Thursday, September 29, 2016

Announcing the 2016 Lean Startup Week Program

Guest post by Jennifer Maerz, contributing editor of Lean Startup Co. 

The Lean Startup team has been hard at work finalizing the details of this year’s Lean Startup Week. Each year, we bring you new case studies from Silicon Valley startups (and beyond), government agencies, and global enterprise companies, along with expert advice from seasoned entrepreneurs and newcomers alike.

If you’re thinking about joining us at the conference for your annual innovation training on Oct. 31-Nov. 6 in San Francisco, we’ve got a pass for everyone.

Welcome to Lean Startup Week 2016 

TL;DR: Before you dive into the details, here’s a quick look at what you can expect during your week with us:
  • On Oct. 31, kick off the week with a choice of Startup Tours, a Lean UnConference, or an Enterprise Training session. 
  • On Nov. 1, join our morning activities, including a live Q&A breakfast with Eric Ries, a half day of master classes (i.e., hands-on workshops), and our evening Ignite reception. 
  • Our core main conference days are on Nov. 2 & 3. You’ll hear powerful keynotes on the big stage and get practical lessons during our breakout sessions. 
  • On Nov. 4, join a day of coworking at WeWork or attend WMD, a growth and marketing conference hosted by our friends at 500 Startups. 
  • Finally, close the week out by applying everything you learned at Lean Startup Week at Startup Weekend on Nov. 4-6

There are four ways to attend the conference: grab a Gold Pass for the full seven-day experience; a Silver Pass gives you access to the two-day main conference on Nov 2 & 3; a Bootstrapper Pass, which is reserved for very early-stage startups and small non-profits (it’s the equivalent of a Silver Pass, but you’ll need to apply for it); and if you can’t travel to the Bay Area, you can join one of our free livestream meetups and see our main-stage talks live on November 2 & 3.

And now, on to the details…

Monday, October 31: Startup Tours, Enterprise Training, Unconference 

We’ll welcome all Gold Passholders with a mix of Startup Tours, an enterprise-focused training session, and an attendee-led Unconference (in partnership with Lean Startup Circle).

Gold Passholders can head off on the track of their choice: either tours of groundbreaking startups like Pivotal and the non-profit Defy Ventures, among other offerings, or enterprise training with Lean Startup Co. at Breather.

The enterprise training session is a new offering this year that we’re especially excited about: our expert faculty will host five hours of customized master classes for corporate intrapreneurs in a limited-capacity, intimate classroom setting.

In the evening, we’ll have a Halloween-themed Lean Startup Night happy hour. It’ll be held at Runway from 5–6:30 pm with special guests (including Eric Ries) to be announced soon.

Tuesday, November 1: Healthy Performance Practices, Master Classes, Ignite Opening Reception 

We’ll start with icebreakers that’ll energize your mind and body. Choose from running a 5K with ultrarunner Zoe Romano (who ran the Tour de France route), performance breathing with Stanford’s Robert Lee, or meditation and yoga classes with our awesome Lean Startup team members Stacy Conlon and Dave Cunningham.

At the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, Eric will join serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis (LAUNCH Media) for a Q&A session with attendees. 

Once we’ve helped you get into the right mental space, we’re diving into a half-day of master classes. These workshops will be led by Lean Startup’s rock star expert network and are dedicated to the issues our community regularly tackles.

These sessions, which range from the basics of the methodology to more advanced topics, are excellent opportunities for your team to get hands-on Lean Startup training together while interacting with mentors who’ve been with Lean Startup for years.

In the evening, we’ll host our popular Ignite talks, where select members from our international community have the chance to entertain us with five-minute talks about an aspect of Lean Startup pertinent to the work they’re doing. The Ignite Opening Reception is the official kickoff of Lean Startup Week for all levels of badgeholders. It’s also a great way to learn about all the various ways people are using Lean Startup in a format favoring short attention spans. We pulled from a diverse group of Ignite applicants: folks doing great work in city government, global non-profits, parenting & pregnancy support, and other areas where innovative practices have had a huge impact.

Wednesday, November 2 (Main Conference Day 1, All Pass Holders): Keynote Sessions, Speed Mentoring, Networking Dinners 

Because we have a full week together this year, we decided to kick off the main conference with a single track of activities broken up into four keynote blocks. Now everyone has a chance to hear and absorb a variety of stories and case studies. We have a fantastic lineup of keynote speakers, including industry vets Guy Kawasaki, IBM’s Phil Gilbert, GV’s Jake Knapp, and Microsoft’s Tren Griffin, and rising star founders such as Hint Water’s Kara Goldin, General Assembly’s Matt Brimer, and Breather’s Caterina Rizzi.

