Announcing the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017 agenda

TechCrunch Disrupt is set to return to San Francisco and we couldn’t be more excited about the show. Along with hundreds of exhibiting startups, and a new workshop series called “Off the Record,” Disrupt SF 2017’s main stage will feature an incredible lineup of speakers, panels, roundtables and product launches.

General admission tickets are now available. We would love to see you at the show.

ICOs and cryptocurrency are rapidly changing venture capital and we are bringing some of the top minds and companies to the stage to talk about how it all affects startups. Naval Ravikant and Vitalik Buterin will chat about Ethereum’s quest to balance decentralization and usability the right way. This is in addition to a panel around token sales where participants will discuss how startups can fundraise through an ICO.

Throughout the Disrupt agenda are chats with key executives and investors who are attempting to solve societal problems as much as growing businesses. Apple’s Lisa Jackson has helped guide Apple’s mission by setting a goal for itself, promising to only use renewable materials in its products in order to protect the environment. Doing so also helps protect against human rights abuses, such as using children to mine cobalt. Bozoma Saint John, Uber’s new chief brand officer, joined the company in the midst of Uber’s scandals around sexual harassment, management issues and toxic culture and is sure to have key insights on the embattled company’s progress. YC President Sam Altman is no stranger to sticking out his neck for good, launching just last month The United Slate, a political initiative to tackle things like healthcare, lack of affordable housing in California and climate change.

We’re also thrilled to host a handful of key companies and investors from China at this year’s show. ZhenFund’s founder and executive director Bob Xu will sit down for a fireside chat at Disrupt SF and discuss angel investing in China. VIPKID’s Cindy Mi is participating in a fireside chat to talk about how she leads her company to dominate her respective market.

Artificial intelligence is seemingly affecting every part of a startup’s lifecycle and because of that, Disrupt SF will feature key executives and technologists to discuss the important topic. It’s seemingly always on the mind of Sebastian Thrun, so we’re excited to have him talk on the subject. Prior to founding online educational service Udacity, Sebastian Thrun headed up Google X, helping make artificial intelligence a foundation for the company’s moonshot products. Now he’s working on an app that uses AI to detect skin cancer. Andrew Ng has made a career out of AI and as the co-founder of Coursera and former head of Baidu’s AI Group he has a lot of thoughts on how AI will change nearly every industry. We’re also thrilled to have John Giannandrea, SVP of Engineering at Google, stop by for a chat about how artificial intelligence is shaping search within Google, which is something that affects nearly everyone.

These are just a few of the topics. Browse the agenda below. We hope you’re as excited about the lineup as we are. There’s NBA superstar Kevin Durant talking about investing in the Bay Area, noted investor Yuri Milner and a roundtable discussion led by former mayor of DC Adrian Fenty on how startups are tackling society’s toughest issues and creating systemic change.

In addition to these chats and panels on Disrupt SF’s main stage, the conference will feature numerous workshops where participants can learn about key topics. We literally want to surround Disrupt attendees with an opportunity to learn and engage with these massively important topics for founders and investors.

The Off the Record format is simple — the time and place for each will be listed in the show agenda so you know the who, when and where. A moderator will lead a conversation with a panel of notable founders and investors (and sometimes main-stage speakers) and all participants can join in with questions to keep the discussions going. Afterwards, everyone can network and mingle with like-minded attendees.

Here’s the List of Off the Record sessions:

  • Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
  • Augmented & Virtual Reality
  • Cryptocurrencies & Blockchain
  • Security & Privacy
  • Robotics, Drones & Mobility
  • Biotech & Health
  • China Cross Border

Ticket and exhibit packages are now available. General admission tickets are available at an early-bird discount rate until August 18th. Startups can also purchase exhibit packages that grant them two general admission tickets and a spot in Startup Alley. Teachers and educators can also apply to bring their whole class to the show, where youth will have an opportunity to tour Startup Alley with a member of TechCrunch’s editorial staff, listen to discussions taking place on the main stage and (where possible) have a one-on-one Q&A session with a speaker. Find more info about this Include program here.

Disrupt SF 2017 takes place September 18-20 at San Francisco’s Pier 48. We can’t wait to see you all there.


9:00 AM – 9:05 AM
Opening Remarks: Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch Editor-in-Chief

9:05 AM – 9:25 AM
Fireside Chat with Heather Adkins (Google)
How a founding member of Google’s security team sees today’s security landscape after having kept the company’s data out of the hands of hackers for 15 years.

