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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Startup Battlefield is coming to the Middle East and North Africa, apply today

TechCrunch is hosting its first startup competition for entrepreneurs across the Middle East and North Africa! We’ve wanted to bring TechCrunch to the region for a long time, and now thanks to our sponsor Facebook, TechCrunch is bringing the Startup Battlefield competition to Beirut on October 3 this year, hosted at the Beirut Digital District (BDD), in the heart of the Lebanese startup scene.

We’re looking for the Middle East and North Africa’s best innovators, makers and technical entrepreneurs to participate in TechCrunch Startup Battlefield MENA 2018. Startups of all kinds shooting for an exit or IPO should apply. TechCrunch will host the event at BDD in Beirut in front of a live audience and top judges, and the show will be covered on TechCrunch. The judges will choose a winner, “The Middle East’s Most Promising Startup,” whose founders will win US$25,000 in no-equity cash plus a paid trip for two to compete in the Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt 2019 (assuming the company still qualifies to compete at this time). If you want to throw your hat in the ring apply today.

Science, technology and innovation have deep roots in the Middle East and North Africa, where the world’s first university was founded in Morocco in 859, and the world’s first medical center was founded in Cairo in 972. The startup world is increasingly focused on applications for artificial intelligence, whose algebraic roots date back to ancient Syria and Iraq. Past and present, the region is known for rich cultures producing great works of art, culture and scientific discovery.

Today, venture investment and startup ecosystem development are on the rise across the region. Careem, a Middle East unicorn and ride-hailing app, is creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, while training female drivers in Saudi Arabia. Last summer, Amazon acquired Souq.com for $580 million, while regional investors poured a billion dollars into a local competitor, Noon.

TechCrunch is eager to take part in covering the Middle East and North Africa’s burgeoning tech sector more fully. We love to see startup ecosystems develop, and Startup Battlefield is one of the best platforms in the world to spotlight the most promising ventures for investors, partners and even future employees. Our editors carefully pick the best startups to compete from tons of applications, and recruit world-class judges to ask tough questions and pick the winners. And the Startup Battlefield editors coach the founders to make brilliant pitches onstage at the Startup Battlefield event. 

At the end of the day, that’s why the more than 765 companies that have competed in Startup Battlefield have raised over $8 billion and produced more than 105 exits to date.

Here’s how to participate:

Fifteen startups will be selected to join us onstage for Startup Battlefield MENA in Beirut.

Qualifying startups should:

  • Be early-stage companies in “launch” stage
  • Be a resident from our eligible countries
  • Have a fully working product/beta, reasonably close to or in production
  • Have received limited press or publicity to date
  • Have no known intellectual property conflicts

What do the winners receive?

Apart from the exposure that comes from pitching to the global TechCrunch audience as well as the live audience of distinguished technologists, entrepreneurs and investors in Beirut, the overall winner will receive US$25,000 in no-equity cash plus an all-expense paid trip for two to compete in Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch’s flagship event, Disrupt 2019 (assuming the company still qualifies to compete at this time).

Are costs to attend the pitch-off covered?

No, but TechCrunch will try to find financial assistance for a startup in need of assistance to reach the Beirut event.

Who picks the startups that will compete?

The TechCrunch editors who run the TechCrunch Startup Battlefield competition will choose the finalists from the application pool.

Who will judge the pitch-offs?

TechCrunch will select four judges for each theme. They will be noted entrepreneurs, investors and technologists with experience relevant to the category. A TechCrunch editor will moderate the judging, and cast the tie-breaker ballot, if needed.

What is the pitch-off format?

Each company will have six minutes to present. The judges will have six minutes to ask questions.

What are the judging criteria?

The judges will pick the startup with the product or service most likely to go into full commercial production and have the biggest impact on human potential and/or the largest exit.

When is the application deadline?

July 17, 2018 at 5pm PST.

When will the finalists be notified?

