New York. It also let them make their first key hires — a former space technology engineer and a former senior vice president of sports marketing at NBC.

Media exposure

Luke Heron is the CEO and co-founder of TestCard, a company that combines smartphone technology and traditional snail mail to deliver a medical test experience in the privacy of the home.

Heron routinely advises founders to attend Disrupt, calling it a “no-brainer.” He cites access to investors, naturally, but also notes the show’s large media presence — and the important role media exposure plays in the life of an early startup.

“We got fantastic coverage in Engadget, which was really valuable. Coverage is the lifeblood of a startup. Cash at the beginning of the startup journey is difficult to come by, and an article from a credible organization can help push things in the right direction.”

Heron recently attended Disrupt SF 2018, and he sent us this update on his company’s current direction.

“It’s great to be back at TechCrunch Disrupt again this year. We have just closed $1.7 million in funding thanks to you and your team, bless you. You guys are fantastic — the lifeblood of the startup scene.”

Networking, collaboration and education

Vlad Larin is the co-founder of Zeroqode, a no-code development platform that lets developers and non-developers build web and mobile apps — without using code — in less time and for less money.

Unlike most early-stage startup founders, Larin’s objective for attending Disrupt was not to secure investors, but rather to help people understand Zeroqode’s no-code development technology. Larin noted that exhibiting in Startup Alley at Disrupt Berlin 2017 was the perfect place to start those conversations.

“Disrupt is the place where technology worlds collide. You shake hands and talk with all kinds of people looking for new ideas, collaboration and inspiration — people who want to learn and exchange ideas about the latest products and industry trends.”

Larin particularly enjoyed the overall atmosphere and the ease with which ideas flowed.

“It was a great networking opportunity. Everyone was there to help and support each other and look for mutually beneficial ways to collaborate. It was refreshing, and you just don’t experience that every day.”

Disrupt Berlin 2018 takes place on 29-30 November. Whether you’re looking for opportunities to secure funding, find media coverage, build relationships or just be inspired, Disrupt is the place where early-stage founder dreams can come true. Buy a Founder Pass or Startup Alley Exhibitor Package here today and join us in Berlin!


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