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2016 Theme: Firsts

Every startup has a start. Even ideas that shape our very species—mass production, antibiotics, the Internet, democracy—had small, humble beginnings. But what makes some sparks fan into flames, while others flicker and die?

First startup. First co-founder. First customer. First financing. First failure. First patent. First exit. On the one hand, the path to startup success is a series of firsts, often rethinking assumptions others take for granted, redefining what’s possible. Startups live for first.

On the other hand, there were MP3 players before Apple got it right, streaming services before Spotify, social networks before Facebook. Is being first an advantage, or do you plow the snow for others, showing large, lumbering incumbents the way forward? First costs more.

At Startupfest 2016, we’ll touch on where innovations come from, and the changes that help the new to flourish. We’ll see tactics for staying ahead, and for getting others to embrace your vision. We’ll hear about the early days of today’s household names. We’ll explore First.