For the last two days (December 5th & 6th), The Copper Box Arena in London hosted TechCrunch Disrupt event. It’s one of the top startup meetings in the world, bringing together tech leaders, innovative ideas, investors and aspiring entrepreneurs. Here’s a quick overview of the highlights of this year’s Disrupt.

Thought Leadership

In this section, tech influencers and experts shared their insights on trending topics within the industry and challenges it faces. The conference started with Google Deep Mind’s Mustafa Suleyman, discussing, among other topics, the goals of their company, the need for better machine learning and the future of AI in general. As he said, Deep Minds wants to “solve intelligence and make the world a better place.” He sees machine learning and AI as a necessity for solving burning social problems that we don’t seem to be able to handle traditionally. However, he noted that we’re still years from building advanced self-learning AI. What’s more, they won’t probably resemble anything that constitutes our film-reinforced idea of Artificial Intelligence.  “I can’t really think of a film that makes me think: yeah – AI looks like that.”

There was some exciting news too. Facebook Workplace director, Julien Codorniou, announced onstage that their platform will support integrations with CRM software and other enterprise communication tools. This will enable their users to modify and customize Workplace like never before, drastically improving its flexibility and business potential. We also learned from GoEuro’s Naren Shaam that they’re talking with Uber about a potential partnership. GoEuro is a travel platform optimizing travel in Europe by finding the best plane, bus, and train connections. Integration with Uber would be a brilliant move, allowing their users to have their travel schedule covered completely.

Startup Battlefield

One of the biggest highlights of Disrupt was Startup Battlefield. Fourteen teams from all over the world competed for a $50,000 prize. Each of them had to deliver a 6-minute presentation about their product in front of a panel of experts serving as judges, followed by a Q&A session. Only 2% of the startups that applied were invited to the event; those selected spent months in preparation for the battlefield. The cash reward aside, this was a unique possibility to present their ideas not only to the judges but also to investors and media from across the world. After the first day of competition, 6 teams were selected for the final:

  • InsideDNA – bioinformatics, cloud computing and DNA analysis for better drug treatment;
  • LiftIgniter – machine learning to improve the customization of link recommendations;
  • Oxehealth – using security cameras as health monitors;
  • PhenixP2P – real-time streaming of live events;
  • Seenit – turning users and fans into a film crew for a better video coverage of events.

And the winner is… Seenit! You can check their CEO Emily Forbes pitching their product in the video below:

These are just the highlights that we found most interesting, but there’s plenty more. You can read on about the event in the TechCrunch’s extensive coverage here.



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