A Hong Kong View of the TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 Conference in San Francisco

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I just came back from being totally Disrupted!

As part of my work with SoftLayer Catalyst I just spent 5 days at the biggest startup event in the world – the TechCrunch Disrupt conference from Sept 7-11 in San Francisco. A huge event that starts with a 2-day hackathon over the weekend and then culminates in a rapid-fire series of talks, interviews, panels at the conference with heavy pitching at the Startup Battlefield and most importantly the infamous Startup Alley.

Many HK startups ask me if it’s worth it to go to Disrupt at US$3000 a ticket; plus September is still peak season for flying; and the huge America’s Cup is on driving up hotel prices you are looking at anywhere from HK$40-50K for your 5 day trip there. What you get is a booth for ONE day and access to the conference for the rest. The place IS packed and you meet people from all over the tech industry: potential partners, investors and customers so the validation is great. But it is a gamble as you have to really throw everything into that one day.

I was happy to see one HK startup with deep pockets that got a booth – new startup FoodieQuest – a hot or not food app developed by the people behind Fluid and Nest. I spoke to Simon Squibb and Benjamin Hall and they both said they got some great feedback on the app and good face time with different types of people as well as a front page story on TechCrunch.com the day that Apple announced the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c!

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