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Knowledge Trend Report: Tech Conference [TechCrunch Disrupt]

KDDI America

KDDI Open Innovation Fund (KOIF) located in San Francisco, CA, has been thriving to create meaningful relationships with American and European startup companies. As the name suggests, KOIF also funds many startup companies to create a more innovative environment for all. In this article, Nozomi, from KDDI America will introduce interesting products, services, and trends!

 Nozomi went to a Tech Conference in San Francisco called “TechCrunch Disrupt 2023”. She will be going over her discoveries from that event in this article!

What is TechCrunch Disrupt?

 TechCrunch Disrupt is an annual conference held by a major tech/media company, TechCrunch, to promote the presence of startup companies. Attendees consist of founders of startup companies, investors, developers, and more (more than 10,000 attendees per year). They visit the event for valuable networking opportunities and to find out about the latest startup companies.

 This year, TechCrunch Disrupt had a famous NBA superstar/entrepreneur, Shaquille O’Neal, the founder/CEO of Redwood Materials (develops lithium batteries for electronic vehicles), and the Founder/CEO of Cruise (automatic taxi service company) as special guests.

 Also, this year, the event had eight (8) separate industries under the spotlight as “New Industry Stage”. Highlighted industries are as follows:

  ● AI Stage
  ● Builders Stage
  ● Fintech Stage
  ● Hardware Stage
  ● SaaS Stage
  ● Security Stage
  ● Sustainability Stage
  ● Space Stage

AI Stage was especially emphasized out of all eight industries listed above, indicating how AI is becoming the major trend.

Overview of the Event

 There were many booths from AI startups and sustainability related tech companies. Of course, the main stage was collecting the most eyes with the presence of Shaquille O’Neal, however, there were many other presentations that caught people’s attention. There were presentations from a16z, which focuses on funding the Web3 industries, industry forecast from a Crypto fund manager, and the CEO of Cruise, which is a startup company that runs automatic taxi service in San Francisco area.

 At exhibition, there were over 180 companies present, as well as startups backed up by many organizations such as Japanese External Trade Organization. They had meeting areas and events where attendees could meet with investors that kept active conversations throughout the event.


    a16z Crypto fund’s general partners stated that many upcoming technologies such as Crypto and Web3 tend to have oscillating growths, and they are interested in tracking the growths of those startup companies further.
    CEO of Cruise imposed a question, "How much of a demand are there for manually driven cars?” which collected attention from many of the attendees. CEO of Cruise imposed a question, "How much of a demand are there for manually driven cars?” which collected attention from many of the attendees.

    Startup Battlefield 200

     One of the most anticipated events for TechCrunch Disrupt is the “Startup Battlefield”. This is where many startup companies pitch their ideas for investments. In the past, this particular event helped more than 1,300 companies to thrive in the market, while collecting more than 29 billion USD for those companies. Some of the notable companies that attended this event are Dropbox, CloudFlare, and Fitbit.

     This year, about 200 startup companies competed for the prize of 100,000 USD. More than half of the attendees were AI/Machine Learning companies. There were a lot of SaaS and Fintech related companies as well.

     Let me introduce six (6) finalists of Startup Battlefield:

    ● Parallel Health
     A medical technology startup which specializes in genome sequencing and big data. It was founded in Los Angeles, CA.

    ● Magnestar
     A Canadian startup company that helps organizations and governments to clearly map and understand how their network connections are being used.

    ● Electrified Thermal Solutions
     Their major offering, “Joule Hive Thermal Battery” helps to reduce CO2 emissions from many industries by effectively exchanging unused electricity into heat source. It was founded in Massachusetts.

    ● BioticsAI
     A medical startup company from Oakland that uses AI to identify abnormalities with fetus within a womb.

    ● Allie Systems
     A B2B startup from Mexico City that offers Industry 4.0 solutions such as efficient operation analysis and maintenance.

    ● Agri-Trak
     An agricultural startup company from New York. They provide services to farmers for them to increase work efficiency and help them collect useful data.

     Out of all six (6) finalists, BioticsAI won the competition for 2023. In addition, Electrified Thermal Solutions was recognized as a Runner-up.


     There was a line where people had to wait more than 1 hour to get into the event on the first day. This event made everyone feel like San Francisco is one of the major cities to support technological innovations. Many startup companies are still struggling to find investors in the US, and it is expected to be a harsh environment for many of those companies to survive. It is crucial for many startup companies to collect more attention through major events like TechCrunch Disrupt.

    KDDI America, Inc.
     KDDI America is the US subsidiary of KDDI Corporation, a Fortune Global 500 company and is growing communications carrier with a proven track record in Japan and a longstanding reputation for quality and reliability. KDDI America provides a wide range of High Quality Services such as Communications, Data Centers and Solution Services throughout the world.

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    Writer / Interviewer

    KDDI America
    Nozomi Isshiki

    Nozomi has been responsible for creating innovative partnerships with companies that are often startups, which we call it a "Deal Sourcing." She is also working for the creation of MUGENLABO Magazine.
    Her hobbies are trend searching, finding tasty restaurants, traveling, and working out.