TechCrunch's Startup Battlefield Australia (Nov. 16 in Sydney) is approaching fast, and the fifteen finalists, selected from 272 applicants, have just received the good news. The names of those companies will remain under wraps until the day of the show, and over the next five weeks TechCrunch's Battlefield team and our partner Elevacao will be working closely with the founders to ensure that their Battlefield pitches on stage are nothing short of amazing. After all, the global startup scene will be watching! To join live, get your ticket here.
In the meantime, we are putting the final touches on the programming, and we're excited to announce a big addition: Jemma Green (featured above), co-founder of Power Ledger, will discuss Power Ledger's A$34 million ICO raise - the first ICO in Australia and almost certainly not the last. On a global basis, 154 ICOs have raised US$2.3 billion, according to Coinschedule, and last month alone saw nearly US $500 in ICOs by startups and others. Power Ledger broke ground for the Australian startup scene by working closely with law firm Allens Linklater to ensure the ICO complied with Australian rules and regulations. A stunning 15,000 investors participated before the offering closed last Friday.
Power Ledger sits right at the heart of blockchain innovation in two big ways. The ICO would not have been possible without blockchain-enabled currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. While those crypto-currencies are by far the best known blockchain applications, Power Ledger is one of a fast growing new category of startups putting blockchain technology to use outside the crypto sphere. In Power Ledger's case, Green's team is using a blockchain to build a decentralized energy infrastructure, which will permit producers of solar and wind energy to trade excess energy over micro power grids, enabling energy marketplaces, for example, within apartment buildings and in communities.
Joining the panel with Green will be Kavita Gupta, founding managing partner for Consensys Ventures, a new US$50 million fund focused on blockchain innovators, and Simon Cant, co-founder and managing director at Reinventure, a fintech fund and investor in Coinbase, and a member of Australian Federal Treasurer’s Fintech Advisory Group.
More on crypto, ICO and blockchain - a bonus session
Crypto-currences, ICOs and blockchains are among the most most demanding topics in the technology world, and their promise - even after the hype is sliced away - may rival the Internet itself. To make sure Battlefield Australia attendees get to go deep, we added a side session at the show so attendees can ask questions and hear more discussion among panelists. This second session will not be live-streamed. Tickets for the Nov. 16 show at Sydney's ATP are available here.