The Startup Battlefield pitch competition is a Silicon Valley legend that’s reached far beyond its Bay Area beginnings. It’s a global launching pad for some of the most successful tech companies, including Cloudflare, Dropbox, Fitbit, Mint and Yammer. More than 900 Startup Battlefield alumni companies have generated over 121 exits and more than $9.7 billion in funding raised.
We’re excited to announce the fourth group of top-tier investors who will scrutinize this year’s contenders for the $100,000 equity-free prize at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023, taking place on September 19–21. Founders had best bring the heat if they hope to impress these seasoned VCs.
Round four: Meet the next group of judges for Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023
Healey Cypher, chief operating officer, Atomic
Healey Cypher oversees the daily operations of the 11-year-old venture studio to support founders and foster an inclusive culture where team members thrive. He is a serial entrepreneur with three successful exits and a passion for creating exceptional customer experiences and assembling world-class teams.
Driven by his entrepreneurial vision and Atomic’s model of building companies in parallel, Cypher co-founded BoomPop at Atomic in 2020, where he also serves as CEO and helps Fortune 500 companies create the next generation of workplace culture.
Before Atomic, Cypher was the head of retail innovation at eBay, chief of staff to the CTO, and he led business development for Milo.com, which he helped sell to eBay in 2010. Cypher went on to run and sell two companies (one in retail, one in restaurant tech) before joining Atomic in 2019.
Cypher subscribes to the radical notion that being a good person is a competitive career advantage. He’s the father of two, husband to an amazing wife, and a graduate of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Frédérique Dame, general partner, GV (Google Ventures)
Frédérique Dame specializes in disruptive technologies in the consumer space. She has spent 15 years building consumer and enterprise products for public companies and startups.
Dame helped start GV’s women’s health team and leads the cross-functional team of investors and advisors making investments in this space. Before joining GV, she led product and engineering efforts at Uber where, in just four years, she helped scale the company from 80 employees to more than 7,000 and from 14 cities in four countries to more than 400 in 68 countries. At Uber, she was also responsible for overseeing strategic programs focused on the global driver workforce and employee growth and productivity.
Earlier, Dame pioneered social at Yahoo, building online communities and adding user-generated content to the company’s search and marketplace products. She also worked at online photo-sharing services Photobucket and SmugMug, for which she built social gaming mechanics to engage audiences and drive revenues.
Dame holds an MS in spacecraft technology and satellite communications from University College London and an MS in telecommunications engineering from Télécom SudParis.
Po Bronson, managing director, SOSV’s IndieBio and general partner, SOSV
Po Bronson was a finance and tech journalist covering Silicon Valley for Wired, The New York Times Magazine, and he was an op-ed contributor for The Wall Street Journal.
Bronson’s science journalism has been honored with nine national awards, and he is the author of seven bestselling books available in 28 languages worldwide. His work has been cited in 185 academic journals and 503 books.
His background is in economics. Bronson learned finance at Credit Suisse and consulting at a division of Arthur Andersen. He has significant experience leading complex customer service organizations, building communities, and even communities of like-minded companies. He’s navigated public-private partnerships with many government agencies.
Prior to IndieBio, Bronson spent four years as a futurist with Attention Span Media, consulting on innovation pipelines and partnering strategy for globally recognized brands.
Most recently, Bronson is the co-author of “Decoding the World: A Roadmap for the Questioner,” published by Twelve, a division of the Hachette Book Group.
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