- Battlefield gives you great exposure to investors and gives you some "validation" in their eyes. It is mostly true for noname VCs. If you network well, you will get some good connections out of it. That being said, it will not make your company. Even if it might seem so for a bit.
- Startup Alley is a complete waste of time, unless you sell to other startups. If you are starting something like Twilio, you will get plenty of early adopters in a few days.
Otherwise, there is no real exposure, no traffic, no VCs, and almost no business partners. TechCrunch loves to hype it up because they are making $1.7K on each booth.
If you are not sure why you want to participate, don't. Stay at the office and double down on your product and customers. YOu are better off spending your money on youtube influencers or what have you.
I have been to Startup Alley once with my previous company. We managed to get exactly 0 new customers out of it. So on this point, totally agree with you. I did not expect tons of new business, but not getting a single new customer was disappointing, especially since the product sold well otherwise.
However, I got a surprising amount of good discussions out of it, both at the booth and over lunch. And I had fun. So overall, it was worth the price if you factor in the inspirational component.
Really? How many booths are they selling? That's a pretty small ticket price all things considered.
The value is in corporates buying tickets
They heavily discount it a month in advance and there is a number of way to get in for free. But one would have to hustle .
Want to know what I think it's good for? It puts you in the show, so to speak. I've been over a hundred startup events and I think TC's is the best primarily because of the people you meet and the ability to interact with other startups. It helps you place yourself in the firmament of startups and figure out where to go next.
I'm a founder and I wouldn't want to launch anywhere else. I'm biased to a fault but that's the truth.
However, techcrunch is not all it is said to be. It is much of a self congratulatory Enterprise. A lot of people that came to our booth were other start ups trying to find new customers. The amount of web traffic we received was dismal, compared to that famous cloudflare article.
In the end any advertising is better then no advertising. plus it helps you come up with a one liner that describe what your startup is and does.
If you want to read the whole experience: https://idiallo.com/blog/renly-techrunch-disrupt-ny-2017
Humble suggestion is to pivot to a new or revised idea.
How is your traction right now?
Also we are adding verticals as the we see the demand increase. We started with fitness, dental, office and now we are seeing more and more people asking for generic spaces. So this is our next goal, renting any sort of space possible.
The answer to this is relative to the time and cost inputs. If you are a small company and bootstrapping, then no, it's unlikely to be worth it. Better to skip the table and just hustle to meet press/investors/other startups, since $2k can go a long way elsewhere.
My advice is to go to the hackathon the weekend before and build "something" with your cofounder (presuming you have one). This should* get you two free tickets to the conference.
Someone else here mentioned that if you sell to startups it might be worth it - I'd probably agree with that as an exception if you aren't already based in the Bay Area.
* You would have to confirm that Techcrunch are still offering this. They're usually pretty quiet about it (for obvious reasons) but I've used this method both times I went (for free).
I met at least two very important people while there, one of which ended up investing into our seed round and the other who ended up introducing us to the lead of said round.
My general advice is that the Alley is pretty much what it sounds like, and the attendant quality of other companies there with you will be low. It's on you to get out there and network; just standing by your kiosk will do absolutely nothing for you.
If you show up and expect to get rich and famous by standing next to a table, then you'll be disappointed.
That's debatable. Here are some of the Startup Alley companies:
- Stemless Co (buying weed)
- Mycroft AI (another freaking voice assistant...with AI)
- Topology Eyewear (custom glasses using 3D face models)
- Reely (Sports hightlights...with AI)
- WeTravel (disrupting the dead travel planner industry)
- Teuko (lunchboxes and tech?)
- Switchit (uh...business cards)
- GamerLink (Facebook, but for gamers)
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