Emerging Technology at TechCrunch Disrupt

This year, New York’s TechCrunch Disrupt moved from Pier 60 on the water to midtown’s Manhattan Center to allow more space for startup displays. The event begins with this weekend’s Hackathons, a 24-hour speedy development cycle. Completed products are presented to a panel of industry judges, and displayed to audience members. The chosen winners then present their invention to the Disrupt crowds.

Today, the event opens for outside media, attendees, more investors and other startup presenters. Thirty startup companies will compete in the Startup Battlefield, launch their new products here on the Disrupt stage. This is exciting for tech enthusiasts and industry watchers, like us at Geek Insider (I snarked about trends in mobile tech from last year’s TechCrunch Disrupt), and allows these fledgling startups to grab the attention of potential VC  investment, press and mentor entrepreneurs. The thirty companies becoming six after the first round, and these final six have one more round of competition on Wednesday, before the winner receives $50,000. I’ve come straight from East Coast Game Conference (Geek Insider keeps me busy!) and  I’m really excited to see the Battlefield winner and try all the new toys.

In addition to these competing tech startups, TechCrunch Disrupt’s Startup Alley also presents early stage tech companies. Top startups for me are data manipulator WebKite (the technology powering the Piki Geekgame database, a ranking of nerd stats like best World of WarCraft loot and most powerful Civ leaders), and the offline social connector EatWith, and SandSign, a company offering gorgeous custom greetings. Previous TechCrunch successes include date-planner app Dateini and personality analysis whit.li.

This year’s New York Disrupt will also include a Hardware Alley, for startups creatine a hardware product. The most interesting hardware for me so far is Pairasight, a Google glass competitor.