With 5,000 founders and investors, more than 40 keynote and fireside sessions, and over 50 exhibiting startups, this is Startup Grind's largest event ever. Bringing together great content and great people in an incredible setting, injecting some custom-built networking technology, and topping it all off with an unrivalled feeling of intimacy is how we guarantee amazing business and an awesome time.Watch 2017 highlights
Walt Mossberg is a veteran technologist columnist, commentator, reviewer, and conference producer. He is widely credited with pioneering the modern, consumer-focused, technology review and commentary at The Wall Street Journal. He also co-founded AllThingsD, Recode and the D and Code Conferences. He co-created and co-hosted a popular podcast, Ctrl-Walt- Delete.
He was, from 1991 through 2013, the principal technology columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Mossberg left the Journal at the end of 2013 to form the independent Recode technology web site and conference business with his longtime business partner, Kara Swisher. Recode is a direct descendant of AllThingsD, a technology conference and web site owned by Journal publisher Dow Jones, but created and operated for 12 years by Mossberg and Swisher. Along with other reporters from AllThingsD, Mossberg and Swisher started Recode in 2014, and it was acquired by Vox Media in 2015.
From 2015 to 2017, Mossberg was Executive Editor of The Verge and Editor-at- Large of Recode, web sites owned by Vox Media. Mossberg wrote a weekly column for both and also had a weekly podcast, Ctrl-Walt- Delete. Mossberg was also co-executive producer of the annual Code Conference.
Mossberg retired from weekly column writing, podcasting, conference producing and TV appearances in July of 2017. He is now working on new projects, including a book and his service as a board member of the non-profit, nonpartisan News Literacy Project.
Mossberg was a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal from 1970 until the end of 2013. He was based in the Journal's Washington, D.C., office, where he spent 18 years covering national and international affairs before turning his attention to technology. His Personal Technology column appeared every Thursday for 22 years. He also edited the Digital Solution column each Wednesday (authored by his colleague, Katherine Boehret), and wrote the Mossberg's Mailbox column on Thursdays. He appeared weekly on CNBC, and has been interviewed repeatedly on programs like Charlie Rose and The PBS News Hour, as well as on National Public Radio.
In 1999, Mossberg became the first technology writer to receive the Loeb award for Commentary. In 2001, he won the World Technology Award for Media and Journalism and received an honorary Doctorate from the University of Rhode Island. In 2017, he was awarded the Loeb Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mossberg is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers on information technology. In 2004, in a lengthy profile, Wired called him "The Kingmaker", saying "few reviewers have held so much power to shape an industry's successes and failures.”
The Washington Post declared Mr. Mossberg “one of the most powerful men in the high-tech world” and “a one-man media empire whose prose can launch a new product.” And the New York Times calls him a “protean critic of the new economy’s tools and toys.”
In 2007, The New Yorker magazine profiled him in an article entitled: “Everyone listens to Walter Mossberg.” In 2008, and 2010-2013, Vanity Fair magazine listed him as a member of its “New Establishment” list of the top leaders of the Information Age.
He is a former trustee of Brandeis University. A native of Warwick, Rhode Island, he holds degrees from Brandeis and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in Maryland with his wife, Edith Mossberg, an early childhood educator, and has two sons and a granddaughter.
Kyle Vogt is an engineer, entrepreneur, and robotics pioneer who is redefining the future of human mobility. In 2013, Kyle founded Cruise Automation, which under his leadership as CEO developed the first driverless fleet of Chevy Bolt EVs that are currently on the road in cities across the U.S. In 2016, Kyle and Cruise partnered with General Motors to help scale his vision for a driverless future. His interest in self-driving technology stemmed from competing in Battlebots at an early age and by 14 years old, Kyle had built a self-driving power wheels car that used a webcam, computer vision, and power window motor to steer to follow yellow lines in a parking lot. As an undergrad at MIT, he worked on the DARPA Grand Challenge where he co-led a team to retrofit a Ford F-150 with drive by wire capability and sensors. Prior to Cruise, Kyle co-founded Twitch (acquired by Amazon), Socialcam (acquired by Autodesk), and Justin.tv, where he gained a following through an MIT email listserv ‘call to action’ and hero coded the project. A native of Kansas City, Kyle studied computer science and electrical engineering at MIT.
James is our Co-Founder and has served as our Chairman since May 2015, as a member of our board of directors since March 2007, and as our President and CEO since September 2007. Previously, James served as a Director of Product Development at CNET Networks, as the President and a Co-Founder of Wind-Up Labs, Inc. (an online photo-sharing company acquired by CNET Networks in April 2005). He was also CTO and Co-Founder of Epesi Technologies, Inc., a software company. James attended Harvard College where he studied Computer Science. He was selected to serve as a member of our board of directors due to the perspective and experience he brings as our Co-Founder, President, and CEO.
