TechCrunch is headed to Australia to dig deep and find the disruptive early-stage startups of tomorrow. This is literally our first ever Startup Battlefield Australia and the country’s burgeoning tech scene means that high-growth startups are proliferating across the country, from the Snowy Mountains to the Great Plains and beyond..
We’re excited to welcome some great names from the Australian tech scene to our stage:
Wesley Chan, Felicis Ventures
Wes was the lead investor on the Series A of Cultureamp (Melbourne based) and on the board and also at Canva (Series A lead, Sydney based). Wes' links to Australia's tech industy are regularlycovered by the Australian press. Chan is a Managing Director at Felicis Ventures. He has led investment rounds and holds board or observer seats in Canva, CultureAmp and Dialpad. He was previously a General Partner at Google Ventures, where he led investment rounds and held board or observer seats in Angelist, Crittericism, iPerian (exited to Bristol Myers-Squibb), Cool Planet Energy Systems, and Switch Communications. Wesley also led investments in Optimizely, Vungle, DataPad (exited to Cloudera), Freshplum (exited to TellApart), Namo Media (exited to Twitter), and Parse (exited to Facebook).
Kavita Gupta, Consensys Ventures
Kavita heads up ConsenSys, a company that develops apps and tools based on Ethereum, which has launched a $50 million venture capital fund that will provide pre-seed and seed capital to blockchain technology startups. Gupta is a recipient of a UN social finance innovator award in 2015 for being an integral part of the founding green bond and Carbon Swap team in 2008 at The World Bank. She has been working on Impact driven private equity and debt investments across East Africa, Middle East, South Asia and recently in the US for past 12 years through World Bank, IFC, McKinsey, Amplifier Strategies (managing Nick Pritzker's impact investments) and The Schmidt Family office (currently). She founded and headed World Bank's youth innovation fund ($50M) in 2010.
Both will serve as judges and speakers on panels, one of which will be a panel on blockchain and ICOs. We’ll also have a 1:1 with Spencer Rascoff CEO at Zillow.
Spencer Rascoff CEO, Zillow
As chief executive officer of Zillow Group, Spencer oversees the company’s portfolio of real estate and home-related brands, including consumer brands Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy, HotPads and Naked Apartments. Spencer helped start Zillow in 2005, and served various roles including chief operating officer, until his appointment to CEO in 2010. Since becoming CEO, Spencer has led Zillow through its 2011 IPO and 14 acquisitions. In 2015, Spencer co-wrote and published his first book, the New York Times’ Best Seller “Zillow Talk: Rewriting the Rules of Real Estate.” Spencer is also the host of “Office Hours,” a monthly podcast featuring candid conversations between prominent executives on leadership and management topics.
TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield has been bringing world-class founders into the spotlight since 2007, and in the past decade almost 700 contestants have gone on to raise nearly $7 billion in funding and rack up nearly 100 exits.
Our community of Battlefield Alumni include companies like Mint, Dropbox, Yammer, TripIt, Getaround and Cloudflare. We are excited to showcase a diverse group for Australia’s first ever TC Battlefield.
The winner of TechCrunch Battlefield Australia will be the recipient of a $25,000 equity-free cash prize and an all-expense-paid trip (for two) to exhibit at TechCrunch’s flagship global competition, Disrupt Battlefield SF 2018. The entire event will be live-streamed (and later available on demand) and carried on TechCrunch.com, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
To bring Battlefield to Australia, TechCrunch is partnering with the ELEVACAO Foundation, whose mission to empower women tech entrepreneurs aligns globally with TechCrunch’s Include program to encourage more diversity in tech.