Speakers Archives - Startupfest 2018


“Our national anthem”
Every great event starts the same way–with the singing of a rousing, anthemic hymn. But sadly, we at Startupfest don’t have one. Yet… ;D

Andy Nulman – Startupfest 2015

“Bringing emotional intelligence to the digital world”
The digital world is hyper-connected and smart. Modern day technology has high IQ but no EQ, emotional intelligence. MIT Media Lab spin-off Affectiva’s emotion sensing and analytics technology enriches our lives by digitizing emotion. Fortune 500 companies can now better understand consumer emotional engagement and correlate to behavioral outcomes, and developers can emotion-enable digital experiences and apps to make them more interactive and responsive to our emotional state in real time. Learn how emotions are analyzed today and where this will go in the future.

Rana el Kaliouby – Startupfest 2015

“On innovation”
Every business needs to innovate, but where do you start? In this presentation, Terry Jones explores the fundamentals of innovation and gives leaders simple but powerful ideas they can use to create a more innovative organization. Drawing from his experiences as the founder of Travelocity.com, founding Chairman of Kayak.com and Chairman of Wayblazer, Jones helps audiences turn innovation from an academic exercise into an everyday skill. The stories from his career and personal experiences not only provide well-chosen real world illustrations of how challenging, and ultimately rewarding it can be to gather a team and establish a culture that is open to change, he gives audiences step-by-step plans to create it.

Terry Jones – Startupfest 2015

“The birth of mirth: When Just for Laughs was a startup”
Before it became the majestic monster of mirth it is now, Just For Laughs was just another crazy idea in the head of a wide-eyed, deeply-driven entrepreneur. Take a trip back to the early ’80s with founder Gilbert Rozon, who will regale you with traumatic tales of getting the world’s first comedy festival off the ground. Session will be moderated by Andy Nulman, the only person on earth who can validate the authenticity of Gilbert’s wild stories.

Gilbert Rozon & Andy Nulman – Startupfest 2015

How to build a high performance growth team
Growth teams across Silicon Valley and beyond are driving unprecedented results. But contrary to popular mythology, their results are not based on a grab bag of secret growth hacks. Instead, these growth teams are applying a rigorous process of testing and analysis to uncover and optimize sustainable and scalable growth drivers. Sean’s presentation will explain how and when to implement this proven growth process at your startup.

Sean Ellis – Startupfest 2015

“Having the courage to succeed and the role of passion and mentorship in success”
Manjit will share lessons she has learned over the last 15 years in business on Entrepreneurship and leadership after creating the 10th largest brewery in the world from scratch.”

Manjit Minhas – Startupfest 2015

“The tip of the iceberg at Rent the Runway”
Rent the Runway is an iceberg of a business: when you look at the website you only see the smallest bit above the surface. Below the surface is the hugely complex array of people and systems that we use to fulfill the promise we make to our customers to deliver a Cinderella experience.

To frame the problem, imagine that you are building Netflix, only instead of shipping out DVDs, you are shipping out thousand dollar dresses. And those dresses have to get to someone in time to be worn to a big event, say, her prom night. Then they come back to us, to be inspected, cleaned, repaired, and sent off to the next Cinderella who needs them. This is the operational challenge that Rent the Runway has had to attack over the past 4 years of its existence. We describe our problem as “reverse logistics”, far from just pick pack ship, we have to think a lot about the return phase of the order and how we can quickly process things coming in to enable them to go back out again.

I will discuss about how we have gone from a system run manually via Google Docs to one that runs on a network of event-driven services that coordinate the operations of hundreds of staff shipping tens of thousands of orders a week. This is a story about marrying complex technology, logistics and data considerations to physical processes that require large numbers of people making time-sensitive decisions. There are a few interesting key points of change in the story, from manual tracking to semi-automated to redesigning the entire warehouse flow (and entire software stack) to support real time inventory adjustment and same-day processing.

Camille Fournier – Startupfest 2015

The state of starting a startup
State of starting a startup Building a startup is a rollercoaster of some of the highest highs and the lowest lows. Learn the real, no-BS stories of Shane Mac (Assist), Greg Isenberg (5by), Ian Hunter (Buzzstarter) and Jonathan Lieberman (Operator), all of whom have raised millions of dollars of venture capital on just an idea, have almost run out of money many times, hired some of the world’s best talent, and designed websites like MLB, Mint, Techcrunch and so on.

Greg Isenberg, Ian Hunter, Jonathan Lieberman, Shane Mac – Startupfest 2015

“Humor as a survival mechanism”
Harper Reed will share stories and talk about his time as the CTO of the Obama Campaign and how one of the ways he was able to survive the highly stressful, highly competitive and rather complicated work environment was through humor. Expect naughty words. Or not. He’s not sure yet. 😉

Harper Reed – Startupfest 2015

How to make decisions
Strategy is an over-used word that could mean anything from “idea” to “set of tactics”. Modern product management techniques put a lot of emphasis on ‘scientific’ approaches to strategy, with emphases on talking to customers, collecting and tracking data, and engaging in continuous testing. Despite a firm belief that the data will tell you what to do, many organizations struggle to translate an idea (e.g., “grow the business”) into a strategy (e.g., “pursue customer segment X through marketing and product development plans Y and Z”) and then into a plan (e.g., “step one: collect underpants”). Information and mental models are useful – if you know how to use them. Knowing how to use them means understanding how to reflect on information, assess opportunities and risks, and make commitments and sacrifices. These are the human skills that – so far – no database or framework can substitute. This workshop will teach you how to make sense of information, and to translate that sense-making into decision-making.s

Farrah Bostic – Startupfest 2015

Perfect equity splits for startups
You and a partner go in “50/50” on a new business. You do all the work, he owns half the company. Now what? Traditional equity splits are never fair. Someone always has more than they deserve at the expense of others. Contrary to conventional wisdom, there is a simple method for dividing equity in an early stage company that tells you exactly the right number of shares for each participant. Attendees will learn how to implement a practical dynamic equity split using an allocation framework that tells you how many shares each person gets, and a recovery framework that tells you the fair buyout price (if any) in the event that someone leaves.

Mike Moyer – Startupfest 2015

Continuous innovation: Optimizing your business model
Today’s so-called Unicorns include B2C darlings Uber, Airbnb, and Google, as well as B2B giants such as Salesforce.com, VMWare, Zendesk and SolarWinds. There are also a number of iconic social ventures which, while not technically unicorns, are having a profound, widespread impact on society. These organizations got where they are today status by creating truly disruptive business models that dramatically altered the markets they entered, putting incumbents on their heels—or even out of business entirely.

Mike Grandinetti – Startupfest 2015