The Lean Startup Conference 2015

November 16 - 19, 2015 - San Francisco, CA

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2015 Lean Startup Conference Program Details

Talks about Startup

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Master Class1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

For Platinum and Gold Passes only.

  • How to Ship Your Ideas1:00 - 1:45 PM
    Room: C260

    Are you busting at the seams with ideas for that next great software product, but feel overwhelmed trying to figure out how to bring those ideas to life? Perhaps you’re feeling stuck and bombarded by the questions in your head asking things like, “Is this idea really any good?” or “Will it attract paying customers?”, or “How in the world do I go about recruiting the right talent who can successfully help me ship a product?”. Entrepreneur, engineer, author, and speaker, Poornima Vijayashanker, will teach you how to tackle these questions and beyond. Channeling her experience as the founding engineer of, and launching BizeeBee and Femgineer, Poornima has developed a proven step-by-step process for successfully shipping the idea or ideas you’ve been dreaming about. She has shared her expertise and insights with entrepreneurs of various backgrounds around the world, lectured at her Alma Mater, Duke University, and served as the Engineer-in Residence for 500 Startups, a top accelerator in Silicon Valley. From her book, How to Transform Your Ideas into Software Products, Poornima will teach you how to: Validate your idea before you spend time and money on it; Talk to prospective customers without feeling awkward or pushy; and hire talented people to build your product for you.

Afternoon Breakouts2:00 PM - 4:45 PM

  • Lean - From Campus to Startup2:00 -3:00 PM
    Frank Rimalovski, New York University, @rimalovski
    Room: Southside

    In this panel, participants from leading academic institutions and entrepreneurs with technologies that have been spun out will discuss how Lean Startup is being applied in a campus setting and beyond. You will learn how Lean Startup has restructured the innovation ecosystem at Georgia Tech, and how NYU has spread it throughout campus to foster cross-boundary collaboration. You will also learn about the genesis of The National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program and hear what it takes to transition from search to execution from one of I-Corps’ emerging success stories, Neon Labs.

  • Accelerate Beyond The Lean Startup2:00 - 3:00 PM
    Zach Nies, Techstars , @zachnies
    Room: C205

    You know that Lean Startup techniques have helped your company move forward, and you know your competitors are successfully using those same techniques. To stay ahead of the competition, you need to find new ways to accelerate your company. The key is to use Lean to balance exploration and operation within your company. In this experience report, Zach Nies and Rachel Weston Rowell will share techniques and stories from startups to large organizations that have accelerated their growth by applying Lean thinking to how they operate their company and how they explore through uncertainty.

  • Talking to Humans: Success Starts with Understanding your Customers3:30 - 4:30 PM
    Frank Rimalovski, New York University, @rimalovski
    Room: Southside

    While most entrepreneurs understand that “getting out of the building” is a core tenet of the Lean Startup, many still struggle to effectively conduct the kinds of interviews and experiments that will lead to the insights they seek (and need). In this hands on workshop, you’ll be guided through the process of securing, conducting and synthesizing early customer discovery interviews.

  • Mastering Customer Discovery3:30 - 4:00 PM
    Ariana Friedlander, Rosabella Consulting, LLC , @arianaf
    Room: C205

    Do you struggle connecting with your customers? Having a hard time getting valuable insights from your customers? Tired of running experiments that don’t give accurate pass/fail indicators? In this hands-on interactive session, Ariana will help you move past those limitations by sharing her unique co-creational approach. At the end, you will walk away with a well crafted line of inquiry so that you may conduct more effective experiments while building your community of supporters.

  • The Nitty Gritty of Setting Up Customer Discovery Meetings4:00 - 4:30 PM
    David Telleen-Lawton, UC Santa Barbara - Technology Management Program , @DTLinSB
    Room: C205

    This talk will focus on the down and dirty details of setting up meetings for Customer Discovery. The mindset you need, combined with specific tactics on how to will be discussed. Having set hundreds of B2B and B2C discovery meetings over the years, Telleen-Lawton has employed every stall tactic and excuse to delay reaching out and setting these meetings. He’ll show you how to avoid them and get on the fast track to a bull’s-eye product and a sustainable business model…or the realization that time would be better spent on a different idea.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Afternoon Breakouts2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

  • The Startup Storyteller: Using Stories to Learn2:00 - 2:30 PM
    James Warren, Share More Stories & Johnson, Inc., @warrenjwric
    Room: C260

    Share More Stories empowers brands and people to connect through shared stories. And as founder James Warren and his team developed the company’s vision, strategy and prototype, they began realizing that stories weren’t just core to their product – they were core to their innovation and learning process as well. The stories people shared during development and after launch revealed deep customer needs, helped the team improve its value proposition and led to the identification of new customer opportunities. In his talk, James will share how he and his team used these stories to learn as much as possible, in order to accelerate the development and growth of their platform.