Ann Miura-Ko has been called “the most powerful woman in startups” by Forbes and is a lecturer in entrepreneurship at Stanford. The child of a rocket scientist at NASA, Ann is a Palo Alto native and has been steeped in technology startups from when she was a teenager. Prior to co-founding FLOODGATE, she worked at Charles River Ventures and McKinsey and Company. Some of Ann’s investments include Lyft, Ayasdi, Xamarin, Refinery29, JoyRun, TaskRabbit, and Modcloth. Given the success of her investments she was on the 2017 Midas List of top 100 venture capitalists. Ann is known for her debate skills (she placed first in the National Tournament of Champions and second in the State of California in high school) and was part of a five-person team at Yale that competed in the Robocup Competition in Paris, France. She has a BSEE from Yale and a PhD from Stanford in math modeling of computer security. She lives with her husband, 3 kids ages 10, 8 and 6 and one spoiled dog.
Dr. Andrew Ng is a globally recognized leader in AI (Artificial Intelligence). He was until recently Chief Scientist at Baidu, where he led the company’s ~1300 person AI Group and was responsible for driving the company's global AI strategy and infrastructure. He was also the founding lead of the Google Brain team. Dr. Ng is also Co-Chairman and Co-founder of Coursera, the world’s leading MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) platform, and an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University's Computer Science Department. Dr. Ng has authored or co-authored over 100 research papers in machine learning, robotics and related fields. He holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, MIT and the University of California, Berkeley.
Leah is General Partner at FUEL Capital, where she invests in early-stage companies across consumer technology, hardware, education, marketplaces, and retail. She’s passionate about supporting teams who are taking on world-changing ideas. Leah relates so well to founders because she is one herself. She created one of the most widely recognized consumer brands of the past decade with TaskRabbit. As TaskRabbit’s CEO for eight years, Leah scaled the company to 44 cities and raised more than $50 million. In 2016, Leah transitioned into the role of executive chairwoman and in 2017, TaskRabbit was acquired by IKEA. Leah has spoken at the World Economic Forum and Tina Brown’s Women in the World Summit and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Wired, and Time. She has also been named one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company.
Max Levchin is the CEO and cofounder of Affirm, a financial services technology company, cofounder and Chairman of Glow, a women’s reproductive and sexual health company, and cofounder and general partner at SciFi VC, a private venture capital firm. All three companies were created and launched from his San Francisco based innovation lab, HVF (Hard, Valuable, Fun). Max was one of the original cofounders of PayPal where he served as the CTO until its acquisition by Ebay in 2002. He is primarily known for his contributions to PayPal's anti-fraud efforts as the co-creator of the Gausebeck-Levchin test, one of the first commercial implementations of a CAPTCHA. In 2002, Max was named to the Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world as well as Innovator of the Year. In 2004, he founded Slide, a personal media-sharing service for social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook which he sold to Google in August 2010. 2004 was also the year he helped start Yelp, where he was the first investor and Chairman of the Board from 2004 until 2015. He has served on several boards such as Yahoo!, Yelp, Evernote and currently serves on the Consumer Advisory Board of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Max is a serial entrepreneur, computer scientist, philanthropist and active investor in more than 100 startups.
Jess Lee is a partner at Sequoia Capital. Previously, she held leadership positions at Google and Polyvore. While at Google, Jess was a product manager for Google Maps. Jess joined Polyvore as a product manager in 2008 after providing their co-founder with feedback on issues with the website. She was later named VP of Product, an honorary co-founder, and ultimately CEO. Polyvore was acquired by Yahoo in 2015. Jess holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University. She has been featured in Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40 list and Glamour Magazine’s Top 35 Under 35 Women in Tech.
Prior to GV, Joe was a two-time entrepreneur. In 1993, he co-founded Excite.com, an early Internet search engine, holding multiple positions in the company, including leadership roles in product, business development, and marketing. More recently, he co-founded JotSpot in 2004, a wiki company that was acquired by Google in 2006. While at Google, Joe had multiple product management roles including Blogger, Picasa, Sites, Friend Connect, and OpenSocial.
In addition, Joe has been an active angel investor in multiple companies, including LinkedIn, Aardvark (sold to Google in 2010), Kongregate, and OpenCandy. Joe is also on the board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF.org).
Joe received a B.A. from Stanford University.
Katherine Power is a Fortune 40 Under 40 honoree and the co-founder & CEO of CMG, the parent company of leading content sites Who What Wear (fashion), MyDomaine (lifestyle), Byrdie (beauty), and Obsessee (a social-only network for Gen Z girls). Among the company's key offerings are CMG Studios (a next-gen marketing agency specializing in content, social distribution, and experiences), the INF Network (representing 55+ top social influencers and bloggers), and CMG Brands (a consumer products division), including the successful Who What Wear apparel collection, sold exclusively at Target stores nationwide.
Marc Tarpenning started building and programming computers as a teenager and earned an A.B. degree in Computer Science from University of California, Berkeley.
In 1997, he and Martin Eberhard founded NuvoMedia, an electronic book company that pioneered the legal and technological framework for the digital distribution of eBooks. NuvoMedia, and their Rocket eBook reader, was sold to Gemstar/TV Guide in 2000.
