Community learning is at the heart of The Lean Startup Co.
While Lean Startup started in startups and tech, people are constantly adapting the method to unexpected areas.
With the 2015 conference, we’re announcing our experiment with a new community learning experience: the Lean Startup ambassador program.
The inaugural crew of ambassadors includes professionals from various industries and sectors – from a national airline to the United Nations, from making philanthropy social to ending human trafficking. Ambassador experiences and backgrounds vary widely, some making new transitions into their field, others coming from decades of innovation with the same company.
You can join the ambassadors at the Lean Startup conference in-person and remotely. They are also available during Office Hours for one-on-one mentoring and hosting virtual meetups.
Check out our 2015 program for details.
Lean Startup Ambassadors
Adam Berk travels the world asking entrepreneurs one question, “What problem are you solving?” He then helps them design and run experiments to help them identify and manage the biggest risks in their business model. He teaches entrepreneurs, from early stage founders to massive global companies (& government agencies), to apply the concepts of being “Lean”. Adam recently founded Neighborrow, an online platform providing offline access to things people need to use but don’t need to own.. Adam has also worked with companies like KauffmanLabs, TechPeaks, Bizdom, Numa, StartupTurkey, FastForward Ramallah, AOL, ESPN, NEWSCORP, AMEX. Adam invests in teams as long as they use the money to test a hypothesis!
Brent Dixon is an interdisciplinary designer, educator, tinkerer, and entrepreneur based in Brooklyn, New York. Brent is currently advising a large government organization on a technology innovation initiative. Brent previously advised a consumer financial think tank, organized a series of pop-up hackerspaces for kids, was board Vice-Char of the Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive, and exhibited new media art installations in Austin, New York, and Berlin.
Marlon Fuentes brings design thinking and lean methods to the forefront of his work as Marketing Technology and Design Manager at Center for Nonprofit Management in Los Angeles. By championing user experience and data, Marlon has changed not only the way his organization works, but also the thousands of organizations his firm serves throughout SoCal. He’s currently experimenting with ways to utilize VR for education, beacons for assistive technology, and is a passionate speaker on the topics of agile learning, human centered design, and micro-storytelling for branding and team building. Marlon was recently awarded the Best Mobility Award for an augmented reality application he and a team developed at the 2015 Google SF Makeathon for assistive technology and holds a degree in Ethnomusicology from UCLA where he conducted ethnography on people’s relationship with music, technology, and design. www.marlonfuentes.info
Derek Harn is a seasoned startup guy, developer, former apparel designer and ex-metalhead who discovered Lean Startup after playing to headbanging crowds around the world. A love of travel, culture and adventure led him to Alaska Airlines, where he teaches others how to efficiently experiment, test their assumptions and change the culture around innovation to improve customer experience.
Andrea Hill is a Product Strategist at ReadyTalk, an audio and web conferencing provider out of Denver, CO. She also serves as the General Manager of UbiMeet, the first company-sponsored internal startup. Andrea has been a key player in innovation and new product development departments in organizations of various sizes, championing lean startup principles and identifying new market and product opportunities in the areas of employment law, securities compliance, and meeting and personal productivity. She is a jill-of-all-trades, able to craft falsifiable hypotheses, design functional wireframes, write customer discovery scripts, chat it up with customers, and analyze and interpret the findings to drive product decisions. A fan of lifelong learning and improvement, Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in French, a master’s degree in computer science, and an MBA in strategy and entrepreneurship.
Danielle Leslie is the Director of Revenue Growth at Mayvenn, where 40,000+ hair stylists earn money by selling hair extensions through their online Mayvenn stores. Previously, Danielle worked in Growth at Udemy where she built and managed our seller channel for more than two years helping our instructors drive more traffic and sales to their online Udemy courses. Danielle loves studying how personal brands grow community and how creators and experts monetize their content. She’s a former startup founder and attended the SeedStart accelerator in 2011.
Alex Lofton is the co-founder of Landed, a SF-based, tech-enabled start up set out to revolutionize homeownership through smart and simple co-investment. Tackling housing problems of urbanites is a tall order but Lofton believes new models can both drastically improve how our cities work and how the average person builds wealth. It’s a mission he’s pumped to be living and breathing everyday. In past lives, Lofton was a celebrated political organizer with President Obama’s campaigns for the White House, a customer experience and sales guru with a variety of tech and social mission start ups, and a graduate of Stanford’s business school.
