See More than 120 Speakers and Mentors at The Lean Startup Conference

Guest post by Lisa Regan, writer for The Lean Startup Conference


The Lean Startup Conference is next week–and now that we can step back and see all the speakers and mentors, we have to say: Wow. When you look through the list, you’ll see big names that we’re very pleased we landed, epic companies we really want to hear from, and people we’re particularly excited to present because they have incredible stories to share–and you won’t hear them anyplace else.
Here are a few speakers to look out for–though with more than 80 speakers and 40+ mentors, there are far too many standouts for us to mention individually here. Another way to learn more about who’s speaking is to sort the conference program by category and find people addressing specific topics.
Experienced entrepreneurs

We’ve got speakers who are justifiably respected by a lot of entrepreneurs. For example:


  • Mitch Kapor invented the spreadsheet and was a founder of Lotus. Now he’s a leader in social impact investing and equality in education. He’ll talk about making a profit and making a difference in a conversation with New Media Ventures’ Christie George.
  • Todd Park convened the team that saved Obamacare. As the emeritus Chief Technology Officer of the United States, he still connects government and Silicon Valley. He and some of his key team members will share advice for working in large (very large) organizations.
  • Ben Horowitz’s book The Hard Thing About Hard Things is driving the conversation around startup management this year. He’s a founder of Andreessen Horowitz, which has backed Facebook, Skype, Jawbone, and dozens of other companies whose products you use. Eric Ries will interview him.
  • Bob Sutton is a Stanford professor and the author of several best-selling books on standout management, including Scaling Up Excellence, an investigation of high-growth companies. He’ll talk with Eric Ries about how companies successfully scale.
  • Bill Gross founded Idealab in 1996, making it the longest-running technology incubator alive today. He’ll use his experience starting 100 companies to talk about what makes a successful MVP.
Companies of note

Learn from companies that have been through the fire–and have lessons to share.
  • Aditya Agarwal has lived through startup hypergrowth–twice. He was a very early employee of Facebook, and engineering director there through the moment it blew up. Now he’s VP of engineering at Dropbox, where he’s seeing similar growth. He’ll bring us real-world advice.


  • Melissa Bell co-founded Vox.com, which opened for business earlier this year and immediately became one of the most important site launches in a year of big launches. And the whole site was developed in just 9 weeks. Melissa will talk with Lean Startup Productions CEO and co-founder Sarah Milstein about how experimentation continues on the site even with millions of eyes on it every day.


  • Blair Beverly from Google’s AdSense group will describe a stealthy method for convincing colleagues to get on board with Lean Startup.


  • Jocelyn Goldfein was most recently Engineering Director at Facebook and will talk about how different types of software allow for different types of experimentation.
  • Bill Grundfest is not what you usually expect from a startup conference. A comedian who founded NYC’s Comedy Cellar–an enduring business–Bill has written for TV sitcoms and media companies. He’ll be running a hands-on session on how to make a compelling business video. We gave him a night session so he’d feel in his element.


  • Dan McKinley will show the math he used to test new ideas as an engineer during the early days at Etsy.


  • Hugh Molotsi, an accomplished innovator at Intuit, will talk about recognizing good ideas in big organizations.


  • Cory Nelson will talk with Eric about how GE has applied the MVP method to its development of very large diesel engines.
  • Max Ventilla took Aardvark from startup to Google acquisition, a case study Eric described in The Lean Startup. Now Max is reinventing education through AltSchool, which creates local microschools.


Unique lessons

We go to great lengths to find stories you won’t hear elsewhere, and then we train those speakers so that they can tell their stories with impact. Some of the best lessons you’ll learn this year will come from people you’ve likely never heard of before: Sheena Allen, Tiffany Bell, Kevin Ellsworth, Seppo Halava, Margo Wright and many, many more.
Many Lean Startup experts under one roof

The conference features core Lean Startup experts helping you learn the most important ideas. That includes:
  • Cindy Alvarez, author of Lean Customer Development, running a live customer-development problem-solving session
  • David Binetti leading a workshop on innovation accounting for product managers
  • Brant Cooper leading a workshop on introducing Lean Startup in your corporation
  • Alistair Croll leading a workshop on demystifying metrics
  • Laura Klein, author of UX for Lean Startups, running a session on validating assumptions
  • Janice Fraser leading a workshop on Lean Startup 101
  • Grace Ng, founder of Javelin, giving a talk on designing effective experiments
  • Leanne Pittsford leading a workshop on Lean Startup for social-sector organizations
  • Manuel Rosso of Scripps Networks Interactive giving a talk on creating a culture of experimentation
  • Hiten Shah, co-founder of KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg, talking about A/B testing


Great advice

Office Hours is your opportunity to sit down one-on-one with an expert and hash out the problems you’re facing. You can get direct advice from many of our speakers and from people like:
  • Farrah Bostic, founder of The Difference Engine and an expert in customer research
  • David Charron, serial entrepreneur and professor of entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business
  • Kevin Dewalt, a pioneer in bringing Lean Startup ideas to Asia
  • Ame Elliott, a senior team leader at IDEO, where she brings products from design to production
  • Sharethrough co-founder and CTO Rob Fan
  • Learie Hercules, technical lead for a number of successful Lean Startup implementations
  • Jini Kim, key member of the team that saved Healthcare.gov and a healthcare startup entrepreneur
  • UX designer for Toyota ITC Matt Kresse
  • Alicia Liu, engineer at mobile startup Lift.do
  • Erin McKean, founder of content personalization platform Reverb Technologies
  • Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media
  • Nicole Sanchez, founder of Vaya Consulting and a leader in improving hiring and diversity
A program highly relevant to you

We’ve tagged all the conference sessions by category, so you don’t have to guess which will be of interest to you. Here are just a few things you might look for:
  • Reducing risk in young companies
  • Bringing innovation to the enterprise
  • Designing and running experiments
  • Customer development strategies
All conference passes are on sale right now, and you can compare them here. The conference is just a week away, so look over the entire program on our site, and then register today!


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