Here’s what you’ll learn in April at TechCrunch Early Stage in San Francisco – TechCrunch


TechCrunch Early Stage is the ultimate learning tool for a founder just starting out. We tapped into experts on countless core startup competencies, from fundraising to operations to marketing, to outline step-by-step guides on how to set up and grow your business.

Wondering how to recruit talent in this landscape? We have a session for it. Difficulty finding a suitable product on the market? We’ve got you covered. Curious about the ideal process for raising a Serie A? We are one step ahead of you.

TechCrunch Early Stage marks our first in-person event since the start of the pandemic, and we’re absolutely thrilled to be back in the same room as our audience and speakers (with full precautions, of course).

The format is unique to most TC events, in that our speakers give presentations on their topics (all attendees will receive transcripts and visuals of those sessions) and then spend most of their time Q&A in front of the audience. We’ll also be hosting roundtables focused on fundraising, activities, and more where founders can chat with each other to solve some of the biggest challenges startup startups face today.

It will be an incredible event and we are more than excited to share the agenda with you:

How to get your first yes

Jess Lee (Sequoia)

  • Once the first domino falls, the rest inevitably follow. But when it comes to early fundraising, it’s not as simple as a tap of the finger. Jess Lee of Sequoia will tell you how to get that first investor on board, which more often than not will get other investors excited about the prospect of working with you.

Evolving from Scientist to Founder (Sponsored by Mayfield)
Janice Chen (Mammoth Biosciences), Ursheet Parikh (Mayfield) and Diego Rey (Endpoint Health)

  • How do you go from PhD to startup founder and beyond? In this session, Mammoth Biosciences Co-Founder & CTO Janice Chen and Endpoint Health Co-Founder & CSO Diego Rey join Mayfield’s Ursheet Parikh to share lessons from their own growth journeys from scientist to founder. Learn how to go from couch to bed using scientific breakthroughs to save lives, how startups can forge productive partnerships with industrial giants, and more.

Finding Product Market Fit
Terri Burns (GV)

  • Validating your idea, through customers’ love for your product, is arguably one of the most emotionally and intellectually taxing aspects of being a fledgling founder. Terri Burns of GV, former operator (Twitter and Venmo) turned VC, will lay the groundwork for finding a suitable product market, including processes, feedback loops and adaptability.

How To Get Earned Media
Elliot Tomaeno (ASTRSK)

  • When handled properly, press can be an invaluable weapon. ASTRSK founder Elliot Tomaeno has spent his life telling the stories of startups to the press. He will explain how journalists think about news, how to get their attention and how to take ownership of the relationship in the long run.

Nailing your series A
Peter Boyce II (Stellation Capital)

  • The fundraising landscape is frothy. Startups are making big impact on their Serie A raise for the first time in a long time. Hear from Peter Boyce II, founder of Stellation Capital (former partner at General Catalyst) on how to get the best terms, with the best investors for your startup, and ultimately the best long-term success, during your Series A fundraising.

Playbook for Startup Brand Building
Hadley Wilkins (Atomic)

  • Building your brand in the early stages of building a business is critical, but often overlooked and misunderstood. A brand is more than a logo and a website; it is the story that reflects your values ​​and vision, guides every point of contact and every communication and sparks connection and emotion. Brands are participative, so you create your own brand story at launch, but others define it as you grow. Learn the building blocks for developing a compelling brand story that captures hearts and minds while supporting the growth of your business.

Break down deck
Lotti Siniscalco (emerging capital)

  • An enticing pitch is essential for a startup’s chance of successful fundraising. Combine that with a well-constructed pitch deck and you’re on your way to the races. In this interactive session, Emergence Capital’s Lotti Siniscalco looks through real startup pitch decks submitted by the public to share what’s singing, what’s not and why.

Scales from $1 to $10 MM from ARR
Mary D’Onofrio (Bessemer Venture Partners)

  • When it comes to building and scaling a cloud business, leaders at all stages are wondering what “typical” and “best-in-class” look like — and while they’re some of the most useful financial data points in the world, financial benchmarks on the market remain some of the most elusive. To bridge this gap, join Bessemer partner Mary D’Onofrio as she shares definitive benchmarking metrics and qualitative insights for companies looking to scale to new heights, focusing on growing $1 to $10 million in ARR

Wedge to TAM
Viviana Faga and Aydin Senkut (Felicis Ventures)

  • Investors like unrealistic goals based on pragmatic strategies. Aydin Senkut and Viviana Faga of Felicis Ventures will explain how to think about your early clients, how to expand that pool and how to balance the possible plan with the impossible dream.

How to get into the Y Combinator
Dalton Caldwell (Y-combiner)

  • Y Combinator is the most prestigious accelerator out there, with more successful alumni joining YC than we’re willing to count. As for startup launch pads, it’s relatively unmatched. Hear from YC Partner and Head of Admissions Dalton Caldwell on how to increase your chances of being accepted to YC and how to optimize your time there to make your business successful.

Growth marketing for startups

Brian Rothenberg (

  • It takes money to make money, but smart growth marketing spending can make a world of difference not only to your bottom line, but to your long-term viability. Hear from Brian Rothenberg of, who led marketing and growth for TaskRabbit and EventBrite, on how to get the most out of your marketing dollars.

How to hire top talent in today’s hyper-competitive market?
Glen Evans (Greylock)

  • After a record year for startups coupled with the Great Resignation, almost every startup is facing a talent shortage. Hear from Greylock’s Glen Evans (former Slack, Facebook and Google) on how to optimize the hiring and hiring process, how to find and develop talent, and best practices for closing candidates.

Growing from Founder to CEO (Sponsored by Mayfield)
Navin Chaddha (Mayfield) and Dheeraj Pandey (DevRev)

  • In this session, Dheeraj Pandey, co-founder and former CEO of Nutanix and co-founder and CEO of DevRev, joins Mayfield MD Navin Chaddha to share his lessons of building Nutanix into a $1 billion publicly traded company in revenue, as well as launching DevRev during the pandemic. Learn how to build distributed teams from day one, the roadmap for igniting the community and leveraging product-driven growth, and more.

Laying the foundation for sustainable businesses (Sponsored by Mayfield)
Rajeev Batra (Mayfield) and Manny Medina (Outreach)

  • When it comes to building a business, some things can’t be retrofitted – they have to be set up from day one. Join this session with Outreach co-founder and CEO Manny Medina and Mayfield’s Rajeev Batra as they share insights from Outreach’s inception to its iconic journey, including lessons learned about building an empathetic performance culture, embedding DEI into your DNA , the playbook for great category design and more.

How to scale with usage-based pricing
Kyle Poyar (OpenView)

  • As more SaaS startups move to usage-based pricing, the old playbook becomes less and less useful. OpenView’s Kyle Poyar can tell you how to grow your business without the same benchmarks, milestones and strategies as the SaaS companies that have come before.

TC Early Stage takes place on April 14th and we are excited to bring all this great content to you live and in person! Buy your tickets now before we are sold out and the prices are going up!

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