TechCrunch Disrupt is one of the leading technology conferences of the year – a place for startup founders, thought leaders and other industry stakeholders to come together, exchange ideas and win funding. Entrepreneurs can show their startup companies off to the world and attract the support they need to move on to the next level.
The conference is organised by TechCrunch, which since 2005 has operated as an online publisher and provider of technology industry news and features. Since the first TechCrunch Disrupt event was staged in 2011, conferences have taken place in leading world cities such as New York, San Francisco, Beijing, Berlin and London.
Each has proved popular with members of the startup community, press and investors who are looking to provide financial backing for the next generation of exciting young enterprises.
What is Disrupt London 2015?
On December 7th and 8th, Disrupt London 2015 is being held in the UK capital. The conference will aim to build upon the success of last year’s TechCrunch Disrupt Europe Event, which took place in October 2014 at Old Billingsgate in London.
According to the organisers, the city is a hive of startup activity, with European entrepreneurs using this “highly developed centre” as a bridge to global markets. Many new businesses are being set up in the UK capital, eager to capitalise on ongoing investment in new enterprises in London, in areas such as Silicon Roundabout and King’s Cross. In 2015, it is one of the best places in the world to start up a new company, particularly one that has technology at its core.
Disrupt London 2015 is to be staged at the iconic Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a multi-purpose venue that was built for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The conference is open to any startup, based anywhere in the world, although the organisers are particularly encouraging startups to apply from Europe, the Middle East and Africa. British entrepreneurs are invited to come along and show off their new businesses and ideas.
Raising the profile of small businesses
TechCrunch Disrupt is by no means your usual technology conference. Speakers are invited to address the audience across a wide range of tech subjects, but they are then held to account by the invited members of the press and other audience members. Journalists have the opportunity to quiz business founders and other speakers about their company, facilitating two-way engagement live from the stage.
Past conferences have shown that the media loves this approach. At last year’s London event, hundreds of journalists were present, including representatives of the Financial Times, Newsnight, City AM, The Independent, Business Insider and CNBC. This ensured plenty of media coverage, both for the conference and for the many startups which attended and business leaders who gave speeches.
About Disrupt London 2015?
Both days at the conference will start with panels and one-on-one discussions, featuring TechCrunch writers and editors, special guest speakers, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. The most important topics of the day, from across the technology sector, will be on the agenda each morning.
In the afternoon, TechCrunch will stage the Startup Battlefield competition, which is at the very heart of TechCrunch Disrupt. At first, 15 companies – chosen from hundreds of applicants – will pitch their products live on the Disrupt stage in front of a panel of expert judges, the press and a live audience of thousands.
After demos, pitches and rounds of questioning, six companies will be selected for the final, which is staged at the end of the conference. One deserving Startup Battlefield winner will get their hands on a cheque for £30,000 and the prestigious Disrupt Cup.
Book your spot in Startup Alley
Disrupt London 2015 isn’t just about what’s happening on the main stage. New companies have the opportunity to be part of Startup Alley, where they can show off their products and services to attendees at the conference. Each is vying for the attention of the tech community, meaning it is a competitive field. But if you’ve got a great hardware or software solution to show to the world, this is one of the best places to do it.
One of the companies present at Startup Alley will be named the day’s Wild Card Winner and given the chance to pitch their idea on the main stage as part of the Startup Battlefield competition. They will then have six minutes to talk to the main audience and stake their claim for the coveted Disrupt Cup.
Only new businesses qualify for entry to Startup Alley. To advertise your company at this part of the arena the enterprise must be less than two years old and have secured less than £2 million in funding during its lifetime. Applicants are asked to check the eligibility criteria before signing up.
Confirmed speakers for the conference
A number of speakers have already been confirmed for Disrupt London 2015, including the following:
- Agustin Gomez – co-founder and chief executive at Wallapop
- Niklas Östberg – co-founder and chief executive of Delivery Hero
- Danny Rimer – head of Index Ventures’ London office
- Neil Rimer – board director of Moo Print
- Oliver Samwer – German entrepreneur, founder of Alando.de
- Azmat Yusuf – founder at Citymapper
Other speakers will continue to be announced in the run up to the event.
Buying tickets for Disrupt London 2015
Tickets for the conference are currently available on the Disrupt London 2015 website, with options including the Hardware Alley Exhibitor Package (two tickets for £650 + VAT), the Startup Alley Exhibitor Package (Monday December 7th – two tickets for £800 + VAT) and the Startup Alley Exhibitor Package (Tuesday December 8th – two tickets for £650 + VAT). Other tickets and package offers may be available in the weeks and months leading up to Disrupt London 2015.
Getting to the Copper Box Arena
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has some of the best transport links in London, with easy access to rain connections and local bus routes. The closest London Underground station is Stratford Station, which is served by the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) plus the Jubilee and Central lines. The station also welcomes National Rail and London Overground services, giving visitors to Disrupt London 2015 a range of travel options from the centre of the capital and beyond.
To get to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from Stratford Station, take the escalator or lift up to ‘The Street’ and follow it along, bearing right at Fountain Square toward John Lewis. Turn left at Jamie’s Italian and at the end of the passage, cross the road into the park. From there, follow directions to the Copper Box Arena.
For guests arriving by bus, the 388 runs between Blackfriars in central London and Stratford City near the station entrance, stopping at the Copper Box Arena. Other options for Stratford include the 308 from Clapton and Wanstead, the 339 from Leytonstone and Shadwell, and the D8 from Cross harbour.