In 2003, Marc and Martin co-founded Tesla Motors. At Tesla, Mr. Tarpenning ran the electrical engineering group in addition to being the acting CFO for the first three years. Tesla Motors became a public company in 2010 and dominates the electric car market with its Model S, Model X and now the new Model 3. Tesla customers have driven over 4 billion electric miles and the company employs over 30,000 people.
Since leaving Tesla Motors, Mr. Tarpenning has been Entrepreneur in Residence at Mayfield Fund, sits on several company Advisory Boards, speaks frequently on entrepreneurship, is a publicly elected School Board Trustee for the Woodside Elementary School District, a Trustee for the private Nueva School, a member of the Advisory Board of the Science Learning Institute at Foothill College, and an elected Member representing Area Three of the San Mateo County Committee on School District Organization.
Jean-Francois “Jeff” Clavier is the Founder and Managing Partner of SoftTech VC, one of the original seed VC firms in Silicon Valley, having closed 190+ investments since 2004. An early angel investor in Web 2.0, Jeff and his team have backed successful startups like Mint (Intuit), Kongregate (GameStop), Brightroll (Yahoo), LiveRamp (Acxiom), Milo (eBay), Wildfire (Google), Bleacher Report (Turner), Gnip (Twitter), Fitbit (NYSE:FIT), Eventbrite, Sendgrid, Poshmark, Hired, Postmates, Vungle, Shippo, Front and Molekule. The portfolio has also seen acquisitions by Groupon, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo and AOL. The firm is currently investing out of its $100M Fund V, making on average 15 seed commitments of $1M per year in mobile/cloud saas, consumer services, connected devices, marketplaces and “frontier tech” (AI, AR/VR, autonomous vehicles, digital manufacturing and material science, space tech).
Born, raised and educated in France, Jeff graduated with a MS in Computer Science and a degree in Distributed Computing. He joined Effix, a financial services startup, as one of the initial developers while still at school and eventually led it as CTO. After 5 years, Reuters acquired the company and Jeff expanded his remit to several product and development organizations in Europe and the USA. In 2000, he moved to Silicon Valley as General Partner for RVC, the $450M venture fund affiliated with Reuters.
In 2004, Jeff left RVC to start SoftTech VC and invest in the early pioneers of Consumer Internet. Within a couple of years, he was being recognized in the media as one of the “super angels”, and in 2007, he subsequently raised one of the first micro-VC funds, $15M Fund II. After three years, and 60+ investments closed on his own, Jeff built a team and raised a larger, $55M Fund III that invested in 55 companies. In June 2014, the firm celebrated its 10-year anniversary, its move to San Francisco and the close of Fund IV. Two years later, the firm announced the closing of $150M across two funds, a $100M seed-focused Fund V and a $50M Plus fund that is making $3M to $5M investments in mature, existing portfolio companies.
Jeff was appointed on the board of the National Venture Capital Association in 2015, a 4-year mandate. In the SoftTech portfolio, he sits on the boards of Handshake, DocSend, Molekule and a number of stealth investments. He is listed on the Forbes Midas List of top venture capitalists in the world.
One of the early VC bloggers in 2004, Jeff is now a popular conference speaker and social media/TV commentator. When he is not spending time with SoftTech’s portfolio companies, Jeff enjoys traveling, skiing, hiking, scuba diving, collecting wine and hanging out with friends and family.
Vinny is a serial entrepreneur who previously founded the digital gift card platform, Gyft, which was acquired by First Data Corporation in 2014. After over a decade of experience in e-commerce, he realized that no-one had a universal solution to tackle identity fraud for consumers.
Wade Foster is the CEO and co-founder of Zapier, a workflow automation tool used by over a million people to connect the work apps they use every day. Prior to Zapier, Wade worked as a customer development lead for The Idea Works, Inc. in Missouri. He is an alumni of Y Combinator and has degrees in industrial engineering and business administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Nabeel is a General Partner at Spark Capital, focusing on early-stage investments.
He has led Spark’s investments in Capella Space, Discord, Fig, Harmonix, Postmates and Thalmic Labs. He also led Spark’s previous investment in Cruise (acquired by General Motors).
Nabeel received a B.A. in Design from Maryland Institute, College of Art, and studied Computer Science at Purdue University.
Jeetu Patel is Chief Product Officer at Box. He leads the company's overall product and platform strategy, driving Box’s long-term roadmap and vision for cloud content management in the enterprise. Previously, as Chief Strategy Officer and SVP of Platform, Jeetu led the creation of the Box Platform business unit, overseeing product strategy, marketing and developer relations.
After being given a second chance of her own, Catherine founded Defy Ventures, a national nonprofit organization that “transforms the hustle” of currently and formerly incarcerated people. Catherine was named a #MakeTechHuman Agent of Change by WIRED and Nokia for being one of “17 Global Influencers Expanding Human Possibility Through Technology.” Catherine also received the MDC Partners Humanitarian Award on behalf of Defy Ventures (2015). She was named by Fast Company as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business (2014) and is an Ashoka Fellow (2013).
Kamran Elahian is the Founder and Chairman of Global Catalyst Partners, LLC. Kamran also serves as Global Innovation Advisor, 500 Startups; Founding Mentor, Unreasonable Group and Unchartered; Advisory Member, UNICEF Innovation Fund; Advisory Member, Seedstars World; Founding Board Advisor, Harbour.Space University; Chairman, Advisory Board, Global Venture Alliance.
