Time is marching on — sometimes at an alarming rate — and we’re quickly approaching TechCrunch’s annual huge conference in San Francisco.
TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017 is less than a month away at Pier 48 in San Francisco. This year’s lineup includes a stellar group of speakers, including Pinterest’s Ben Silbermann, Golden State Warriors superstar forward (and also investor) Kevin Durant, Forerunner Venture’s Kirsten Green and Udacity co-founder Sebastian Thrun.
We’ll be tackling a lot of huge topics at Disrupt this year — a lot of which have exploded in just the past year or so. From the future of ICOs to AI bleeding into every piece of technology you touch, TechCrunch Disrupt SF features some of the best minds in the industry that spend their days neck-deep in the future of technology. We’ll also have the always-awesome Startup Battlefield, where some of the best new companies compete. Early-bird general admission tickets are still available for one of the best shows of the year.
Here’s a glimpse at some of the speakers that will be joining us:
Morphing a digital collage into a wildly successful home for inspiration
- Ben Silbermann, CEO of Pinterest: Pinterest has gone from a simple collage app to one of the go-to apps for planning for the future. Silbermann went from an advertising product specialist at Google to founding one of the most fascinating new products that can drive a different kind of user behavior than you would find anywhere else on the Web, and it’s now worth more than $12 billion. That’s caught the eye of advertisers as a product that could offer some kind of unique customer base that has a totally different behavior than those on Facebook and Google. And it’s for good reason — people come to Pinterest to become inspired, to dig deep into topics (like cars or weddings) and then finally figure out what they want to do. And they go to Pinterest to get inspiration from things they might not have even realized they would find interesting.
Mapping out the human genome
- Anne Wojcicki, CEO of 23andMe: With the hope of making the human genome searchable — just like the internet — Wojcicki and her team founded 23andMe in 2006. Her story is not only one of innovation and science, but also navigating the complex regulatory ecosystem. The company hit a major snag when the FDA blocked the company’s ability to basically do what it set out to do. Then four years later, 23andMe finally got the green light to once again start giving patients information about their genomes and the kinds of diseases for which they are at risk. It’s the tale of a lot of work over a long period of time for the startup that’s raised hundreds of millions of dollars.
Turning jaw-dropping home design photos into a massive business
- Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen, co-founders of Houzz: If you haven’t already opened Houzz, you’re in for quite the ride. While Houzz could just be a guilty pleasure for many, with its curated photos of interior (and very lavish) home designs, it’s also a massive business. Whenever you ask about Houzz, people in the valley would say they were quietly building their business — until the company announced its astounding $400 million financing round at a $4 billion valuation. Tatarko and Cohen have one of the quietest success stories in the Valley, and we’ll get to know a little more from the married co-founders.
A look at online education beyond the U.S.
- Cindy Mi, VIPKID: You probably know about Udemy, Coursera and plenty of other online education courses. You might not have heard of Cindy Mi, whose longtime focus on teaching English has morphed into a $100 million startup. VIPKID connects Chinese students with English speakers to help them pick up the language — especially as they look to work in an increasingly global economic environment. That platform has ballooned into one that has more than half a million students, all while navigating the complex market for online education abroad.
Be sure to stay tuned for more information about speakers, sessions and various entertaining and educational programs at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017. See you in September!