The only way I could describe the pace of the first two days of Disrupt San Francisco would be to say that ‘break neck speeds’ would not do it justice. The Tech Crunch teams really outdid themselves this year for sure. The agenda’s were action packed, in some cases motivational, in others caused you to really reflect. Reflect on technology. Reflect on trends. Reflect on a good grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup. Reflect on the market and industry we all play a part in. The third day will likely end in a huge crescendo as I am quite certain the line up of talent alone will blow the roof off the place. Perhaps I will write a bit about some of those talks here in the coming days and weeks, but I really had to try and put out my predictions for the results of two days of data and passion filled Startup pitches before the official list was published.
For those of you not in the know, the Battlefield is essentially two full afternoons where roughly 30 startups have a limited amount of time to pitch their business. Each presentation has a panel of industry elite as judges who get to ask a few questions. In the end, only 6 of those on the Battlefield will make it to Day 3 for the final pitch, in front of a group of even more elite industry elites… for the top prize.
My predictions here are not to say that these are my favorite startups, as there were far more firms in start-up alley that I visited over the first two days that I feel have real potential or peaked my interest in some significant way. In some cases there were Battlefield participants that have very strong business models and capabilities that will make them very successful regardless of their win or not. This list is the top six forced stack rank of both days based on my own thoughts and reflections.
I tweeted my thoughts on each contender live throughout the event. If you care to farm through my Twitter account you are welcome to do so. Though in fair warning I am generally pretty forward with my opinions and questions.
First let me put out my list of honorable mentions. These are firms that have compelling stories, products, and/or technology that I personally feel have great value, but I do not think will pass through the filters of what I perceive to be the criteria that will be used. To be honest I have no idea what that criteria is, lets just call it a gut feeling. Regardless these firms have earned a substantial place in my thought domain.
The five honorable mentions in my list:
- Layer – Creating software ubiquity of telephony tech for apps
- Voxel – Interesting “VNC” like advertising platform for apps – Try before you buy, but virtualized in the cloud.
- Jumpcloud – An interesting Cloud Security as a Service Model
- Ansa – A more thoughtful implementation of SnapChat giving user control
- Fates Forever – An interesting multiplayer Tablet game, but I found the gameplay interface and mechanics more compelling
So without further ado here are my six in no particular order.
- Dryft – Reinventing the keyboard for tablets (and I beleive more)
- Monsieur – Robotic / Automated Mixology Tech and some interesting related software
- Braket – Classroom Workflow Technology -Easing the transition from traditional tools to tablets
- SoilIQ – Social Sensors / Gardening and farming in the 22nd century
- TidePool – Lumosity-like games, but much more – taking into affect Psychological information as well
- TangiblePlay – Board Games meet Video Games, blending the real world with virtual worlds
Out of this list I know who my front runner is as well. But I am not telling. Yet.
Ok I put mine out there…who are your picks?