Dan Price is the founder and CEO of Gravity Payments, a credit card processing and payment technology company leveling the playing field for independent businesses by saving them millions in fees and hours of frustration. He's widely known for setting a $70k minimum wage at Gravity, a small step in his goal to be a speck in a revolution where business is about purpose, not profit.
Justin is a co-founder and SVP of Business Development and Partnerships at Helix, a personal genomics company dedicated to empowering every person to improve their life through DNA. To accomplish this, the Helix team works with a diverse set of high-quality partners to create a vibrant ecosystem of DNA-powered products. Justin has responsibility for the ecosystem of partners that are core to the Helix platform model. Prior to Helix, Justin was a Vice President in the healthcare group at Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm focused on growth investing. Justin holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and an M.S. in Bioengineering from Stanford University. He also received a J.D. from Stanford Law School and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.
Mihir A. Desai is the Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance at Harvard Business School and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He received his Ph.D. in political economy from Harvard University; his MBA as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School; and a bachelor's degree in history and economics from Brown University. In 1994, he was a Fulbright Scholar to India. Professor Desai's areas of expertise include tax policy, international finance, and corporate finance. He has testified several times to Congressional bodies on various tax policy questions. Professor Desai has taught extensively as an award-winning teacher at HBS and at Harvard University. Recently, Professor Desai created an online finance course through the HBX platform titled Leading with Finance. His most recent book is The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return, published in May 2017.
Tara Reed is the CEO of Apps Without Code, a groundbreaking startup school for non-technical entrepreneurs. In 2015, Reed launched her first company, Kollecto which she built without a single line of code. The app became one of the top art collecting apps in the US. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Reed ran marketing initiatives at Google, Foursquare, & Microsoft.
Ashley Carroll is a Partner at Social Capital where she is focuses on early stage venture investments. She currently serves on the boards of mParticle, a multi-channel customer data platform for marketers, mPharma, a pharmacy benefits manager for sub-Saharan Africa, and Sempre Health, a US-based individualized healthcare pricing platform that improves medical adherence and affordability. She also leads the Capital-as-a-Service initiative. Prior to joining Social Capital, Ashley held product management leadership roles at DocuSign, Optimizely, and SurveyMonkey, joining each as an early employee and playing an integral role in their respective hyper-growth phases. She had also been an active advisor within the startup community, helping entrepreneurs wrap business models around core technology and navigate seed and series A financing rounds.
Ryan Popple is the president and CEO of Proterra, the leading innovator of zero-emission, battery-electric buses. Prior to Proterra, Ryan was a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and an early senior finance employee of Tesla Motors. Ryan serves as a board member of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.
Mr. Svane is the CEO, chairman and founder of Zendesk, a global company that builds software for better customer relationships. He has driven the vision, culture, and growth of the company for the last 10 years. Under his leadership, the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 and currently helps more than 100,000 organizations around the world better help, engage with and understand their customers. Originally from Copenhagen, Denmark, he is a published author of the book Startupland, a father of three, and a lover of handcrafted cocktails.
Nate Weiner is the CEO and founder of Pocket, a content platform that connects over 100M people a month with stories worthy of their time and attention. Nate built and bootstrapped Pocket as an indie developer for 3 years prior to raising money and growing the company. In 2017 Pocket became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mozilla Corporation. As both an engineer and prototyper, at his core Nate thrives best in building user-first product experiences. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Nate calls San Francisco home with his wife Nikki and dog Stella. For his early work on Pocket, TIME listed him as one of the 30 Under 30 World Changers. Nate is also a photographer, traveler and glider pilot.
Niko Bonatsos, managing director at General Catalyst, focuses on finding first-time technology founders with strong product instincts, robust appetites for learning, and a desire to create innovations with potential to benefit millions. He has been instrumental in GC’s investments in Snap (NYSE: SNAP), RealtyShares, ClassDojo and Paribus (acquired by CapitalOne).
Shan-Lyn Ma is CEO and Co-Founder of Zola, the wedding company reinventing the wedding planning and registry experience by combining compassionate customer service with modern tools and technology. Zola launched in 2013 and quickly became the fastest growing wedding company in the country. Today, Zola carries over 500 brands—from registry staples to up-and-coming designers—and over 300,000 couples have used the platform to register for gifts, experiences and funds. In April 2017, Shan-Lyn and her team released Zola Weddings, a free suite of wedding planning tools including wedding websites, a customizable checklist, guest-list manager, and, of course, registry. Before starting her company, Shan-Lyn was Chief Product Officer of Chloe + Isabel. Prior to that, Shan-Lyn was Gilt Groupe’s first Product Lead tasked with defining and evolving the core site experience. She led key new business launches, including their successful foray into mobile, launching and managing their mobile web experience and apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android. Additionally, she was Creator and General Manager of Gilt Taste, the brand’s food and wine division. Before her time at Gilt, Shan-Lyn held product and marketing roles at Yahoo!. She holds a degree in BCommerce with First Class Honours from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and an MBA from Stanford University.