Whether these entrepreneurs are speaking about a relatively young business or an internationally established company, the overarching theme here is growing and scaling innovation techniques. It’s no longer enough to have an idea and put a product together. These experts from across industries and around the world will share how they’ve built long-term strategies for innovation into the core and culture of what they do, from tech to telecommunications to government to morning dance parties(!). 

Talks by these prophetic leaders will be broken up into the following four sessions: the definition of and practical issues facing the modern startup, the application of Lean Startup with other methodologies, scaling Lean Startup practices, and Lean Startup put into practice, from corporate to government and non-profit.

We’ll also be offering Speed Mentoring on Nov. 2. All attendees will have the chance to work through specific issues with one of 40 amazing experts from a variety of industries in 20-minute sessions (advance registration will be required, we’ll release the list of mentors over the next few weeks).

And we’ll close the day with a conversation between Eric and Lean Startup Co. faculty member Phil Dillard about the current state of Lean Startup.

We’ll have plenty of co-working opportunities throughout the conference, but if you’d like to concentrate your networking skills over dinner and drinks, you can sign up for one of our Lean Startup Week networking dinners on Nov. 2.

Thursday, November 3 (Main Conference Day 2, All Pass Holders): keynote talks from Airbnb & GE; breakout sessions on startup, enterprise & DIY tracks; mini-intensive sessions; The Startup Chat live; closing sessions 

Nov. 3 will be a day of breakout sessions—discussions, presentations, and fireside chats—themed along specific tracks so you can choose the topics most applicable to your organization. We’ve labeled these sessions as startup, enterprise, or DIY.

DIY is meant to cover a number of different topics, from design to government to funding, as well as the future of work, social good, and government. (Kelvin Kwong of Jawbone will discuss how to design behavior changes in your customers, for example.)

The startup track will feature founders from places like Kit (acquired by Shopify) and 18F sharing how they’ve built their organizations so you can learn how they’ve achieved their level of success. 

For enterprise sessions, we have some great case studies from pros inside Pearson, Telefonica, and Cisco who’ll also discuss team collaboration and leadership development.

Although we’ve focused these groupings for easier scheduling, we highly recommend crossing the hall between startup, enterprise, and DIY chats to get a little of everything—or send your team members to different sessions and compare what you’ve learned at the end of the day.

In the late afternoon, we’ll host intensive sessions at Breather. These four 45-minute interactive discussions will take small groups through such specific topics such as Lean marketing, Lean government orgs, and the founding of Breather.

Also on Nov. 3, we’ll have two special keynotes: from Joe Zadeh, VP of product at Airbnb, and Viv Goldstein from GE’s FastWorks program who will also engage in a joint conversation about intrapreneurship in their organizations.

Throughout the day, we’ll also have some quickie sessions on offer, where you can learn about, say, best practices for live blogging or take a stab at meditation during your lunch hour. And speaking of eating, we’ve invited some of San Francisco’s tastiest food trucks to park on the Pier 27 lot, so there’s no way you’ll go hungry.

We’ll close out the day with AOL co-founder Steve Case, Eric, and MIT Sloan Management Review editor-in-chief Paul Michelman in a sure to be fascinating conversation about the future of entrepreneurship (and, if you’ve been following Eric’s work this year, you know the future of the Long Term Stock Exchange will be involved in that discussion, too).

Friday, November 4-Sunday, November 6: 500 Startups’ WMD conference, Techstars’ Startup Weekend bootcamp 

A Gold Pass gives you access to 500 Startups’ Weapons of Mass Distribution, a one-day conference focused on specific tactics for growing and scaling your startup.

Or if you’d like some team time to collaborate on ideas cooked up during Lean Startup Week, we’re offering coworking options at WeWork and RocketSpace for the day.

Finally, put everything you’ve learned with us into action during a Techstars’ Startup Weekend to cap off Lean Startup Week. This is an excellent opportunity for Gold Pass teams to put ideas into motion and test out those new Lean Startup tools in an environment that fully supports trial, error, and rapid experimentation.

And if you can’t make it to San Francisco this year, we’ll bring Lean Startup Week to you. Sign up to host a livestream meetup or join one that our friends at General Assembly is hosting at their 11 campuses around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, Singapore, and London. 

Hope to see you in SF this fall, 
The Lean Startup Week Team