The Startup Battleground pitch competition is the crown jewel of Disrupt, and we can’t wait to see which Startup Battlefield 200 companies will be selected to pitch to the top VC panel at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023, September 19-21 in San Francisco. It’s always epic, with every contender on the path to making a huge impact on the world.
We’re excited to announce the first cohort of investors, who will be judging startups and following up on each project with an intense, illuminating Q&A. Stay tuned for more names to be announced soon!
Feedback from the judges gives us insight into the criteria they use to determine whether a company is viable. Observe and understand what investors are looking for, what motivates them and what drives them to schedule meetings.
Alright, let’s get started. Here are the top four venture capitalists poised to help decide the next startup battleground champion.
Meet the TechCrunch Disrupt 2023 Startup Battlefield Round 1 Judges
Morgan Beller, General Partner, NFX
Morgan Beller is a co-founder of Libra and head of strategy for Novi, Facebook’s digital wallet for the Libra payment system. She originally joined Facebook in 2017 as part of the corporate development team, responsible for shaping Facebook’s strategy around blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and decentralized technologies.
Prior to Facebook, Beller led corporate development at Medium, led the Embedly acquisition and played a key role in shaping Medium’s subscription strategy. She began her career with Andreessen Horowitz’s transactional team.
Beller joined NFX in 2020 and invests in networks and marketplaces in various fields, most active in web3. She loves working with technology founders who create new markets.
Priti Youssef Choksi, Partner, Norwest Venture Partners
Priti Youssef Choksi has over 20 years of corporate and business development experience as a partner in Norwest’s Consumer Internet team.
Prior to joining Norwest, Youssef Choksi spent nine years at Facebook in executive roles in corporate development and business development. She led the company’s M&A efforts, negotiated key partnerships, and served as a strategic advisor to Facebook’s various product leadership teams.
Youssef Choksi previously spent six years at Google in a strategic partner role. As director of distribution partnerships, she led deals for Google apps like Toolbar and Chrome, and negotiated transformative search partnerships with companies like Apple and Mozilla. Under her leadership, these deals grew from $0 to $4 billion in revenue.
Earlier in her career, Youssef Choksi held strategic and management positions in two fast-growing companies, one of which went public in 1997 and the other was acquired by Inktomi in 2001.
Youssef Choksi holds an MBA honors degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in Architecture and Communication.
Rebecca Liu-Doyle, Managing Director, Insight Partners
Rebecca Liu-Doyle joined Insight in 2016. Her areas of focus include high-growth software, marketplaces and consumer Internet.
Previously, she worked on Insight’s field team, working closely with portfolio executives on growth strategy. Liu-Doyle began her career as a management consultant in McKinsey & Company’s New York office, advising clients in the technology, financial services, and consumer products industries. Her work at McKinsey covered a variety of topics, including mergers and acquisitions, product development and front-line transformation.
Doyle Lau graduated with honors from Yale University with a BA in Ethics, Political Science, and Economics. She was a tutor in 1776, was a member of the Acumen Junior Council, and helped start the Parity Professional Program. She grew up interstate, having lived in Louisiana, Missouri, Wisconsin and Utah. In her spare time, she enjoys eating and shopping in the city, biking, watching Marvel superhero movies, and learning about art history. She is fluent in Chinese and holds a black belt in Taekwondo.
Dana Settle, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Greycroft
As a member of Greycroft’s Management Committee, Dana Settle is responsible for the firm’s operations, investment strategy and vision. Settle sits on the Investment Committee of all Greycroft funds and has been involved in all stages of Greycroft’s development.
Active investments in Settle include Acorns, Anine Bing, Avaline, Bird, Citizen, Cloud Paper, data.ai, Goop, HamsaPay, Happiest Baby, Merit Beauty, Mountain Digital, Pacaso, Seed Health, Tapcart, Thrive Market and Versed. Her notable exits include Bumble (IPO), Maker Studios (acquired by Disney), Pulse (acquired by LinkedIn), The RealReal (IPO), Trunk Club (acquired by Nordstrom), and WideOrbit (sold interest to company management).
Settle serves on the boards of directors of IMAX Corporation and the National Venture Capital Association. She is a founding member of the nonprofit Baby2Baby and the female mentor group All Raise. She is also a member of the Fast Company Impact Council.
Prior to Greycroft, Settle spent several years as a venture capitalist and startup advisor in the Bay Area, including six years at Mayfield and an investment bank stint at Lehman Brothers.
Settle holds a BA in Finance and International Studies from the University of Washington and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
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