A Managing Partner at GGV Capital, Jeff joined the firm in 2008 after spending 13 years as an entrepreneur and operating executive in the US and Asia. Jeff focuses on the Internet, Software and Mobile sectors, and currently sits on the boards of Appirio, BIG COMMERCE, Boxed, Percolate, Reebonz and Tile. Jeff led GGV’s investments in BlueKai (acquired in 2014 by Oracle), Buddy Media (acquired in 2012 by Salesforce.com), Citrus Lane (acquired in 2014 by Care.com), Evolv (acquired in 2014 by Cornerstone OnDemand), Flipboard, HOTELTONIGHT, Quixey, SHIFTGIG and Spreecast, and is actively involved in GGV’s investments in DOMO, GRAB, OPENDOOR, Qunar (NASDAQ: QUNR), SLACK, Square and Wish. Prior to joining GGV, Jeff founded two software companies (R4, acquired by VeriSign, and QuantumShift) and spent three years as an executive at VeriSign.
Alex Barnett is Director of Developer and Partner Platform at Intuit, leading developer relations, product management and partner integration solutions, focused on driving developer success and growing Intuit's 3rd-party apps ecosystem. Barnett brings more than 17 years of developer platform leadership, previously holding leadership positions at Risk Management Solutions (RMS), Bungee Labs, Microsoft, and Bluewave. Before entering the technology space, Barnett played professional Cricket for eight years (Middlesex and Lancashire).
Andre loves cars, the consumer web, and the environment - Turo brings all three of his passions into perfect harmony. Before joining Turo as CEO in September 2011, Andre was CEO of Shopping.com, the comparison-shopping network eBay acquired in 2005. Prior to Shopping.com, he was SVP, Product at eBay.
A much-respected investor and advisor, Brook Porter brings decades of high-tech energy and transportation experience to G2VP. He has led investments in Turo, Uber and DJI, sits on Proterra's board, and co-founded alternative fuel companies Intelligent Energy and Primafuel. He holds a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from UC Berkeley.
Valery Komissarova is a Principal at Grishin Robotics, first hardware-only VC firm, now investing $100M fund. She sourced multiple investments in firm's portfolio, including Spire, littleBits, Zipline, Sphero and others. Prior to Grishin Robotics, Valery worked in engineering, marketing & business development roles at multiple startups, most recently - Mail.Ru Group, now the largest internet-company in Eastern Europe that went public on LSE in 2010.
Mariam Naficy, Founder and CEO of Minted, is an early pioneer in e-commerce and crowdsourcing. Mariam founded Minted, a crowdsourced and crowd-curated design marketplace, with the mission of building an online retailer that remains continually fresh and ahead of design trends in limitless consumer categories. Minted now operates its direct-to-consumer brand, as well as a platform for licensing and wholesale to other retailers. Mariam co-founded Eve.com, the first online cosmetics retailer, in 1998 and sold it successfully in 2000. She sits on the Boards of Yelp and Every Mother Counts. Mariam was named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company in 2014, and one of Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in 2009. Mariam is a graduate of Williams College and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Paul is a Partner at Canvas, where he focuses on investing and partnering with entrepreneurs to build marketplace and vertical network companies that are improving the way we live, work, learn, and play. He is also passionate about discovering those who build new products and businesses enabled by machine learning, the genome, and microbiome. He believes that progress happens when we can bring together entrepreneurs, industry leaders, academic researchers, and investors who have the creativity to dream, drive to build, courage to try, and the influence to make positive change. His active investments include Everwise, Fluxx, Transfix and Zola for Canvas Ventures (and Houzz while he served as a partner at NEA). In Paul’s more than 10 years of investing career at NEA, he had the privilege to work with 8 start-ups that became publicly-listed companies on NYSE/NASDAQ and 17 investments that had a successful M&A exit. Paul was an entrepreneur before he became a venture capitalist. He started Mazu Networks as its co-founder and President with a software-defined routing technology developed at MIT. At Mazu, he worked with great co-founders, teams, advisors, and mentors from Benchmark, Greylock and Matrix. He is a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School. He also did years of medical research at Harvard Medical School and was a Kauffman Fellow. On weekends, when time permits, Paul enjoys learning how to fly a helicopter.
David Erickson is the Founder and CEO of FreeConferenceCall.com. His simple ideas and deft execution have transformed the telecommunications industry to better suit the needs of consumers and businesses worldwide. Dave founded FreeConferenceCall.com on the simple principle that collaborative communication should be available to everyone, both affordably and efficiently. He purchased a $10 URL, which sparked the first viral movement in the telecommunications industry to support free conferencing around the globe. Today, FreeConferenceCall.com offers HD audio conferencing, screen sharing and video conferencing with up to 1,000 participants for free. The company has become the largest and most recognized conferencing and collaboration brand on the planet - boasting roughly 40 million users across 60+ countries each month. Since launching the company in 2001, Dave has stayed focused on technological development and change. He was named “Innovator of the Year” by VON for pioneering high definition conference bridges at FreeConferenceCall.com. Under his leadership, the global company has won numerous awards, including the national “Best & Brightest Best Companies to Work For” and a Gold Stevie Award® for Customer Service Department of the Year in Telecommunications category. Dave is a frequent speaker at leadership conferences around the U.S. and has appeared on national radio, television and such business news publications, including Entrepreneur, Inc., Forbes, Fox News and USA Today.
