Today techcrunch 40 opened its doors in downtown San Francisco. The format is simple: Forty of the hottest new startups from around the world will announce and demo their products over a two day period at TechCrunch40. And they don’t pay a cent to do this. They will be selected to participate based on merit alone.
During each of the 8 sessions 5 companies belonging to a particular category will have 8 minutes to present their business plans. The categories are:
Session 1: Search & Discovery
Session 2: Mobile & Communications
Session 3: Community & Collaboration
Session 4: Crowd Sourcing
Session 5: Productivity & Web Apps
Session 6: Revenue Models & Analytics
Session 7: Rich Media & Mash Ups
Session 8: Entertainment for All Ages
Besides a $50,000 cash award the presenting companies have the opportunity to speak to a high level expert panel, including people like Marc Andreessen, Chris Anderson, Esther Dyson, and exchange their ideas with important VC, entrepreneurs and journalists.