August 31, 2018 at 5pm PST.

Will TechCrunch’s team help prepare startups for the pitch-off?

Yes, in-person training and rehearsal sessions will be required, as well in-person rehearsal on October 2.

Which countries are eligible?

Algeria, Armenia, Bahrain, Egypt, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, Yemen.

If you would like to applyplease click here.

Refer innovators you admire to BattlefieldMENA@TechCrunch.com

Questions? Get in touch at BattlefieldMENA@TechCrunch.com

See you in Beirut!


Source: TechCrunch

Algeria turns off the internet, blocks Facebook nationwide during student exams – CNET

Sorry Algeria, no Netflix and cheat for you.
Source: CNET

Scientists just named an ancient sea creature after Barack Obama – CNET

The strange ear-like fossil honors the former president’s passion for science. Thanks, Obamus.
Source: CNET

It's the end of the line for Westworld – CNET

This weekend, it all comes to a head in the second season finale. But there’s plenty more to stream other than William’s twisted adventures.
Source: CNET

Adventure Time and Minecraft merge for special episode – CNET

Mathematical! Finn, Princess Bubblegum, Marceline and other characters get blocky in a new Minecraft crossover episode.
Source: CNET

Roseanne cast gets reprieve with ABC spinoff, minus Barr – CNET

After Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet, the new ABC show The Conners will feature the cast without Barr’s involvement.
Source: CNET

Twitter ‘smytes’ customers

Twitter today announced it was acquiring the “trust and safety as a service” startup Smyte to help it better address issues related to online abuse, harassment, spam, and security on its platform. But it also decided to immediately shut down access to Smyte’s API without warning, leaving Smyte’s existing customers no time to transition to a new service provider.

The change left Smyte’s current customer base stranded, with production issues related to the safety of their own platforms.

Needless to say, many were not happy about this situation and took to Twitter to register their complaints.

According to Smyte’s website, its clients included Indiegogo, GoFundMe, npm, Musical.ly, TaskRabbit, Meetup, OLX, ThredUp, YouNow, 99 Designs, Carousell, and Zendesk – big name brands that used Smyte’s feature set in a variety of ways to combat fraud, abuse, harassment, scams, spam, and other security issues.

While Twitter had earlier told TechCrunch that it would be “winding down” Smyte’s business with existing clients, what that apparently meant was that it was going to announce the acquisition, then effectively shut off the lights over at Smyte and leave everyone in the lurch.

According to reports from those affected, Smyte disabled access to its API with very little warning to clients, and without giving them time to prepare. Customers got a phone call, and then – boom – the service was gone. Clients had multi-year contracts in some cases.

And again, to reiterate, Smyte is a provider of anti-abuse and anti-fraud protections – not something any business would shut off overnight.

In npm’s case, it even led to a production outage.

Twitter declined to comment, but we understand it was making phone calls to affected Smyte customers today to match them with new service providers.

The decision to smite smyte an existing customer base the minute the startup joined Twitter isn’t a good look for either company, and is especially ironic in light of Twitter’s promises of “trust and safety” improvements in the months to come.

Trust, huh?

That’s how it works?


Source: TechCrunch

Garmin Vivosport review: Garmin Vivosport's price drop makes it more appealing – CNET

This slim “smart” activity tracker features GPS, a heart-rate monitor, color touch-screen and 15 built-in apps.
Source: CNET

Fortnite’s endgame set to change, giving players new ways to win – CNET

Epic is looking at ways to give players more ways to counter shotguns, rockets and uncapped building.
Source: CNET

The Glitch Mob spent a year making a VR experience as otherwordly as their music

For four years, EDM group The Glitch Mob has been performing in a high-tech, spaceship-style stage design called The Blade. Justin Boreta discussed changes made for The Blade 2.0, and how the band members are “children of music technology.”

The post The Glitch Mob spent a year making a VR experience as otherwordly as their music appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

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