Mario Lugay served as an impact advisor at the Kapor Center for Social Impact. He has over a decade worth of experience as a noprofit and philanthropic leader, including co-founding the New American Leader’s Project, the country’s first and only organization dedicated to training first- and second- generation immigrants to run for elected office. Mario is a long-time consultant, grassroots fundraising trainer, and speaker, and is a graduate of Columbia University, currently serving on the boards of the American Prospect, Resource Generation and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN).
Jackie Mahendra leads a network initiative at Citizen Engagement Laboratory (CEL) to strengthen the impact of tech-savvy campaigning groups that together mobilize 20 million volunteer activists across the US on issues ranging from climate protection to civil rights. A nonprofit incubator, CEL lowers the barriers to innovation for social change agents looking to shift culture and transform society. As a board member of Netroots Nation, former director of organizing at Change.org, and co-founder of the ethical fashion startup ishivest.com, Jackie writes and speaks about digital strategy, social innovation, and how to wage stories that can change the world.
Cynthia Rothschild Jaggi has a passion has been building a new model of growth – one that focuses on regenerating the world’s natural resources and letting people thrive. To build this model, she works at the intersection of business and social good, partnering with organizations and individuals to create a living economy. Cynthia founded GatherWell, the Think and Do tank for Practical Idealists – a family of social impact ventures dedicated to human development and the regenerative economy. She is also the Co-Founder and Partner at Living Economy Advisors, architecting novel financial intermediation strategies to create whole systems solutions. Cynthia is currently experimenting with ways to help people align their investments with their values, bring more capital to the living economy and help people shift to impact careers.
Nikki Smith helps startups and entrepreneurs get to hockey stick growth in less time, with less money. She teaches others how to test and measure quickly to improve their badassery. She’s currently the entrepreneur-in-residence at Not For Sale, where she helps test minimum viable offers and designs product funnels. Not For Sale is a non-profit fighting human trafficking. She’s also mentors students on customer validation and user acquisition for 3DayStartup.org. Nikki co-founded RevenueSmith, where she helped grow apps like Candy Crush and Clash of Clans.
James Warren is focused on empowering people and brands to share their stories. For more than 20 years, James nurtured a personal passion for storytelling. In the mid-90s, he studied creative writing at Columbia University. In 2005, he started exploring the space between publishing and technology with the Digital Book Project, an experiment in online novel writing. At the same time, James also led various CPG brand and business building efforts, including a number of new brand and product introductions at Altria Group. In the fall of 2014, James took the plunge and started Share More Stories, focused on empowering people to get their stories out and into the world. Now in partnership with Johnson, Inc., Share More Stories is helping brands connect with people through their stories, in order to generate insight and increase loyalty. James studied Economics and Literature at Princeton University, Creative Writing at Columbia University and Marketing at the University of Richmond. He volunteers with TEDxRVA, Enactus at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce, and MEGA Mentors. And of course, he continues to share stories whenever – and wherever – he can.
Brandt William is currently the Head of Strategy and Operations at Zoo Labs, a cultural accelerator focused on musicians. We bring the discipline of a startup to music making teams and arts enablers. Brandt has another stealth startup project in the works that will bring transparency and advocacy for the consumer in a real estate transaction. Brandt has a knack for transforming ideas into Acquire-able, Invest-able and IPO-able ventures. In other words, he knows what it takes to develop and grow scalable and sustainable business models. As a serial entrepreneur, Brandt has served in founder/co-founder, VP and/or CEO roles for six (6) early stage ventures. From co-founding an enterprise software venture that was later acquired by Amazon, to serving on the leadership team of a company that was invested in by Apple, Ernst & Young, RedRock and Sierra Ventures and later sold, to founding a company that developed proprietary web services for his past employer. Brandt takes a lean approach to business growth and wears many hats. His main strengths lie in his resourcefulness and ability to build revenue in a variety of industries. Brandt has succeeded in both mature and emerging market segments, with Fortune 500 companies and with high-growth early-stage ventures. He can be traditional or disruptive, depending on the needs of the client and the organization. Brandt always endeavors to address the specific needs of each client and his creativity and keen eye for optimized solutions drives him beyond the status quo.