Monday, October 15, 2012

Host a Livestream of The Lean Startup Conference

This post was co-written by Eric Ries and Sarah Milstein, co-hosts of The Lean Startup Conference. 

For the 2010 and 2011 Lean Startup conferences, we offered the complete conference for simulcast so that people could join in from their communities around the world. Last year, about 150 groups participated, including sites in Buenos Aires; Prague; Copenhagen; Tallinn, Estonia; Guadalajara; Warsaw; Bucharest; Kiev; Ljubljana, Slovenia;Wollongong, Australia; Uruguay; France; Germany; India; Israel; Italy; and The Netherlands. These simulcasts are important community-building opportunities. Although knowledge about the new science of entrepreneurship has gone global, startup ecosystems are always local. (BTW, you can read more about why in Brad Feld's new book, Startup Communities.)

We're grateful to the simulcast hosts, who have been enthusiastic about the chance to have people gather and discuss Lean Startup ideas. Eric Harper in Evanston, Illinois, for instance, told us that the “event helped to build our community and provided some substantive content and topics for future Startup Evanston events.” At Microsoft, Kevis Davis reported, “Our simulcast was well attended and really well received. Even inside a big company, participants took away a lot of valuable ideas.” Luis Rivera Gurrea-Nozaleda of Spain Lean Startup said, "Our community of entrepreneurs loved participating in last year’s event." And Jonathan Markwell from the UK noted, "It was fantastic being able to discuss some of the ‘aha moments’ with others late in to the night. Participants having been meeting at our local Open Coffee meetup ever since, and interest has now grown to the point that we have a monthly Lean Startup meetup too."

We’re happy that we can offer this simulcast option again this year. On December 3, from 9a – 6p PT, community groups around the planet will have access - free of charge - as long as they have groups of 10+ gathered and a wired internet connection to receive video. If you’d like to host a livestream simulcast, please fill out this short application form by next Tues, October 23. There are a few pieces you need to have in place to apply, so we recommend taking a look at the form right now.

Once we’ve gotten all the applications, we’ll select the hosts and send confirmation notices within a few weeks. Then we’ll list your event on our conference site and promote it before the conference (via Twitter, blog posts and/or email announcements). Of course, right before the conference, we’ll give you the livestream password.

If you’re thinking of hosting, consider this advice from Joshua Cyr of Portsmouth, NH: “Location is key. Have it at a place people will want to be. Nearby food (walking distance) is always a plus, or have the ability to order out.” You might also try an unusual venue. Cleveland Lean Startup Circle, for example, hosts their livestream on a 100+-year-old barge floating in Lake Erie.

To give you an idea of the kind of great speakers you’ll see via the livestream, here’s video of one of last year’s keynote speakers, Steve Blank, who needs little introduction to people in the Lean Startup orbit. Steve is scheduled to speak again this year on a new topic, and you won’t want to miss him.

In an xconomy article last year, Wade Roush observed that Eric “travels almost constantly to promote his message at technology conferences.” Making the conference available via simulcast is another way we can bring Lean Startup ideas to fellow entrepreneurs in your corner of the world. We encourage you to apply to host.