Human cyborgs, the economy of passion and more – check out the winners of the Disrupt roundtable

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Round tables are a huge and popular part of TechCrunch Disruption, and this year we asked you to vote for the topics you want to know the most about. We have already announced the first as well as second groups of the winners of our Audience Choice poll, and we’re back with a third wave of exciting themes.

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In case you’re not familiar with them, roundtables are 30-minute expert-led discussions for up to 20 participants who share an interest in a particular topic. The format allows for more meaningful conversation, questions and answers, and gives participants time to network and explore opportunities for collaboration.

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Of course, if you want to participate in any of these great discussions, you’ll need a pass. Hot tip: You can save over $1,000 if buy a pass in Disrupt until prices rise Friday, August 5 at 11:59 p.m. PT..

These five roundtables cover a variety of topics, including why having a genuine passion for your industry gives you a competitive edge, how to use simple wins to overcome obstacles, how to scale products that never existed, how to set a price for competitive advantage, and the challenge of attracting upfront capital to create a yet-proven technology.

Love What You Do: Lessons from the Economics of Passion

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Speaker: Robin Oströmco-founder and CEO of Wehype

In this roundtable session, Robin Åström, co-founder and CEO of Wehype, a marketing platform and influencer agency, will lead a discussion on how the passion economy has democratized the ability to make money from creativity—and on a larger scale. He will also talk about why it’s important for startup founders to work in industries that they are genuinely and deeply passionate about.

Robin will use his experience to turn his obsession with games into a competitive advantage. He identified and filled a gap in the gaming influencer market with the help of co-founders he met while playing Counter-Strike as a teenager.

Their love of gaming has given them the added motivation to overcome adversity, allowing them to build Wehype into a fast growing and profitable business, working with some of the world’s biggest brands including EA, Microsoft and Ubisoft.

The cost of flat wins

Speaker: Alex Hershamco-founder and CEO of Zencargo

Starting a business can be one of the most rewarding and rewarding things a person does, but there will always be challenges to overcome. By adopting the concept of flat wins—celebrating a decision you have made and getting back to where you started after a period of hardship—you can stay on track in your operations and overcome the obstacles you encounter.

At this roundtable, Zencargo’s Alex Hersham will lead a discussion on how consistent wins have shaped his mindset and solidified his mindset as a founder. Hersham’s touchpoints will include:

  • Identifying Simple Wins and Exploring the Psychology Behind Them
  • Examples of how flat wins affected both his career and the success of his company.
  • How simple wins can increase the resilience of not just the founders, but the entire company
  • How fixed wins can add value to your business

My daughter is a cyborg

Speaker: Jeremiah Robisonfounder and CEO of Cionic

In a world of self-driving cars and reusable rockets, we have the technology to revolutionize human health. Connecting people to machines is the next great technological frontier, and for Cionic founder Jeremiah Robison, that mission is driven by his daughter’s mobility issues.

Cionic, the bionic clothing company that revolutionized human augmentation, has created a soft, wearable robot that looks and feels like athletic leggings. It uses artificial intelligence and functional electrical stimulation to literally move someone’s leg.

Participants in this roundtable will learn how to start innovation at the interface between people and machines, how to scale a product that never existed, and look into the future of enhanced human mobility.

Pricing for competitive advantage

Speaker: Andy Rooksfounder of Price Theory

Price is the most important startup tool for positioning and growth, yet 85% of companies (even large ones) have a sub-optimal pricing strategy.

In this session, we’ll discuss the value-based pricing approach and answer your questions about how to evaluate a startup for competitive advantage and growth.

Pull versus Funding: The Chicken or Egg Challenge for Deep Tech Startups

Speaker: Thomas Ruffiacchief operating officer Natrion

As funding slows, electric vehicle battery maker Natrion has raised a $2 million oversubscribed seed round in a high-risk and highly competitive industry. But it was the company’s third attempt at fundraising; At first, they struggled to prove to investors that the technology worked when they needed upfront capital to actually build it first.

In the end, Natrion managed to gain support not only from industry investors, but also from big investors like Mark Cuban. The team learned important lessons about how – and how not to – walk that tightrope.

How can deep tech startups stand out, prove their technology with limited resources, and still find strategic investors and partners? Natrion COO Thomas Ruffiak will share the secrets they’ve learned and discuss how other R&D-dependent startups can do the same.

TechCrunch Disruption will be held October 18-20 in San Francisco, with an online day on October 21. Buy a pass before the end of the early booking period Friday, August 5 at 11:59 p.m. PT.and you can save over $1,000.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or participating in TechCrunch Disrupt 2022? Contact our sponsor sales team at by filling out this form.



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