Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I participate in the Battlefield?

Apart from the exposure that comes from pitching to the global TechCrunch audience as well as distinguished technologists, entrepreneurs, and investors live in Nairobi, the overall winner will receive $25,000 in no-equity cash plus an all-expense paid trip for two to San Francisco to compete in Battlefield at TechCrunch’s flagship event, Disrupt SF 2018.


HOW DO I PARTICIPATE?

Startups must fit into one of three categories (social good, productivity and utility, gaming and entertainment) to participate. Five startups in each category will be selected to join us on stage for the Battlefield Africa in Nairobi.

Apart from clear relevance to one of the three themes, qualifying startups should:

  • Be early-stage companies in “launch” stage
  • Be a resident from our eligible countries
  • Have a fully working product/beta, reasonably close to or in production
  • Have received limited press or publicity to date
  • Have no known intellectual property conflicts


WHAT COUNTRIES ARE ELIGIBLE?

Residents in the following countries may apply: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the foregoing language, the “Applicable Countries” does not include any country to or on which the United States has embargoed goods or imposed targeted sanctions (including, but not limited to, Sudan).


WHEN IS THE APPLICATION DEADLINE?

July 21st, 2017 at 5pm PST.


WHEN WILL YOU NOTIFY THE FINALISTS?

August 21st, 2017 at 5pm PST.


WHO PICKS THE STARTUPS THAT WILL COMPETE?

The TechCrunch editors who run the TechCrunch Startup Battlefield competition will choose the finalists from the application pool.


IS THERE AN INTERVIEW ROUND?

Not really. We occasionally interview startups which we need more information or would like to see a live demo. However, you do not have to have an interview to be selected for the Battlefield. So basically, don't worry about it.


WHAT IS THE PITCH-OFF FORMAT?

Each company will have six minutes to present. The judges will have six minutes to ask questions. Live demos are strongly encouraged.


WHO WILL JUDGE THE PITCH-OFFS?

TechCrunch will select four judges for each theme. They will be noted entrepreneurs, investors and technologists with experience relevant to the category. A TechCrunch editor will moderate the judging, and cast the tie-breaker ballot, if needed.


WHAT ARE THE JUDGING CRITERIA?

Productivity & Utility — The judges will pick startup with the product or service most likely to go into full commercial production and have the biggest impact on human potential and/or the largest exit.

Social Good — The judges will look for the startup with the product most likely to catalyze social development through technology.

Gaming & Entertainment — The judges will pick startup with the product or service most likely to see wide consumer adoption and have either the biggest exit and/or impact on gaming and entertainment.


WHO ARE FORMER BATTLEFIELD PARTICIPANTS? WHAT HAPPENS TO STARTUPS AFTER THEY PARTICIPATE IN THE BATTLEFIELD?

We're pretty proud of what our Battlefield alumni have accomplished. In total, they've raised 6.9B and include standouts Yammer, Dropbox, Mint, LearnVest, Zenefits, Trello, oDesk, Betterment, CloudFlare, Postmates and more. Check out all the info at our Startup Battlefield Hub.

As an alum, we provide discount tickets to future TechCrunch Disrupts, the Crunchies and meetups.


WILL TECHCRUNCH’S TEAM HELP PREPARE STARTUPS FOR THE PITCH-OFF?

Yes, in person training and rehearsal sessions will be required, as well in-person rehearsal on October 10th.


DOES IT COST MONEY TO PARTICIPATE?

No, TechCrunch does not charge or take equity from Battlefield participants. You will be responsible for travel to and from rehearsals and presentations.


ARE COSTS TO ATTEND THE PITCH-OFF COVERED?

No, but TechCrunch will try to find financial assistance for a startup in need of assistance to reach the Nairobi event.


WHEN WILL FINALISTS BE NOTIFIED?

We generally take about one month from the close of submissions to select and notify our participants. All companies will be notified regardless if they are selected. If you have not received an email by early August reach out to BattlefieldAfrica@techcrunch.com.


WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN A VIDEO?

The video is required so that we have an opportunity to see your product in action. Do not worry about production quality, camera phones or screen captures are more than enough. The important thing is that you show us some functional hardware or software. We understand that it might have limited features or not be the final prototype but show us anyway. Pro tip, we love it when you can walk us through a use case.


WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW?

The pitch-off is on October 11th, 2017. There will be a reception at the end of the pitch-off, where each company will have room to exhibit and talk 1:1 with pitch-off attendees.