December 8, 2023

In less than two months, 20 of the world’s most impressive startups will take part in the startup battleground at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023, September 19-21 in San Francisco. Which companies will be finalists, and which outstanding startup will receive the Disrupt Cup and $100,000 in equity-free prize money?

Obviously, we don’t know the answer, but we do know who each contender needs to impress to win. We’ve announced our first batch of VC judges, and now we’re ready to reveal the next batch of top investors who are ready to put these founders to the test.

But first: Save up to $600 when you purchase a Disrupt Pass before August 11th.

It’s worth it to stay in the room. Watching founder pitches and hearing the questions investors ask is an excellent way to improve your own pitches. You’ll gain insight into the criteria venture capitalists use to determine whether a company is viable, the specifics of what they look for, what motivates them, and what drives them to schedule a meeting.

Round Two: These VCs Join TechCrunch Disrupt 2023 Startup Battlegrounds Judges

Not much to say, the following is the second group of judges on the entrepreneurial battlefield.

Marc Bhargava, Managing Director, General Catalyst

Marc Bhargava is part of GC’s fintech/cryptocurrency investment team. He focuses on early-stage investments in cryptocurrencies and fintech, as well as developing creation strategies. In addition, he has contributed to the GC’s work on expanding artificial intelligence.

Bhargava’s four core areas of interest include security and data infrastructure; startup tools platforms that make it easier to build software companies, especially financial services companies; the intersection of fintech and cryptocurrency; and building from zero to one.

Before joining GC, Bhargava served as a founder-operator for many years, focusing on new fintech, artificial intelligence and encryption technologies. He co-founded Tagomi, one of the first institutional prime brokerage firms for digital assets. (Coinbase acquired Tagomi in 2020.)

As an angel investor, Bhargava works closely with founders on sales, distribution, and fundraising, investing in early-stage fintech, cryptocurrency, and AI/startup tools companies. Previously, he worked at Airbnb, Castanea Partners and McKinsey, focusing on business operations and investment analysis.

Bhargava has an MBA from Harvard Business School and is a graduate of Harvard University.

Miles Grimshaw, General Partner, Benchmark

At Benchmark, Miles Grimshaw will be product-led, focusing on investments across applications and infrastructure software. Most recently, he led the Series A round for Glide, a no-code application development platform.

Before joining Benchmark, Grimshaw was a General Partner at Thrive Capital, where he led investments in GitHub, Slack, Segment, Airtable, Benchling, Lattice, Mapbox, Monzo, and others. Grimshaw currently serves on the boards of Benchling, Glide, Lattice, Monzo and Supergreat. He holds a BA in Economics from Yale University.

Charles Hudson, Founder and Managing Partner, Precursor Ventures

Charles Hudson is Managing Partner and Founder of Precursor Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on making first-round institutional investments in the most promising software and hardware companies.

Hudson was previously a partner at SoftTech VC, focusing on identifying investment opportunities in mobile infrastructure, mobile applications and markets. He also supports SoftTech portfolio companies with business and corporate development matters.

Hudson is also the co-founder and CEO of Bionic Panda Games, an Android-focused mobile gaming startup. Prior to co-founding Bionic Panda Games, Hudson served as Vice President of Business Development at Serious Business until the company was acquired by Zynga.

Earlier in his career, Hudson was Senior Director of Business Development for Gaia Interactive, an online meetup and virtual world for teens. He also worked at Google, focusing on new partnership opportunities for early-stage products in the advertising, mobile and e-commerce markets. Before joining Google, he was a product manager for IronPort Systems, a provider of anti-spam hardware appliances that was acquired by Cisco Systems.

Danielle Lay, Partner, New Enterprise Associates (NEA)

Danielle Lay is a partner at NEA, investing in consumer social and e-commerce infrastructure companies. She is an investor and/or board member of companies such as Fizz, Patreon, Goody, Pair Eyewear and Block. Prior to joining NEA, Lay was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs in New York.

TechCrunch Disrupt 2023 will be held September 19-21 in San Francisco. Buy a pass now and save up to $600. Student and nonprofit passes are only $195. August 11 Price increases.

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