First tranche of Startup Battlefield judges announced - TechCrunch

The Starting battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt on October 18-20 is set to be our most epic yet. This year’s contestants, selected from our hand-picked cohort, Launch Battlefield 200are some of the most promising and imaginative startups in technology.

We’re excited to begin announcing the innovators and investors who will be judging this world-renowned competition to pitch on the biggest tech stage. But first…

Pro tip: Startup Battlefield isn’t just exciting to watch; it’s a masterclass in how investors think. Feedback from the judges provides insight into the criteria they use to determine whether a company is viable or not. Watch and learn what investors are looking for, what motivates them and what drives them to schedule a meeting.

Without further ado, here are the first three investors ready to help crown the next Startup Battlefield champion.

Jamieson Hill, Partner at Base10 Partners

Jamieson Hill joined Base10 as a partner in 2021 to lead the initiative forward. Previously, he spent seven years at Bain Capital Ventures leading growth investments in marketplace businesses (Cameo and Wonolo) and worked with leading software companies (FourKites, ShipBob) and fintech companies (Finix and Flywire).

Prior to Bain Capital Ventures, Hill was an early employee at Bonobos, where he built the brand’s analytics capabilities in finance, retail and marketing. He began his career as a management consultant advising clients on growth strategy and digital transformation at Bain & Company.

Hill was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2016 and Venture Capital Journal’s Rising Stars in 2021. He currently serves on the board of Hope in a Box, a program that supports educators in building classrooms that include LGBTQ.

Kanyi Maqubela, Managing Partner at Kindred Ventures

Managing Partner at Kindred Ventures, Kanyi Maqubela focuses his investment and formation work on subject areas including fintech, health and wellness, e-commerce, supply chain and climate technology.

Over the past 10 years, Maqubela has led and participated in more than 50 investments, including CloudTrucks, Goldfinch, Tala, Upstart, Just, Outschool, Mural, Earnest, Kano (Stem Player), HelloSign, and more.

Prior to Kindred Ventures, Maqubela was a partner at Collaborative Fund, where he served on boards including Spruce, True Link, Camino Financial, Hopscotch and Buffer. As an entrepreneur and operator, he co-founded Heartbeat Health. Earlier in his career, Maqubela managed growth at One Block Off the Grid (acquired by $NRG) and was an early employee at Doostang (acquired by Universum Global).

Katie Ray, CEO and Managing Partner at The Engine

Since 2017, Katie Ray has been CEO and Managing Partner of The Engine, a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage companies solving the world’s biggest problems. Prior to joining The Engine, Rae founded and served as Managing Partner at Project 11 Ventures.

Ray also held leadership positions at Techstars Boston, serving as Managing Director (2011–2014) and Chair until 2016. She has advised hundreds of founders and invested in more than 100 early-stage companies. Key investments include Flywire, PillPack (acquired by Amazon for $1 billion), Bevi, GrabCad and Synack.

In addition to his investment career, Rae has more than 15 years of experience in senior management and product roles at Microsoft, Eons, AltaVista, RagingBull, Zip2 and Mirror Worlds.

Rae is also the founder and president of the Equity Summit, an annual event bringing together women and underrepresented minority fund managers and the world’s leading limited partners. She currently serves on the boards of Commonwealth Fusion Systems, Form Energy, Via Separations, Lilac Solutions, Boston Metal, Sublime Systems and VEIR.

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