You all know that TechCrunch is going to host a conference (battlefield) for new start-ups in NYC on May 23rd. Well, since we are a native NYC based company, we decided to apply for the competition too. We answered lengthy online questionnaires, prepared a 3 minute video, did little things here and there. All in all, we’ve spent over 10 man-hours in order to submit our application early on (as was suggested) and then we had to wait to get a decision. It wasn’t our brand new attempt. In fact, it was our second attempt to get a foot to that event (we applied for TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco last summer as a Todayter start-up). The main prize of $50,000 didn’t really influence our interest. You can’t even buy a car with that money after paying all the transfer taxes. What really interested us was to get mentioned by TechCrunch blog itself (and maybe Mashable!), to make some PR waves in the Silicon Valley and spread the news about our start up and our new product.
Well, to my utter disappointment, our application was politely rejected. The TechCrunch even tried to encourage us to pay $1,995 fee to get “inside” instead. Well, it was not going to work out like that. The deal was to let us in for free, not for 2K. That’s outrageous.
The full body of that email is listed here:
Dear DISRUPT Startup Battlefield Candidate:
Thank you for submitting your startup for consideration as part of TechCrunch Disrupt and the Startup Battlefield for NYC2011. It was a real pleasure learning more about your technology and team.
We received over 600 amazing applications for Disrupt NYC 2011 from around the globe. We regret that we are unable to offer you a finalist presentation spot. In our effort to find the most disruptive, funded and unfunded ventures representing different verticals and geographies, we had to pass on many outstanding companies. Our decision has little bearing on your future success, as we’ve had many outstanding companies go on to greatness without us. At the end of day, we have to curate a variety of funded and unfunded companies, from different technology verticals and multiple geographies, so unfortunately, sometimes great companies don’t fit in our final presentation matrix.
However, we would like to offer you the opportunity to participate in the STARTUP ALLEY segment of Disrupt. Startup Alley is our demo area for newly launched startups. We offer 2 tickets to the conference and one complimentary day to demo your startup to the 1,500 expected attendees of Disrupt (including leading VCs, internet and media companies and press) for the combined price of $1995 (individual early bird tickets are $1995 each btw.) And you might still get on stage! Each Monday and Tuesday, the audience votes for their “Best in Show” among Startup alley demos. The crowd favorite receives the last spot to compete on stage as part of that day’s Battlefield and will be eligible to compete forward for the $50,000 grand prize.
The Startup Alley wildcards are our way of acknowledging that there are many more outstanding companies in our Startup Alley than we can fit on stage. All you need is your demo and a laptop. In the Startup Alley, we provide everything you need to pitch for one full day of the conference (30″ round cocktail height table, linens, 14″x11″ table sign, inclusion in program agenda and website, exhibitor wifi access, press list, etc) along with 2 full conference passes for the price of one. Limited Startup Alley spots are available (50 per day / 100 total, and demo days are allocated on a priority basis based on registration date.
To participate, please use this link to purchase your demo package: http://techcrunchdisruptnyc2011startupalley.eventbrite.com/
NOTE: Please register for Startup Alley and submit materials no later than THURSDAY, MAY 12 to guarantee your spot and inclusion in printed materials for the conference.
We really enjoyed learning more about your business and would love to have your participate in our broader conference agenda. Thanks again for your support and we hope to see you at Pier 94 this May 23-25 in New York.
If you have questions regarding the TC DISRUPT Startup Battlefield opportunity, please email@example.com.
Erick, Heather, Michael and
The TechCrunch Team
After all, it seems like my entrepreneurial career is not being picked up remarkably by the media. We’ve enjoyed some viral publicity with our “Bad Translator” product last year when a guy from Myth Busters tweeted about it and all others picked up on that including 2 week home run on StumbleUpon. Since then – nothing.
Since we’ve built a rather enterprise level start-up, the Silicon Valley gives us a cold treatment. It seems that money flow right now into social networks and mobile advertizing while VC largely ignore anything that is build with revenue in mind. VC’s forget that no one actually clicks any ads on neither Google, nor Facebook, nor any mobile devices. They are suppressed handsomely with such in-browser plug-ins like AdBlock. Thus, the most lucrative and cash rich clients are not reachable any more. They don’t see that yet.
On the other hand, our start-up is profitable, cash flow positive, has a sound business model, not susceptible to online advertising threats and perhaps will be able to acquire all machine translators one day. Language will always be on the internet. The definition of the internet is to be cross-platform, cross-browser, and cross-locale.
We work in the exciting market and we will make the news one day. It’s not our day today. We are, in fact, rejected. But I won’t dismiss that bright possibility of fame one day. We will get there. Not as individuals, but as a team, strong, cohesive, vibrant team.