The doors to TechCrunch Disrupt London 2016 opened December 5 at the Copper Box Arena in London. The two-day conference hosted more than 2,300 attendees, with hundreds of thousands more tuning in online. You can also watch the full panels from Disrupt London on YouTube, and catch select segments on Facebook.
During Startup Battlefield, 12 companies plus one audience choice company pitched to a panel of judges in hopes of winning the Disrupt Cup and the €40,000 Grand Prize. TechCrunch editors pored over the judges’ notes and narrowed the list down to five finalists:
- InsideDNA, which plans to help research and pharma teams identify the best drug target by using machine learning to analyze massive genetic data sets and identify likely drug targets.
- LiftIgniter, which aims to rid the web of garbage link recommendations using a machine learning model.
- Oxehealth, which uses existing cameras to monitor a patient’s heartbeat and other vital signs.
- PhenixP2P, which wants to make live online video streams truly live using a new live-streaming platform built from the ground up.
- Seenit, which helps event organizers and other businesses turn fans into a film crew.
Seenit took home the grand prize for its user-generated content aggregation app. The idea is that businesses or event organizers can assign video shots to fans, and then aggregate that content for promotional videos or memories. You can watch their pitch in the video above. InsideDNA, the company that looks deep into DNA to find the best drug targets for your body, was the runner-up.
Before the conference kicked off, hackers stayed up all night to create apps, sites and hardware in the Disrupt Hackathon. Each group had one minute to present to a panel of judges onstage. The top prize went to The Emotion Journal, a hack that used IBM Watson to create a smart voice journal. You talk to it about your day and it analyzes your emotions and stores the logs. If you do it once a day you can see a visual representation of your feelings and experiences over time. We also saw five awesome Marauder-Map inspired games and messaging hacks during this year’s presentations.
The first runner-up was Sayfe Space, a company that gives refugees a platform to naturally describe their problems and get support by anonymously chatting with volunteers who can empathize and offer support. The team used IBM Watson for natural language processing and the chatbot interactions. Doshbot, an AI assistant that helps you save money, was the second runner-up. It integrates and pulls in your banking transactions and GPS location and mixes them with your emotional tones and writing style on social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook.
On Day 1 of the conference, we heard from speakers like Mustafa Suleyman of Google DeepMind, saw an on-stage demo from Marc Raibert of Boston Dynamics and watched Volkswagen launch a new mobility company. Here’s the full rundown:
- DeepMind’s Mustafa Suleyman says that general AI is still a long way off, outlined the goals of DeepMind, discussed how humans can pass on their own flaws to machine learning algorithms and how this can be avoided.
- Darktrace co-founder Poppy Gustafsson talked about the future of cybersecurity.
- Skype founder and Atomico CEO Niklas Zennström argued that the state of tech in Europe is strong.
- Ole Harms of Volkswagen and Shahar Waiser of Gett launched Moia, a new mobility company within Volkswagen.
- WorldRemit founder and CEO Ismail Ahmed argued that mobile money accounts are the future and discussed how to move money globally.
- Frederic Court of Felix Capital, Sonali De Rycker of Accel and Reshma Sohoni of Seedcamp discussed how Brexit will impact the U.K.-based startup industry.
- Matt Hancock (U.K. Digital Director), Axelle Lemaire (French government) and James Wise of Balderton Capital talked about how the U.K. can attract talent from Silicon Valley post-Brexit.
- Amy Chang of Accompany announced it has raised $20 million and launched a U.K. beta.
- Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert and the team’s latest robot SpotMini took the stage in a demo and to discuss the future of the robotics company.
- Autonomy founder Dr. Michael Lynch answered questions about HP’s $5 billion fraud suit against him.
- Elizabeth “Beezer” Clarkson of Sapphire Ventures, John Doran of TCV and Fabrice Grinda of FJ Labs joined a panel discussing how to stay optimistic during this narrow IPO window.
- Roxanne Varza confirmed that Station F is going to be the world’s biggest startup campus, with companies like Facebook and TechShop opening offices there.
The second day of Disrupt London featured a demo from Samantha Payne of Open Bionics, an interview with Azmat Yusuf from Citymapper and more. Here’s the full rundown:
- Naren Shaam of GoEuro revealed that the company is in talks with Uber to loop in last mile transport.
- Professor Jackie Hunter of BenevolentBio talked about the potential artificial intelligence has in discovering better treatments for diseases like ALS.
- Samantha Payne talked about her 3D-printed prosthetics startup Open Bionics, revealing that the company has partnered with the NHS for a feasibility study to bring bionic hands to the U.K. health system.
- David Rutter, founder and CEO of blockchain startup R3 discussed the progress of his company and confirmed R3 is in the process of raising a $150 million round.
- Citymapper founder and CEO Azmat Yusuf talked about the future of cities and Citymapper, revealing that the startup plans to start monetizing in 2017.
- Musical.ly co-founder and co-CEO Alex Zhu updated us on the app’s most recent stats and defended the company’s handling of teenage and younger users. The app has raced past 40 million MAUs.
- Natalia Vodianova of Elbi talked about turning connectivity into doing good. She also spoke to a group of high school girls about entrepreneurship, offstage.
- Facebook Workplace director Julien Codorniou announced the Workplace custom integrations platform onstage.
- Steve Hilton of CrowdPac and Daniel Korski faced off about Brexit and Britain’s tech future.
- Jason Goldberg of Pepo talked about success, failure and entrepreneurship, and announced that his new social media app has raised $2.35 million from old Fab.com backers.
- Antonine Martin of Zenly discussed the location-sharing app’s progress and hopes to be the next must-have social app.
- Hans-Christian Boos gave a demo of how Arago’s AI can now beat some human players at complex civ strategy games.
Thanks to everyone who came to Disrupt London; we hope to see you back next year and at Disrupt New York and San Francisco in 2017. You can find more photos from the event on our Flickr feed, and check out more of our events and Meetups here.