Jeremy Gardner is a founder and general partner of Ausum Ventures, a blockchain-focused venture fund. He is the founder and chairman of the Blockchain Education Network (BEN) and a founder of Augur, the decentralized prediction market platform. He has worked as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Blockchain Capital, where he started a legacy database security company, SAAVHA. He also serves as editor-in-chief of Distributed Magazine. Outside of the blockchain space, he is a board member at Unsung, the food waste and hunger-fighting nonprofit startup.
Oren is the founder of Zeev Ventures, a non institutional VC, and in this capacity backs passionate founders building great companies. Oren is typically the main early backer and plays an active role on the boards of the companies he invests in. Oren has been fortunate to have backed companies such as Houzz, Audible, Chegg and others who are re-defining their respective categories.
Oren holds a BSc Cum Laude from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, and an MBA with distinction from INSEAD in France.
Laura Wright Teclemariam brings over a decade of high-tech experience working in product development, marketing and software engineering to Electronic Arts, one of the world’s largest Game Publishers. As a Senior Product Manager, Laura leads EA’s Engagement, Targeting and Advertising suite of enterprise products, which is the core technology for all of EA’s games. Managing a portfolio of over $200 million across EA’s mobile platform, she works crossfuntionally to scope, define, and deliver EA’s customer experience. She’s currently leading product development for the Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes franchise and Popcap studio, and managing VR research & development.
Prior to EA, Laura led the developer tools efforts for a $100 million mobile advertising company, Tapjoy. She also founded and ran her own marketing and advertising startup for seven years, which focused on the Sports and Entertainment industries. She has also worked for a number of Forbes Top 100 Companies, including Deloitte Consulting as an Oracle Consultant and Microsoft Corporation as a Partner Account Manager. At Microsoft, she led the technical and marketing analysis for Microsoft Business partners in the Southern California region. Early in her career at Microsoft, she worked in the MS Office Excel group as a Software Engineer.
In 2004, Laura received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine and is currently getting her Executive MBA at the Haas School of Business from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a regular speaker in gaming, diversity in tech and mobile advertising.
Pete Flint is a Managing Partner of NFX (www.nfx.com), an early stage Venture Capital fund with offices in Silicon Valley and Israel focused on network effect businesses. The Partners at NFX are a team of entrepreneurs and investors that have collectively founded 10 companies that have had exits of $10 billion and have made more than 300 investments. Prior to NFX, in 2005 Pete founded the online real estate company Trulia (www.trulia.com), now one of the most popular real estate websites and mobile apps in the U.S. He was its CEO and Chairman from inception to acquisition. In July 2014, rival property service Zillow purchased Trulia for $3.5 billion, with both brands continuing to operate side-by- side. Before founding Trulia, Pete was part of the founding team at lastminute.com, a leading European online travel company that was acquired by Sabre/Travelocity in 2005 for over $1 billion. Pete is a founding Board member of New Story Charity (www.newstorycharity.org), a technology enabled platform focused on eliminating homelessness by building sustainable communities around the world. He is also a founder and co-chair of GBx (www.gbxglobal.org), the leading British technology community based in Silicon Valley helping to connect and scale technology ecosystems in the UK and Silicon Valley. He is a frequent speaker at Internet, entrepreneurship and technology conferences, and additionally is a guest lecturer at Stanford's Graduate School of Business and at Oxford's Said Business School. He has been named E&Y Northern Californian Entrepreneur of the Year, “Most Admired CEO” by the San Francisco Business Times, and one of the “Most Powerful CEOs Under 40” by Forbes.
Alexander (Alex) Rosen is a Managing Director at Ridge Ventures, with over 20 years experience working with early stage technology companies as an active investor and advisor. Today, he focuses on investments in cloud infrastructure, SaaS applications, ad tech, and consumer marketplaces. He currently serves as board director or investor at Appboy, Chubbies, Datanyze, Fastly, Krux, MindMeld, Minted, Smartling, Tempered Networks, The League, Trifacta, Uplift, and Vouch. Previously, he was a General Partner at Sprout Group, where he was head of the Internet and Software group. Alex holds BS degrees in electrical engineering and economics from MIT and an MBA from Stanford University.
Steve is a general partner at Foundation Capital, where he lives at the intersection of business, technology and design. He serves on the boards of Sunrun [RUN], Beepi, Pocket, Bolt Threads, ForUsAll, Cerebras Systems, Sentient Energy, AutoGrid and Aquion Energy. Before joining Foundation in 2007, he ran product and engineering at Ning and prior to this, Immersion [IMMR]. Steve began his career as a project leader and design engineer at IDEO, where he developed multiple successful products for BMW, Nike, Cisco, and Caterpillar, among many others. Steve holds 77 patents and multiple design awards.
