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Tech Crunch Disrupt - Day 1

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PPC Bee is heading into the world, thus we could not miss on the opportunity to obtain inspiration, valuable contacts and experience from many others who are also trying or who have already this phase over. We fly off in advance, and so we have a few days to explore the city and, of course, we cannot come back without a photo with the legendary Golden Gate Bridge. We are looking at it and discussing that if one wants, he can accomplish everything. Well, let’s go to tune up our presentation…
By
Michaela Zákopčaníková
| Sep 24, 2015
At about seven in the morning we are arriving close to the sea in the old docks in San Francisco. So far, we have heard plenty of praises about TCD, we have therefore been looking forward to a stylish conference. However, we were surprised by an old industrial building, perhaps similar to Ostrava Vítkovice, that really deserves some care. The closer we approached the place indicated in the map, the more we were worried about where we were coming. There was an old factory with holes in the ceiling and an incredible amount of rust everywhere in front of us. Later we learned that the organizers intended to attract attention to the place and help it to get up.

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Registration took place pretty quickly (perhaps in comparison with WebExpo :D) and we were able to get to the table with drinks. We had a coffee which we threw into the trash within ten seconds (we are used to something better :) Not even food made us happy. Baked goods only that neither of us eats. So we were kept alive by typical programmers’ diet — coke and sprite.

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On the other hand, intellectual food was nutritious right from the start. The conference was started by a chat with father and son Conways (SV Angel) about future plans and how they are going to invest their pile of money. We have a tip…;)

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The program continued with a conversation with Parker Conrad (Zenefits) who won the TC Disrupt Startup Battlefield two years ago, and at this point they have a value of about $ 1 Mio. Standing in front of the sharp jury and being beaten up is worth it. It either cranks you up, or washes away under the Golden Gate.

Bitcoins. Do we trust them? Do we wish to trade with them? Has no one cracked them? We’ve already heard that many times, so we rather pay attention to the stalls at the conference.

Drew Houston of the well-known Dropbox spent his time i.a. talking about customers and support. He would probably be shocked seeing what user support PPC Bee offers ;)


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Is it nearly the time of terminators or is the Watson supercomputer from IBM still in its infancy? This topic was discussed by Dr. John Kelly. Watson can already do a lot, but they still keep it nicely under control. What would Watson manage with product campaigns?!

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Merry Jane is a new project by Snoop Dogg that was started right away during the TCD Day 1. Lawful cultivation, distribution and sale of marijuana in America. Business can also look like this. Presenter asked Snoop: And what do you see in it? Snoop replied: “I enjoy [marijuana] for medical reasons, and it’s a peace situation for me. I always see beautiful things around me. I’ve always been an advocate for me.”

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TC Disrupt Battlefield was full of interesting ideas, starting from measuring lactic acid in the athletes’ muscles, through ordering lunches for the kids to school, up to a support system for greenhouse vegetable growers. Judges changed in the rounds, each group was a little different, some were milder, others had very intrusive questions. Just a barbecue. The biggest mistake in startups was an ill-conceived business model and product monetization. On the other hand, most startups have already had their products tried by paying clients.

Can you imagine TC without stands with dozens of exhibitors? Absolutely not! The division into groups, however, was diverse, some were grouped by their theme (such as Virtual reality occupy nearly ¼ of the entire space), other depending on companies’ origin (Japanese, Argentinean pavilion).

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Startups tried to come up with innovative ideas. As VCs say here: an idea that earns a billion dollars or more. A large number of startups specialized in mobile applications. During the day, John McAfee, who wants to run for president, appeared on the scene too.

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Day 1 was very hectic and we are taking a few valuable hints and tips with us:
  1. bring a pile of high-quality business cards with you;
  2. embellish your sale speech or elevator pitch, too, that you say to someone at every step. A typical conversation at TC looks like this: “Hi, how are you doing? What is your business?” You are constantly selling yourself and you don’t have much time to do so. So really spiff up!
  3. don’t be afraid to talk to anyone — from startups that you may not find the most interesting, up to VCs who certainly have already heard enough;
  4. go to the after-party. Nowhere else is a more productive place for networking.

Well. Day 2 is coming.

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