TechCrunch Early Stage returns to Boston on April 25, 2024, and the agenda for our flagship founder event is almost complete. We’re excited to share this not-so-sneaky sneak peek at some of the fantastic speakers and sessions we have on tap. For builders who are just starting on their founder journey, TechCrunch Early Stage is absolutely the place to be. We’re enlisting a huge cohort of leading investors and entrepreneurs to dig deep into founder-focused topics such as:
- How to use startup accelerators.
- How to raise first capital.
- How to find product-market fit.
- How to craft a killer pitch deck.
Early Stage is unlike any other TechCrunch event. Instead of panels and fireside chats, speakers present on their assigned topics and then answer your questions. As always, all attendees get transcripts and visual assets from the presentations, so you can take what you learn with you!
And if you’re the chatty type, you’ll enjoy the roundtable discussions and lots of time to mingle with other founders, builders and investors. You have loads of early-stage questions, and we’ll have the answers for you. More roundtables will be announced closer to the show!
So come down and hang with us on April 25 in Boston for my favorite TechCrunch event, and grab your early-bird pass to save major dollars. See you there!
TechCrunch Early Stage 2024 Agenda Preview
How to Find Product-Market Fit When You Need it Most
With Jess Lee, partner, Sequoia Capital
Everyone in startup land wants one thing: product-market fit. Jess Lee, partner at Sequoia, has experience building and scaling some of the most popular products in the world at Google and as a successful co-founder and CEO. She also has years of experience investing in companies like yours that are searching for that ideal fit.
How to Raise Money and Come Out Alive
With Tom Blomfield, group partner, Y Combinator
There’s an art to raising your first round — especially if you want to do it right and not look back years later and regret terms, conditions or side letters. In this session, Tom will lay out how investors think, the common gotchas that might come back to haunt you later, and how you can put your company in the strongest possible position to raise. After all, who wants to enter the 2024 fundraising hunger games with outdated information?
How to Intelligently Calculate your TAM and Wow Investors
With Tobi Coker, deal partner, Felicis, and Nabiha Saklayen, co-founder & CEO, Cellino Biotech
How big is your market? Every founder pitching investors and early employees has faced the question. How to properly answer it is anything but simple. There are different ways to measure total addressable market (TAM), a topic that TechCrunch has written about ad nauseum, and with good reason. Without a big market, no startup has a shot at becoming big. And a TAM number that is too big to be believed can make a founder appear ungrounded. Coming up with the largest, reasonable figure is the challenge. If you are a founder building out a pitch deck, or just working on a napkin to sort out whether or not an idea is worth your time, this is the session for you. Tobi Coker from Felicis and Nabiha Saklayen from Cellino will be on hand to describe how they approach TAM from both the investor and founder perspective, and answer your questions.
How to Build an MVP and Navigate the Startup-Industrial Complex
With James Currier, general partner, NFX
The perfect minimum viable product (MVP) is a dance between building just enough to convince potential customers and users that you have created something that they want and need to use, and no more. The siren-song of adding more features, more polish and spending more time is ever-present. NFX’s James Currier will provide his insight on the MVP question, and what he describes as the “startup-industrial complex.” For founders still hard at work on their startup’s first product launch, this is a must-attend session.
The VC Pitch Blueprint: Strategies for Success
With Sara Choi, partner, Wing Venture Capital
Uncover the secrets of successful VC pitching with Sara Choi, partner and biotech investor at Wing Venture Capital. Drawing from her background as a founder turned investor, Sara will reveal the most common misconceptions when pitching a VC, key elements investors want to see in your pitch deck, preparation strategies, ideal presenters and more. This session will arm you with the tools needed to captivate investors, refine your pitch approach and ultimately secure funding.
Building the Investor Relationships You Need — Before You Need Them and in the Right Way
With Lily Lyman, general partner, Underscore VC
Are you looking to raise funding for your startup? Building strong relationships with the right pre-qualified investors is crucial for your success. This session will provide you with a crash course on how to strategically manage inbound interest, effectively nurture these relationships and share just enough to showcase your momentum while leaving investors hungry to hear more.
Racing the Clock to $1M in ARR: Best Practices for Learning Fast from Launch Partners
With Rudina Seseri, co-founder and managing partner, Glasswing Ventures
After securing your seed round, the race is on to prove product-market fit and scale ARR (annual recurring revenue). With the clock ticking, limited seed dollars, a challenging macroeconomic environment and raising the bar to secure your next round, founder margin for error is slim and execution is critical. This session delves into best practices for rapidly iterating on the lessons learned from your launch partners (e.g. your early customers). Learn how to ask the right questions, get actionable answers, respond efficiently and avoid spinning your wheels at this critical juncture in your company’s growth.
Selecting the Right Accelerator or Incubator
With Emily Knight, president, The Engine Accelerator
Incubators and accelerators often provide support structures for early-stage startups. For founders transitioning from academia, specific programs are often tailored to their unique needs, as these founders often seek assistance in defining the potential commercial viability of their research. Academia-sourced founders face unique challenges departing from institutions of higher education and national labs. Selecting the right startup program can help ensure that young companies seamlessly navigate known hurdles post-formation. Here’s what you need to know today.
So You Think You Can Pitch?
Founders selected to take part in this session will have five minutes to wow a panel of judges including leading VCs, who will then provide feedback. Check the event page soon for how to apply!
Early-Stage Fundraising: Convertible Notes, SAFE and Series Seed Financing
With Rebecca Lee Whiting, founder and fractional general counsel, Epigram Legal
Learn from an early-stage fractional general counsel about different funding mechanisms for early-stage companies, including convertible notes, simple agreements for future equity (SAFE) and series seed financing rounds. This session will cover the pros and cons of these alternatives, demystify standard terms, note potential pitfalls to avoid and suggest key points to consider when negotiating.
TechCrunch Early Stage 2024 takes place in Boston on April 25. Join other new and emerging founders, bring your questions, get answers directly from industry experts, and learn the next steps you need to build your startup. Buy your pass today and save with early-bird pricing.
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