Zachery Coelius is currently an early stage technology investor and advisor. His notable investments include Cruise Automation (bought by GM for $1B+), Branch Metrics, SkySafe and a dozen other startups. He is an advisor to twenty companies including Hellosign, Swarm (bought by Integral Ad Sciences), Balanced Payments (Stripe) and many others. Mr. Coelius is also four-time entrepreneur. In his last company he was the co-founder and CEO of Triggit, an advertising technology company that was one of the first Demand Side Platforms, where he raised over $25m in venture capital and exited in 2015 to Linkedin and another financial buyer. He ran Triggit from 2005 to 2015, growing it from 4 to 60 employees and over $30m in revenue. Zachery attended the University of Minnesota as an undergraduate where he was named by the USA Today as one of the top 20 college students in the nation in 2004. He was also the recipient of the George Mitchell scholarship where he received a master’s degree in International studies at the University of Limerick.
Inna is a marketing strategist at InnavationLabs and a Founder of SnapchatDaily.com who helps brands tell their story on Snapchat. She worked with Facebook, eBay, Skype, Starbucks, NBC Universal, Calm, Netlify & other brands. She has an MBA from Imperial College London, and is an alumna of Singularity University.
“ these are our people ”
Megan is an entrepreneur, tech evangelist, engineer, catalyst and connector. As VP at Google[x], Megan works on a range of projects including co-creating/hosting SolveForX to encourage and amplify technology-based moonshot thinking and collaboration. For nine years prior she led Google’s New Business Development team managing early-stage partnerships, pilot explorations, and technology licensing for Google’s global engineering and product teams. She led the acquisitions of Keyhole (Google Earth), Where2Tech (Google Maps) and Picasa, and also led the Google.org team transition to add more engineering with Google Crisis Response, GoogleforNonprofits, and Earth Outreach. Prior to joining Google, Megan was CEO and earlier, COO of PlanetOut, the leading LGBT online community. Over the years, Megan has contributed to a wide range of engineering projects, including an award-winning bicycle lock, space station construction program, and solar cookstoves. She holds a bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, where she now serves on the board. She completed her master's thesis work at the MIT Media Lab.
Get a taste of the Startup Grind Global Conference experience with a few selected talks.
We’re not another “tech conference.” We are a community -- we’re entrepreneurs -- we’re here to help -- YOU!
Around the world, hundreds of thousands of founders come together each month to attend local Startup Grind events. Every February, our Global Conference brings compelling updates from the changing panorama of the tech world -- and we put it all together for 2.5 days of dynamic content and education. You will find invaluable new friendships, and hundreds of resources to help you continue to build yourself, your life and you’ll find information to grow your startup.
7,000 entrepreneurs, 250 speakers, hundred of investors, and our team of Global Chapter Directors will join us from around the world this February. It will be our biggest and best year ever.
If you are building a company anywhere in the world, you need to be at Startup Grind Global Conference. Feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need further convincing.
The 2018 Startup Grind Global Conference will be held at the Fox Theater (2215 Broadway) in downtown Redwood City, California.
Monday February 12
Tuesday February 13 - Wednesday 14
Full immersion of the Global Conference experience with access to all stages, exhibiting startups and sponsors, networking sessions and evening events with thousands of global founders, entrepreneurs and engineers.
Discover the newest startup trends among exhibiting startups and connect with popular sponsors/partners.
Exclusive VIP access to all Global Conference stages and networking sessions.
We have a dedicated student program with special discount rate. Currently enrolled students in a high school, college or university program can apply for our Student Pass via the application below. More information and eligibility can be found within the application.
Please complete this APPLICATION if you are interested in receiving a Student Pass.
Questions or interested in group tickets? Additional discount available - please email email@example.com
The entrepreneur’s journey can be a winding one, so we often collaborate with partner companies to sponsor the tickets of a handful of applicants. To find out if you’re eligible, tell us about what you’re working on and why you should receive a sponsorship at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re a journalist reporting for a major media outlet or a private blogger with a considerable audience, we’d be happy to have you join as our guest.
Apply for a Press Pass by filling out this application.
Please note that speaker access is reserved to select media personnel on advance request and is not open to most press pass holders.
Ah, bosses — we know the drill. We have an expert team at the ready for this kind of situations: they’ve spent their lifetimes training in the fine art of tasteful wit, persuasive copywriting, and even the dark arts of corporate speak. Send us an email to and we’ll make the case on your behalf. But beware! With such great power comes great responsibility — contact wisely.
Though speakers like Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures spent over an hour with the audience, most speakers are busy founders who do us the great favor of sharing their time pro-bono exactly because they know we won’t demand much extra from them. All speakers are encouraged to meet attendees, walk the floor, and enjoy the conference — but we make no guarantees.
There will, however, be hundreds of investors among the audience — many who’d love to meet you. There was over $1.5 million offered to founders by investors they’ve met during the two days of the event, some who randomly bumped into one another.
Our secret to spotting and connecting with VIPs: say hello to those people who seem relaxed and sit back during networking breaks, as many of them will be those whose networks are already incredible. If they don’t invest, it’s likely they know those who do — so make friends instead of pitching hard.
