The all-star roster of Silicon Valley executives scheduled to appear at this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt SF conference beginning Monday might get upstaged by one late addition: Mark Zuckerberg, making his first public appearance since Facebook’s IPO flop.
The social network’s CEO may want to leave any sweat-inducing hoodies at home, since the interviewer firing questions at him will be former TechCrunch boss Michael Arrington, who two years ago brazenly started an onstage interview with then-Yahoo-Chief Executive Officer Carol Bartz by asking, “So, how the f- are you?”
Such is the unpredictability of the three-day conference, which in its sixth year in San Francisco has grown into a key venue for tech entrepreneurs to mix with potential investors.
David Hehman has attended the conference in both capacities and says he has made his best investments with the companies he met there.
“As an angel investor, I loved TechCrunch because it provided a glimpse of the future and you really see some innovative companies attacking good opportunities,” said Hehman.
Now he’s chief executive officer of a San Francisco startup called Greenstack, which is unveiling a location-based mobile phone app that aggregates money-saving deals and discounts available at a restaurant or store.
Best lineup yet
The conference, sponsored by its namesake technology news blog, actually kicked off with a pre-event hackathon this past weekend. Organizers are expecting more than 3,100 attendees to flock to the Concourse at San Francisco Design Center, a jump from last year’s crowd of 2,800.
There are also pavilions featuring about 125 international startups, including companies from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Turkey, Israel and Mexico.