Last year, we launched our public beta at TechCrunch Disrupt – NYC and were uncertain as to the response we would receive. At that point, we had worked hard to listen to our private beta users to provide a product that met their need for offsite website backup. We were uncertain as to what the early-adopter Disrupt attendees would think. Spending time in Startup Alley was invaluable to provide perspective from advanced technologists and potential end users.
Startup Alley is the land of opportunity: for gaining information and connections, and though it is a long shot, for becoming a Battlefield Finalist. On Monday and Tuesday, one company is picked each day by the Disrupt attendees and becomes a Battlefield Finalist. There were close to 100 companies exhibiting in Startup Alley on Monday and Tuesday.
On Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 from 10AM to about 3PM, we spoke to hundreds of attendees. Volunteers, other startups, potential investors, and members of the press came by our booth. It was a phenomenal experience to interact with thought leaders from around the world.
At roughly 4PM, Erick Schonfeld, then co-editor of TechCrunch, walked up to our booth, flanked by several assistants on either side. Our hearts raced as we anticipated what his visit might mean: “Is there a chance we were selected as the Audience Choice”?, we thought.
“You are the Audience Choice Award winner.” That sentence will be forever etched in our company’s collective memory. The sentence that followed, however, was slightly disconcerting – “In about an hour, you will need to present on stage to close out the conference for Tuesday”. The on stage presentation went just fine and the judges were helpful and friendly.
Becoming a Battlefield Finalist company and getting the opportunity to present was enthralling. Ultimately, we felt it confirmed that we might be on to something.
In the coming weeks, we will be providing a behind-the-scenes look at our journey from a year ago. We are excited about a plethora of product updates, partnership announcements, and team expansion that has occurred.