Want to be matched with investors? Apply to our Startup Exhibition.
Aww, we were really looking forward to meeting you. We’re sorry to say we do not issue refunds, but you can definitely transfer your ticket with a friend or business colleague up to a month before the event. Email us here with your name and the name to which you’d like to transfer your ticket, and we’ll get you sorted.
Hope to see you next year!
We work with Fortune 500 as well as newly launched companies to reach entrepreneurs around the world, and we’d love to work with you. You’ll reach thousands of entrepreneurs, business owners, as well as developers, investors, and the like during our event. As a sponsor, we’ll also include you in messaging to our network -- spanning across over 140,000 online followers and subscribers. Here is our 2018 sponsor deck. Please review and email email@example.com for more information.
If your business has raised less than $3M and has fewer than 20 employees, you’re eligible to apply for our Startup Exhibition. If selected, you’ll have the chance to exhibit your company during the conference, connect to our network of 200 plus investors, and enjoy perks like media opportunities and startup service discounts. This year we’ll have 300 startups exhibit on-site.
The Startup Program is simple and transparent: if chosen, your startup receives 4-full day tickets, including a display booth for one of the two conference days (so, you can attend the other).
San Francisco (SFO) is the most trafficked airport in the Bay Area, complete with its own airport BART station. It is the closest (15mi/24km) to the Fox Theater. Travelers will get to ride the BART to Millbrae, then transfer onto the Caltrain to Redwood City.
Oakland (OAK) is located across the peninsula in the East Bay, offering slightly cheaper airfare and accommodations. It’s furthest (29mi/47km) from the Fox Theater, but offers nearby BART public transit to get into Silicon Valley.
San Jose (SJC) is located at the very bottom of Silicon Valley and is closest to Palo Alto. While not far from the Fox Theater (20mi/32km), SJC doesn’t offer many public transit options. Rental cars or car sharing are highly encouraged.
Here are our partner hotels that offer special room rates between February 12 to February 15, 2018 for all Startup Grind Global Conference attendees:
Just mention “Startup Grind” when you call to book. Must complete booking before January 15, 2018 to receive these special room rates.
Sure, though streetside parking is limited near the venue. Luckily, local garages offer more spaces by the hour. Both of the following garages offer paid parking 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Monday through Friday, with free parking after 6:00 PM.
Winslow Parking Garage: Located on Middlefield close to the Fox Theater, Winslow offers parking for 50 cents per hour.
The Main Street Parking Lot: Located on Main Street by City Hall, this garage offers parking for 25 cents per hour.
Jefferson Garage: The underground garage on Middlefield between Jefferson and Winslow provides 1.5 hours of free parking.
Marshall Street Garage: With entrances off of Marshall and off of Broadway offers 1.5 hours of free parking.
The Jefferson and Marshall garages offer limited parking that may be limited by duration.
Absolutely. The Fox Theater is a few blocks from the Redwood City Caltrain station. If you’re visiting us from San Francisco, you can easily take the BART to the Millbrae BART station and connect onto Caltrain.
The Caltrain runs between San Francisco and San Jose, with stops covering the entire Bay Area. See the Caltrain schedule here.
BART is San Francisco’s city rail service and the best way to commute to and from OAK and SFO airports. See Bart locations and schedule here. It may be wise to purchase a Clipper Card, used for all public transit in the Bay Area.
For bikers and rail commuters, thanks for doing your part to save the rainforests!
Yes. Over 100 Startup Grind Directors and thousands of startup founders are flying in from places like Iran, Mongolia, Australia, and China. They’re definitely not stepping away from their businesses, families, and teams without good reason: this is going to be good.
Absolutely! You can enter and exit the event at your leisure so long as you are wearing your Startup Grind wristband, which acts as your ticket.
But do us a favor: do not remove, tamper, or attempt to transfer your ticket to another visitor, or we may have to refuse your entry.
You can shower and sleep with your wristband on, and if you wear it for the whole year, we guarantee you a free ticket to our next conference. Yes, really!
Thanks for offering your time! We usually receive many applications for just a limited number of volunteer spots, but if you have the right skill set to be an awesome volunteer please fill out this form.
Yes: comfortable. Expect some people to feel most comfortable dressed in formal business attire – it can be a nice confidence booster. Also expect to mingle with a Silicon Valley crowd that’s most comfortable in casual streetwear, maybe accented with a company hoodie.
Keep in mind the amazing people you’ll be meeting at this conference, and dress to impress and connect with them. However you style yourself, make sure it’s respectful of the beautiful venue and other guests attending the event.
We appreciate your enthusiasm, but we ask our guests to stick to business cards at most. Flyers tend to take time and focus away from the conference experience, so nail your pitch instead.
The only exception is paid sponsors, who also receive a booth and other perks at the event. Learn more about sponsorships here if you’d like to reach the Startup Grind audience. We’d love to work together.
Trust us, we’re big proponents of a simple and inviting US immigration policy for ambitious entrepreneurs and skilled technologists. Unfortunately, we will not be sponsoring visas for attendees to the Startup Grind Global Conference.
We are a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs.