VC Kerty Levy discusses the Northeast seed market

Information is power, especially when you’re just beginning your startup journey. Whether you’re in the idea stage or building on the friends-and-family plan or preparing to pitch investors, it’s imperative to understand the shifting VC funding landscape as you plan for future growth.

It’s no secret that funding is harder to come by in this economy, and that’s just one reason why we’re thrilled that Kerty Levy, managing director at Techstars, will share her expertise at TechCrunch Early Stage on April 20 in Boston, Massachusetts.

In a session called “The State of the Northeast Seed Market,” Levy will bring you up-to-date on how the national economic picture is affecting VC investments and how that shapes funding trends from Washington, DC, right on up to New York and into the greater Boston area.

What will the funding scene in these major metropolitan areas look like this year? Are there region-specific tips that early-stage founders can use to attract investors? Techstars is deeply grounded in working with founders at the earliest stages, and Levy brings extensive local knowledge to the table.

If you’re an early-stage founder trying to raise —or thinking about raising — your first dollars in the Northeast, don’t miss this session for an inside look at the local seed scene.

Kerty Levy joined Techstars in 2019, where she has served as managing director of the Techstars Iowa and the Techstars Crypto Boston programs. Her global background includes entrepreneurial ventures, corporate executive leadership and management consulting.

Levy received a BA in international relations at the University of California, Davis and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

TechCrunch Early Stage sessions give attendees plenty of time to engage, ask questions and walk away with a deeper, working understanding of topics and skills that are essential to startup success. Buy an early-bird founder ticket now and save $200.

VC Kerty Levy discusses the Northeast seed market by Lauren Simonds originally published on TechCrunch

Brex is acting more and more like a venture capitalist over time

Brex has been steadily increasing its partnerships with startup aggregators over time, such as Y Combinator, AngelList, and today, as per its latest announcement it inked a new deal with Techstars.

Brex CEO and co-founder Henrique Dubugras compared his company’s strategy to that of Stripe, “if you can get companies in the inception, you act like a venture capitalist.” Techstars accelerator companies will now get access to a variety of benefits from Brex including a platform support team, a sign up bonus for its program, supper club dinners, and other exclusive events.

Companies will also get free access to Pry, Brex’s financial forecasting and scenario planning platform that it acquired for $90 million just months ago. The service will only be given to companies for the duration of the accelerator program, which is three months.

The corporate spending company thus is bringing on generations of current and future accelerator batch startups from around the world as part of this deal. And while it may increase the number of users, Dubugras admits that it’s a customer acquisition play with the hope of potential upside.

“If you look at Brex’s cost of acquisition to get a startup; if they fail at Series A, we lose money” when looking at how much revenue is generated for us versus how much it cost to acquire the customer,” Dubugras explained. “If [the startup gets to] Series B or Series D, we make a lot of money.”

The move rings differently considering Brex’s April announcement that it was leaning more into the enterprise segment, and less into small businesses or non-professionally funded startups.

Sure enough, Dubugras did say that Brex is picky about who it works with. “It only makes sense because some of the startups do graduate and become larger companies…we don’t partner with any accelerator because if they don’t have a track record of delivering good companies, maybe it’s a nonprofit relationship.”

While it’s a bit of a long game play, partnerships also help Brex get an upper edge on competition, which includes the richly-funded and formidable Ramp, as well as a number of newer players in the corporate credit card space like Stripe and Rippling. After all, fintech companies are always looking for stickier ways to stay on a customer’s radar. So far, 80% of Y Combinator companies use Brex; we’ll see if the same adoption rings true for Techstars.

Brex is acting more and more like a venture capitalist over time by Natasha Mascarenhas originally published on TechCrunch

6 reasons why you shouldn’t join an accelerator

As the head of startup pipeline at Techstars, I’ve been getting on calls with founders, attending events, speaking on stages like TechCrunch’s Disrupt and hosting countless Twitter Spaces. Each time, I’ve been telling founders why they should join an accelerator.

Now, I am changing things up and going to lay out six reasons you shouldn’t join an accelerator.

If you only need funding

You’re better off going to VCs, angel investors, crowdfunding, applying for grants or seeking venture debt. Accelerators usually take more (equity), because they provide more than just money. They give you funding and fundraising opportunities, mentorship and networks, workshops and usually a place to work. If you don’t need any of that, then you don’t need an accelerator.

Accelerators are great because they’re a forcing mechanism to reach your most desired outcome by the end of the program, but no one is going to drag you out of bed every morning.

Keep in mind that funding will solve your money problems, but it won’t solve everything else. You’ll still need to figure out how to acquire customers, find the best talent, build an incredible product, assemble a great advisory board and get to product-market fit.

Do you just need funding? Lucky you. For crowdfunding, you can’t go wrong with Republic or WeFunder. For venture debt options, check out SVB or Mercury, and OpenGrants for, well, grants.

To do customer development

Customer development, also known as customer discovery or idea validation, is the notion of validating your startup idea. You don’t need an accelerator to tell you to talk to your customers. You should be doing it anyway. Otherwise, why are you building the thing you want to build?

Yes, many accelerators accept companies at the idea stage, but it’s usually on the premise that primary or secondary research has been conducted to show you’re building something people have said they would use and/or pay for.

6 reasons why you shouldn’t join an accelerator by Ram Iyer originally published on TechCrunch

Techstars unveils sustainability-focused acceleration program in Paris

Techstars, a network of startup accelerators and an investment company, is launching a new accelerator in Paris called Techstars Sustainability Paris. This isn’t the first time that Techstars is running an accelerator in France as the company originally launched Techstars Paris in 2017.

With this sustainability-focused accelerator, Techstars is hitting the reboot button. Going forward, the Paris team will focus exclusively on impact startups with Raphaele Leyendecker acting as the managing director.

Every year, Techstars Sustainability Paris plans to accept 24 startups across two batches. Companies receive $120,000 and hand out 6% of their equity. They also go through an intense acceleration program that should help them scale and reach the next level.

I talked with Baptiste Fradin who currently acts as entrepreneur in residence for this accelerator. He believes that the tech ecosystem has matured quite a lot in France over the past ten years. But impact companies could still benefit from new processes, better network effects and more ambition in general. According to him, Techstars could bridge the gap between these two worlds.

France could become a leading market when it comes to sustainability-focused and impact startups due to local and European regulation, innovation and talent looking for opportunities in this ecosystem. That’s why Paris makes sense when it comes to building a team of mentors, investors and corporate partners for a sustainability accelerator.

But because it’s a hybrid program, companies don’t have to be based in France to apply. Techstars already has 24 portfolio companies for its sustainability program, and 16 of them aren’t based in France.

With this program, Techstars is looking for companies working on water, energy, waste management and other sustainability-related issues. It is then tech and industry agnostic, which means that these companies can be hardware, software but also deeptech, biotech or fintech startups.

Some companies include Kumulus Water, a startup working on a water generator from air, Mavuno Technologies, a company that uses satellite imagery and machine learning to improve harvest yield, and Outlander Materials, a company working on a new material made out of organic waste to replace plastic. And if things work well for portfolio companies, Techstars can also offer to invest in funding rounds down the road.

Techstars unveils sustainability-focused acceleration program in Paris by Romain Dillet originally published on TechCrunch

Why this Californian founder moved to Minneapolis to build a B2B fintech

Minneapolis-based Branch was founded in 2015, and it’s now one of the fastest-growing companies in the Midwest. Its founder, Atif Siddiqi, is a Southern California transplant who first relocated to the Twin Cities to participate in the Target Techstars accelerator program. He hasn’t looked back since.

Siddiqi has spent the past seven years building up Branch from its roots as a Midwestern upstart focused on earned-wage access into a formidable Series C-stage business with $75 million in funding from investors such as Addition and General Atlantic and clients including Uber and Walmart.

Branch, which has seen over 2,000% revenue growth in the last three years, helps contractors get paid faster through a wide range of product offerings today. Siddiqi and early Branch investor Ryan Broshar of Minneapolis-based Matchstick Ventures explain how the city’s venture ecosystem has evolved over the years and share their tips for founders outside coastal tech hubs looking to raise capital, bring in customers and make an impact on their industries far beyond their immediate locales.

Why this Californian founder moved to Minneapolis to build a B2B fintech by Anita Ramaswamy originally published on TechCrunch

Y Combinator alumni raise $80 million for DAO to back crypto startups

Groups of people seeking to invest together have been turning to the crypto-native DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) structure for a collective decision-making framework. While an investment DAO typically can only have up to 100 members in order to stay compliant with SEC rules, Orange DAO has found a way to bring over over 1,000 Y Combinator alumni together to back web3 startups through an associated venture fund.

Orange DAO just raised $80 million in funding, mainly from two strategic investors: layer-one blockchains Algorand and Near, general partner Ben Huh told TechCrunch in an interview.

“They wanted to support our mission of bringing more entrepreneurs into web3. For them, working with us and getting exposure in front of our entrepreneurs is really important, because if one of our members builds a billion-dollar DeFi protocol, the investment that they made in us is trivial compared to the amount of upside that they get from it,” Huh said.

The rest of the funding, he added, came from DAO members who became limited partners in the fund itself as well as some institutional investors.

Members of Y Combinator alumni's web3 venture capital collective, Orange DAO

Members of Y Combinator alumni’s web3 venture capital collective, Orange DAO. Image Credits: Orange DAO

TechCrunch last spoke to Huh in January shortly after the fund launched. Back then, Huh explained the DAO’s unique structure and why it has been able to stay compliant despite its large size.

The DAO itself is structured as an LLC, Huh said, while the fund is run as a separate legal entity by Huh and a few other general partners. That way, the fund doesn’t have anywhere near the SEC’s cap of 100 investors for a venture group, though Huh and the other GPs leverage the DAO’s hundreds of members to source investment ideas and conduct diligence.

The group had originally set out to raise $10 million in funding from investors to back crypto startups, Huh told TechCrunch this week. Since January, the group has grown to 1,300 members from 1,000 and backed 90 startups, up from 30 at that time, Huh said.

Its portfolio companies include crypto cap table management service Liquifi, decentralized credit platform Goldfinch and crypto payments tool Spritz, according to the group. On average, Huh said, the fund writes $100,000 checks to each company.

As a first-time venture fund, Orange DAO can’t rely on a prior track record to attract new capital, Huh said. Instead, he sees its advantage stemming from the network of Y Combinator alumni in the DAO who come together to help the GPs originate and diligence opportunities.

“By having OrangeDAO do the work of supporting our portfolio companies and bringing in deal flow, we’re looking at 10 times more deals than we’d normally see,” Huh said.

Legally, the DAO and the fund are separate, but the DAO acts as a “funnel for entrepreneurs to apply for funding,” Huh said. Any carry, or profits, the GPs earn on the fund is reinvested back into the DAO’s treasury to support new investments, he added.

So what are the benefits of investing through this DAO structure? Huh said members can capture upside by becoming members of the DAO and voting on what it does with its treasury without needing to be accredited investors in a venture capital firm themselves. For outside investors in Orange DAO, the appeal comes from its strong network and deal flow stemming from the connectivity to Y Combinator, though YC does not officially have any affiliation with Orange DAO.

Orange DAO also funds a fellowship program to pay ~10 Y Combinator founders to work on web3 projects for 10 weeks, with the goal of attracting more founders to the web3 space, Huh added. With the new influx of cash, Huh and his team hope to expand the fellowship program in addition to making new fund investments.

The main innovation here is the decision-making process Huh has helped formulate for Orange DAO, which he developed through his own DAO accelerator startup, Origami. Origami, which happens to be one of Orange DAO’s portfolio companies, says it also provides services to Techstars’ Constellation DAO and Kauffman Fellows’ VC3. Both operate using a similar model to OrangeDAO to make venture investments, according to Huh.

One challenge these venture DAOs face is how to distribute tokens to members for their contributions to the group, Huh said. Although Huh did not explain exactly how DAO members are compensated, he said they have their own metrics and bounties used to assess each member’s contribution.

Origami’s tech stack seeks to streamline some of the processes involved with coordinating between hundreds of group members in a venture DAO.

“This was one of the challenges of being early in a very nascent industry,” Huh said of launching Origami last year. “You have to establish best practices and turn them into really good efficient processes, so between like the legal advice, [deal] structuring advice and organizational structuring advice, our services help DAOs boot up faster and [through our] software, you’ve got a vertically integrated data system.”

These 5 investors are betting on helping you live longer and better

Analysts estimate that the market for “delaying human death” could be worth $610 billion by 2025. But that doesn’t sit well with Christian Angermayer, who co-founded Cambrian BioPharma and Rejuveneron, and whose family office Apeiron Investment Group has a special interest in expanding longevity.

“This is a nonsensical, imaginary number that is almost entirely made up by the cosmetics and supplements industry,” Angermayer said of the $610 billion estimate. In his view, the total addressable market of longevity-related plays is both smaller and potentially much larger than that.

“Right now,” Angermayer told TechCrunch, “the industry for actually delaying human death is zero, because there are no products on the market being sold that have been shown to delay aging. Once the first ones are proven in a clinical trial, we expect that to go from zero to a trillion-dollar industry within a decade. It will be that fast.”

He’s not alone in believing that. Interest in the space seems to be growing rapidly in the VC community, so I spoke with five investors to get a better idea of where longevity tech is headed and just how big the market stands to become.

According to JME Ventures partner Samuel Gil, the opportunities in longevity are “endless.” “The space is only getting started now and will infiltrate all aspects of our life in the next five to 10 years,” he says.

He added, “There are multiple angles to solve problems for very heterogeneous groups with different requirements. Health span versus life span, longevity for pets versus humans, biotech versus wellness, seniors versus young people, dependency versus autonomy, prevention versus treatment, analytics, education, infrastructure.”

That said, some startups in the space are still looking for more sources of capital. According to LongevityMarketCap newsletter author Nathan Cheng and his partner at Healthspan Capital, Sebastian Brunemeier, startups that work at the intersection of biotech and longevity could still use more capital. “The entire field of longevity is underfunded relative to other areas of biotech and private investment,” the pair said. “We expect that it will be another five years or so before longevity biotech enters the general investor consciousness.”

There are several reasons why longevity isn’t attracting more funding yet. Simply the premise of a much longer life can result in strong opinions about ethics, the environmental implications and overpopulation thrown your way, let alone the prospect of reversing aging.

But the problems longevity solutions stand to solve go far beyond aging and improving quality of life.

“The U.S.’s 40 million unpaid family caregivers are not just a little bit of a problem,” said Keith Camhi of Techstars, which runs the Techstars Future of Longevity Accelerator in partnership with Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures.

“The size and scope of the economy for unpaid family caregiving and what’s happening there is a key part of our healthcare system that shouldn’t be missed just because everyone’s doing it on a volunteer basis,” he said

They’re betting that startups will be able to address this issue, which also negatively impacts diversity in the workplace. “It’s completely disruptive to careers, and it’s disproportionately so to women,” said Camhi.

The wide range of topics mentioned here may have given you a glimpse of the sheet breadth of the longevity sector. Read the full survey to learn more about where longevity tech stands now, where it is heading and what these investors look for in a pitch.

Announcing the first tranche of Startup Battlefield judges

The Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt on October 18–20 is set to be our most epic yet. This year’s competitors, selected from our handpicked cohort, the Startup Battlefield 200, are some of the most promising, imaginative startups in tech.

We’re excited to begin announcing the innovators and investors who will judge this world-renowned pitch competition on tech’s biggest stage. But first…

A pro tip: Startup Battlefield isn’t just thrilling to watch; it’s a masterclass in how investors think. The judges’ feedback provides insight into the criteria they use to determine whether a company is viable or not. Watch and learn what investors look for, what motivates them and what pushes them to schedule a meeting.

Without further ado, here are the first three investors ready to help crown the next Startup Battlefield champion.

Jamison Hill, a partner at Base10 Partners

Jamison Hill joined Base10 as a partner in 2021 to lead the Advancement Initiative. Previously, he spent seven years at Bain Capital Ventures, leading growth investments in marketplace businesses (Cameo and Wonolo) and worked with leading software companies (FourKites, ShipBob) and fintech companies (Finix and Flywire).

Prior to Bain Capital Ventures, Hill was an early employee at Bonobos, where he built out the brand’s analytical capabilities across finance, retail and marketing. He began his career as a management consultant advising clients on growth strategy and digital transformation at Bain & Company.

Hill was listed on Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2016 and Venture Capital Journal’s Rising Stars in 2021. He currently serves on the board of Hope in a Box, a program that supports educators in building LGBTQ-inclusive classrooms.

Kanyi Maqubela, a managing partner at Kindred Ventures

A managing partner at Kindred Ventures, Kanyi Maqubela focuses his investment and formation work in theme areas, including fintech, health and wellness, e-commerce, supply-chain and climate tech.

Over the last 10 years, Maqubela has led and participated in more than 50 investments, including CloudTrucks, Goldfinch, Tala, Upstart, Just, Outschool, Mural, Earnest, Kano (Stem Player), HelloSign and more.

Prior to Kindred Ventures, Maqubela was a partner at Collaborative Fund, where he served on boards, including Spruce, True Link, Camino Financial, Hopscotch and Buffer. As an entrepreneur and operator, he co-founded Heartbeat Health. Earlier in his career, Maqubela ran growth at One Block Off the Grid (acquired by $NRG) and was an early employee at Doostang (acquired by Universum Global).

Katie Rae, the CEO and managing partner at The Engine

Since 2017, Katie Rae has served as the CEO and managing partner of The Engine, a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage companies solving the world’s biggest problems. Before joining The Engine, Rae founded and served as managing partner at Project 11 Ventures.

Rae also held leadership roles at Techstars Boston, serving as managing director (2011–2014) and chairman until 2016. She has advised hundreds of founders and invested in more than 100 companies at their earliest stages. Key investments include Flywire, PillPack (acquired by Amazon for $1 billion), Bevi, GrabCad and Synack.

In addition to her investing career, Rae has more than 15 years of experience in senior management and product positions at Microsoft, Eons, AltaVista, RagingBull, Zip2 and Mirror Worlds.

Rae is also founder and president of Equity Summit, an annual event bringing together female and underrepresented minority fund managers and world-leading limited partners. She currently serves on the boards of Commonwealth Fusion Systems, Form Energy, Via Separations, Lilac Solutions, Boston Metal, Sublime Systems and VEIR.

TechCrunch Disrupt takes place on October 18–20 in San Francisco. Buy your pass now and save up to $1,100. Student, government and nonprofit passes are available for just $295. Prices increase September 16.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TechCrunch Disrupt 2022? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

Say hello to the kickass final agenda for the TechCrunch+ stage at Disrupt 2022

TechCrunch is bringing our flagship event Disrupt back to the real world this year, which means we’re hard at work on our big October 18-20 shindig. Founders, investors, tech denizens, crypto fans, and the like: We’re making something incredible just for you.

And no portion of the event has me more excited than what we have in store for you on the TechCrunch+ stage, one of the two main stages that will be going all day, every day at Disrupt. After months of honing topics and ideas, researching panelists to invite, and wrangling more schedules than you want to know about, we are now locked in for Disrupt 2022. We’re so proud of what we have prepared for you.

Pro tip: Save $1,100 when you buy your pass before September 16. Tickets start at just $99 to come to the show.

Whether you are just starting out with an idea, in the midst of early-stage growth, or looking to keep your late-stage startup ahead of the curve in a busy market, we have the information you need. Sessions include well-known startup founders, investors, and executives to help elucidate not only today’s best practices for tech entrepreneurs — a very different set of advice that we heard during the bull market that came to a close in late 2021 — but also the latest and greatest from the world of company-building itself. So, yes, we do have a session that will include the word “DAO” for all the founders out there building on the blockchain.

The full agenda follows. I can’t wait to see you there!

Tuesday, October 18

Live on Stage: TechCrunch’s Chain Reaction

Join us for a live podcast recording of Chain Reaction as we unpack and explain the latest crypto news, drama, and trends, breaking it down block-by-block for the crypto-curious.

How To Build Your Early VC Network: Turning Social Capital Into Financial Capital

with Nik Milanovic (This Week in Fintech), Josh Ogundu (Campfire) and Gefen Skolnick (Couplet Coffee)

If you haven’t heard of Nik, Josh or Gefen, where have you been? They are founders that are not only building very interesting companies but have taken a forward approach toward making noise on social media. We want to dive into how being a public person can help founders build a future public company. This should be a panel that will be not only informative but also lots of fun.

How To Secure Those Hard To Find Hires

with Chris Herd (Firstbase) and Emil Yeargin (Gusto)

Hiring is not easy even in the best of times. With a tight tech talent market and an increasingly remote-friendly — and therefore globally competitive — corporate landscape, founders have never had more places to hire from and more competitors to measure up against. So we’re going to have Chris Herd from Firstbase who is an advocate for remote work and Emil Yeargin, VP of Talent at Gusto, which is not only hiring itself but also helps other companies manage their staff. We’ll go deep on hiring today with an especial focus on hard-to-fill roles.

Winning The War On Ransomware

with Brett Callow (Emsisoft) and Katie Moussouris (Luta Security)

Ransomware attacks are escalating at an alarming rate. We’ll hear from experts about what winning the war on ransomware looks like and how startups can play their part.

How To Raise First Dollars When Investors Are More Cautious, The Founder Perspective

with Amanda DoAmaral (Fiveable), Sara Du (Alloy Automation) and Arman Hezarkhani (Parthean)

While it’s always good to hear from venture capitalists when it comes to dollars and cents, how founders are navigating the capital market is just as important. So we’re gathering Amanda DoAmaral of Fiveable, Sara Du of Alloy Automation and Arman Hezarkhani of Parthean to talk us through what worked for them and how their perspective has been updated in light of the changing economy.

Founder Fireside: Faire and Forerunner Ventures

with Kirsten Green (Forerunner Ventures) and Jeff Kolovson (Faire)

The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it a boom in e-commerce and folks working on making their homes more comfortable. This shift impacted more than just consumers, however. Faire, a marketplace that connects SMBs to wholesalers, had to navigate a market replete with evolving demand and supply chain issues. Now, with the COVID period behind us (at least from a business perspective), TechCrunch will sit down with Faire co-founder and COO Jeff Kolovson and backer Kirsten Green, a founder and partner at Forerunner Ventures, to talk through the company, its market, and where it’s heading next.

What Does Product-Market Fit Mean When Hype Tanks?

with Pali Bhat (Reddit), Avlok Kohli (AngelList), and Annie Pearl (Calendly)

Reddit Chief Product Officer Pali Bhat, AngelList CEO Avlok Kohli and Calendly Chief Product Officer Annie Pearl are coming to Disrupt to help founders hone their definitions of product-market fit. The concept, often shortened to PMF, is tricky as it’s not easily defined for all startups at once. But one thing that happens when market sentiment takes a dive is that definitions tighten. So how should founders measure PMF in a more difficult market, from both a fundraising and customer perspective? We’ll find out.

Wednesday, October 19

Live on Stage: TechCrunch’s Found

Join us for a live podcast recording of Found, a show about founders, and company-building, featuring people doing the work. We’ll interview an early-stage startup founder about how they took the plunge to begin with, and how they navigate everything from building product roadmaps, to raising funding from some of the world’s top investors – and to how they manage failure, too

Building Companies with Longer Time Horizons

with Gene Berdichevsky (Sila), Erin Price-Wright (Index Ventures), and Katie Rae (The Engine)

Not every startup can generate revenue from day one. From hardware to hard science, some startups take more time to build income streams. How can founders get around revenue concerns in a more conservative funding market? And how do investors weigh risk when it comes to bets that may take longer to pull off? For growing startup categories like robotics and climate, these are not idle questions. We’re bringing Sila’s Gene Berdichevsky, Index Ventures’ Erin Price-Wright and The Engine’s Katie Rae together to share the real nuts and bolts of early fundraising in 2022. 

How To Measure TAM Without Bullshitting Yourself

with Kara Nortman (Upfront Ventures), Aydin Senkut (Felicis), and Deena Shakir (Lux Capital)

A common refrain from venture capitalists last year was that software valuations weren’t too high, as the TAM, or total addressable market for tech companies, was simply larger than folks had originally thought. Sure, but some of those startups are now stuck comparing high burn rates with future TAM. So how should founders and their backers really think about TAM to avoid bullshitting themselves or their colleagues? Upfront Ventures’ Kara Nortman, Felicis’ Aydin Senkut and Lux Capital’s Deena Shakir will tell us.

How To Raise In 2022 If You Are Not Located In A Major Hub

with Mike Asem (M25), Rich Wong (Accel) and Elizabeth Yin (Hustle Fund)

Sure, you no longer have to be located in Silicon Valley — let alone California — to build a startup or raise money. But there are still areas where there are more venture capitalists per square mile and areas where there are fewer. To get to grips on raising outside of traditional startup hubs, we’re bringing together VCs who either live and invest, or simply invest in more up-and-coming geographies. Mike Asem of M25, Rich Wong of Accel, and Hustle Fund’s Elizabeth Yin are joining us for this particular chat. It’s going to rock.

How To Compete Without Losing Your Mind Or Runway When Cash Is Expensive

with Ruth Foxe Blader (Anthemis), Eric Glyman (Ramp), and Thejo Kote (Airbase)

We love a competitive startup category here at TechCrunch. Watching startups go head to head is fascinating and illuminating. But for startups in hot sectors with big markets, competing can be very expensive. So how should startups that have incumbents to take on, other startups to best, or both, approach the balance between growth and spend this year? We’re gathering Anthemis Partner Ruth Foxe Blader, Ramp Co-founder & CEO Eric Glyman and Airbase Founder & CEO Thejo Kote to help guide more early-stage founders.

How To Raise First Dollars In A More Difficult Market, The Venture Perspective

with Annie Case (Kleiner Perkins), Jomayra Herrera (Reach Capital), and Sheel Mohnot (Better Tomorrow Ventures)

It is clear by now that the venture market has changed this year. That means that founders looking to raise first capital for their startup can’t follow last year’s playbook and expect results. So what do founders need to know, and how can they best snag investor attention in a market where the rules are changing? We’re bringing together Annie Case of Kleiner Perkins, Reach Capital’s Jomayra Herrera and Sheel Mohnot of Better Tomorrow Ventures to share the real nuts and bolts of early fundraising in 2022.

Founder Fireside with Brex and Y Combinator

with Henrique Dubrugras (Brex) and Anu Hariharan (Y Combinator)

Brex rolled into the corporate card market with a bang, blanketing San Francisco in advertising and leveraging small-city network effects to get founders to sign up other founders. But since its launch, the corporate card space has evolved into the incredibly competitive corporate spend market. How is Brex working to stay ahead of its rivals? We’ll chat with co-founder and CEO Henrique Dubugras and one of his backers, Y Combinator’s Anu Hariharan, to learn more.

Thursday, October 20

Live on Stage: TechCrunch’s Equity

Join us for a live recording of Equity, the podcast about the business of startups. We’ll unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines, wade through the hype to keep you up to date on the world of business, tech and VC.

Founder Fireside: Clubhouse

with Paul Davison (Clubhouse)

Few startups had as much hype – and early consumer buy-in – as Clubhouse. Since its mega-hit introduction, however, it has seen its service copied by a host of competitors while working to expand and fine-tune its model. TechCrunch will sit down with Clubhouse co-founder and CEO Paul Davison to talk about the company’s past, present, and future.

Negotiating Your First Term Sheet

with Mandela SH Dixon (All Raise), Kevin Liu (Techstars) and James Norman (Black Operator Ventures)

It’s always a good time to sit down and chat about the mechanics of term sheets and the give and take between investors and founders. It’s an especially good time now as the balance of power between founders and investors has shifted from a period in which founders never had great ability to demand friendly terms to an era in which it feels like investors have more power than in recent history. So we’ll get the latest from All Raise CEO Mandela SH Dixon, Techstars Head of Portfolio Capital & Investments Kevin Liu and Black Operator Ventures General Partner James Norman on term sheets, negotiations and terms to help founders navigate the current climate.

How To Manage Staff In A Remote, Asynchronous Reality

with Mathilde Collin (Front), Deidre Paknad (WorkBoard), and Adriana Roche (Mural)

Companies big and small are figuring out how they are going to distribute and manage their workforces in 2022. After a few years when even the most traditional company was forced to go remote, startups are now having to choose between remote setups, hybrid teams or a return to the office. But no matter what they choose, all companies are going to have more remote staff than ever before. To help founders understand how to manage those staffers, Front’s Mathilde Collin, Mural’s Adriana Roche and WorkBoard’s Deidre Paknad are joining us to talk about what works.

Founder Fireside: Metafy and Seven Seven Six 

with Josh Fabian (Metafy) and Katelin Holloway (Seven Seven Six)

Metafy is bringing video game coaching to the masses, and it’s not only for gamers who may want to go pro. As digital gaming has become one of the most important international pastimes, consumers are more willing than perhaps ever to spend on their hobby. TechCrunch will sit down with Metafy founder and CEO Josh Fabian and his venture capital backer, Katelin Holloway of Seven Seven Six, to dig more deeply into the company, its market, and how it is working to grow even faster.

Structure, Regulation, and Markets: The Road Ahead for Crypto Startups

with Brett Harrison (FTX), Mary-Catherine Lader (Uniswap Labs), Cuy Sheffield (Visa)

From DAOs and altcoins to L2-chains, NFTs, tokens, and figuring out just what the heck a security is, the crypto market is under the spotlight — and under scrutiny. TechCrunch will sit down with FTX’s Brett Harrison, Uniswap Labs’ Mary-Catherine Lader and Visa’s Cuy Sheffield to get a better handle on how they are navigating constant evolution, the new opportunities that the blockchain economy has on offer, and where they see the future taking their market.

TechCrunch Disrupt 2022 takes place in San Francisco on October 18–20 with an online day on October 21. Grab this good thing while you still can. Buy your pass by 11:59 p.m. PDT September 16, and you can save up to $1,100.