Awesomeness. (Spoiler alert: We didn’t even win)
We had the honor and privilege of launching Rex at this year’s Startup Battlefield at TC Disrupt. Since then, we’ve gotten a bunch of questions as to what the process was like and whether it was worth it.
Other than the obvious takeaways from becoming a Battlefield alum (a TC article, free tickets to Disrupt, VIP parties, in-bound interest from potential investors, etc.), there’s a LOT that I don’t think has been covered or mentioned anywhere, so I will cover the two things that really helped out my company:
Access to The TechCrunch Staff — (shoutouts to: Sam O’Keefe and Lora Kolodny especially)
Sam is amazing. We have a really technical product and she was able to help us distill our message to a lay audience in the course of a month. She was able to help hone the message not just for us, but for 22 other companies as well! As a startup founder, you know your company inside-out, and because of that, sometimes the message of your value proposition can be somewhat lost in translation. With an outside perspective, she’s able to help you simplify your message to something clear and concise that you can bring to a general tech audience. This is something that will help us moving forward whether it’s with customers or investors moving forward.
Not to be outdone, our writer, Lora was equally amazing. She had a clear enthusiasm for our product and industry to where the article that was released the day of Battlefield was sooooooo good. Not only did she write an awesome article, but she made valuable connections the day of!
A Network of Bad@$$ Founders
Startup Battlefield brings in top companies. Only 2% of companies get a chance to present, and so the other companies you’re surrounded with during tech rehearsal and at the Startup Battlefield section of Disrupt are very impressive.
Yes, you are competing each other. But there’s something to be said about being surrounded by super ambitious and ridiculously smart founders. That should be enough to energize you to work/try even harder with your company; I know it inspired me.
You’re also going through similar stresses. The moments leading up to your session is pretty nerve wracking. Having other founders who can not only empathize with you, but are literally living through what you’re going through as well builds a sort of support network amongst your group.
For us, we immediately bonded with our fellow biotech founders (Amaryllis Nucleics and mFluidx) and our fellow Techstars founders (Pundit and BlazingDB) because there was almost in-built connection already. However, everyone else is super supportive and cheering you on, even though they’re competition. Because of that, your network builds and there’s a #givefirst mentality where you wanna help your fellow entrepreneur succeed (and because of that your LinkedIn and Facebook invites explode).
This isn’t limited to your competitors, but you also get to meet Battlefield alum companies who provide helpful advice as well during Disrupt.
So there you have it. These are two major value adds of competing in Startup Battlefield. If you’re on the fence about applying, just DO IT!
If you’re a founder and have more questions, feel free to reach out via Twitter (@ainakosiboyie)
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