  • Minimum Viable Marketing2:30 - 3:00 PM
    Ritika Puri, Storyhackers & Lean Startup Company , @ritika_puri
    Room: C260

    Enterprise marketers are under extreme pressure to achieve higher conversion rates, profits, and growth. But how do you take an initiative from zero to seven or eight figures? The answer is simple: iterative improvement. This talk will teach you how Lean Startup and product development concepts can improve the efficiency and ROI of your marketing. You’ll come away with an understanding of how to build large-scale, effective marketing programs by starting very small.

  • The Human Side of Lean Startup: Functional Team Culture2:00 - 2:30 PM
    Freyja Balmer, Scripps Networks Interactive , @bettyrocker
    Michael Greene, Scripps Networks Interactive , @greeneysays
    Room: C205

    Whether you’re bringing Lean methods into a large organization or your own small startup, human factors matter. Dysfunctional teams cling to vanity metrics, produce work that doesn’t matter to anyone outside the building, squash creativity, and severely limit their ability to innovate quickly. Life is too short to do dumb work slowly with a bunch of passive-aggressive jerks, so join Freyja Balmer and Michael Greene, whose amazing team have most recently grown into the second largest digital food property, for a fun and probing session. We’ll talk about: Guidelines that work for building engaged, effective people into a cohesive team; Kickstarting your team’s own very best and most functional culture; Techniques for addressing specific problems with team dynamics. This session is for anyone who is looking for real talk on what makes people do great work.

  • Internal Customer Development2:30 - 3:00 PM
    Andrea Hill, ReadyTalk , @afhill
    Room: C205

    The Good News: You don’t need to secure VC funding to pay your mortgage. The Bad News: You have to find project sponsorship and support from a much smaller pool (your own organization).  Andrea Hill, Product Strategist and Intrapreneur at ReadyTalk, explains how focusing on internal customer discovery and securing a product sponsor paved the way for the launch of UbiMeet, the company’s first internal startup product.

  • Using LinkedIn for Customer Discovery2:00 - 2:30 PM
    Brandy Nagel, Georgia Tech VentureLab , @benag
    Room: C210

    During this “laptop open” session you’ll learn tips and tricks for finding the right people to interview. We’ll talk about how to identify and approach people to set up customer discovery interviews, making the best use of LinkedIn’s free services. Find early-vangelists, influencers, users and buyers — using connections and groups to start conversations.

  • Customer Development Power-Ups2:30 - 3:00 PM
    Room: C210

    Knowing your customers is difficult, and finding them can be an expensive endeavor. Gaurav Agarwal has learned a few easy, low cost tricks to help startups build a quick understanding of customers and market. His techniques leverage existing web analytics tools that are available to all. Aimed to help startups get more with less, when working in a resource-constrained environment.

  • The Lean Hardware Toolbox3:30 - 4:30 PM
    Marcus Gosling, , @marceire
    Room: Southside

    In mass-production, you only have one chance to get the product right. The in-flexibility and expense of the physical product supply-chain prohibits an experimental, iterative approach. Inspired by lean startup, hardware entrepreneurs are developing new tools and methodologies for exploring and validating their product ideas prior to mass manufacture. 3D printing and off-the-shelf development kits are being used to support rapid product iteration and low-volume early adopter sales. Existing commercial products are being hacked by entrepreneurs to prototype and explore completely new experiences. Prototypes are becoming instrumented to collect data on engagement and usage patterns in the field. Illustrated with case studies from the hardware startup accelerator this talk will share a range of emergent patterns and best practices in lean hardware development.

  • Management Framework for Fast-Growing Early Stage Companies3:30 - 4:30 PM
    Alan Lobock, Spartacus Muse, LLC , @AlanLobock
    Room: C205

    As entrepreneurs, we’re seldom taught how to manage the companies we build. Learn those skills in this interactive session so you don’t build an organization that manages by crisis. Join Alan Lobock for this interactive session that will focus on scalable practices to establish and maintain accountability and sound managerial practices in a growing organization.

    Among the skills you will learn: Establish a learning organization that will surface issues quickly for swift resolution; Run a productive weekly meeting; Use core values and other tools to hire the right people for the right position in your organization; Establish specific, measurable, and attainable metrics with which to measure progress and identify challenges; Document processes to ensure uniformity of practices that will yield reliable outputs.