9:25 AM – 9:45 AM
Fireside Chat with Herman Narula (Improbable)
One of the top minds behind VR and video games will sit down to discuss how 3D simulations will change the way we work and play.

9:45 AM – 10:10 AM
Understanding ICOs with Eyal Hertzog (Bancor Protocol), Dan Morehead (Pantera Capital), and Jun Hasegawa (OmiseGO)
A panel of cryptocurrency experts will discuss how token sales are changing the way startups are funded and how ICOs will affect venture capital.

10:10 AM – 10:20 AM
Founder’s Spotlight on Breast Milk as a Service
Medolac‘s mother-daughter duo, Adrianne Weir and Elena Taggart Medo, walk us through the economics of selling shelf-ready human breast milk.

10:20 AM – 10:55 AM

10:55 AM – 11:15 AM
In Conversation with Moxie Marlinspike (Open Whisper Systems)
The CEO behind Signal will talk about how encryption schemes have reinvented communication and business and explain how the biggest change is still to come.

11:15 AM – 11:35 AM
Fireside Chat with Yuri Milner (DST Global)
One of the world’s most noted investors and entrepreneurs will talk about investing across the globe.

11:35 AM – 12:05 PM
Ethereum’s Future with Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum Foundation) and Naval Ravikant (AngelList)
The founder of Ethereum will chat with noted investor and AngelList CEO and founder about Ethereum’s quest to balance decentralization and usability the right way.

12:05 PM – 1:00 PM

1:00 PM – 1:20 PM
In Conversation with Brian Krzanich (Intel)
Intel’s CEO will sit down to talk about his company’s position within the landscape of artificial intelligence, machine learning and autonomous driving.

1:20 PM – 1:40 PM
In Conversation with Ben Silbermann (Pinterest)
Pinterest’s co-founder and CEO will explain how Pinterest grew to be a $12 billion visual discovery company while carving out a niche among the Snaps and Facebooks of the world.

1:40 PM – 1:45 PM
How the Startup Battlefield works with Anthony Ha

1:45 PM – 2:35 PM

Startup Battlefield Competition – Session 1                
Judges: Rebecca Lynn (Canvas Ventures), Aparna Chennapragada (Google), Niko Bonatsos (General Catalyst), Shauntel Poulson (Reach Capital), Ravi Mhatre (Lightspeed Venture Partners)

2:35 PM – 2:55 PM
Fireside Chat with Steve Jurvetson (DFJ)
Legendary venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson has a penchant for anticipating the future, as proven by his early investments in SpaceX, Tesla and Planet. We’ll talk with him about what’s coming next.

2:55 PM – 3:25 PM

3:25 PM – 3:35 PM
Special Announcement
Jacob Mullins of Shasta Ventures joins us on stage for a special announcement. 

3:35 PM – 3:55 PM
Fireside Chat with Luke Woods (Facebook)
How is Facebook’s style evolving for the age of visual communication? Head of Design Luke Woods will discuss what makes apps cool, how interfaces will evolve for AR and voice, and balancing innovation with proven patterns.

3:55 PM – 4:15 PM
Fireside Chat with Bob Xu (ZhenFund)
The founder of ZhenFund and one of China’s most celebrated angel investors, Bob Xu will discuss his investment strategy and what he looks for when investing in China’s early-stage founders.

4:15 PM – 4:35 PM
Premiere of Bubbleproof
An all too real comedy about our surreal industry – followed by a discussion with David Cowan (Bessemer Venture Partners), Michael Fertik (Heroic Ventures), and Martin Sweeney (Borracho Pictures).

4:35 PM – 5:05 PM
Augmented Reality Present and Future
A discussion of the realities of AR at its turning point and its potential to be the next big platform with Cyan Banister (Founders Fund), Ross Finman and Diana Hu (Escher Reality), Phil Keslin (Niantic Inc.) and Nathan Kong (The CurioPets Company).

5:05 PM to 5:55 PM
Startup Battlefield Competition – Session 2
Judges: Anna Fang (ZhenFund), Patricia Nakache (Trinity Ventures), Shawn Carolan (Menlo Ventures), Charles Hudson (Precursor Ventures), Rob Coneybeer (Shasta Ventures), Jeff Clavier (SoftTech VC)

5:55 PM – 6:00 PM


9:00 AM – 9:05 AM
Opening Remarks: Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch Editor-in-Chief

9:05 AM – 9:25 AM
Rise of the Robochefs with Julia Collins (Zume Pizza) and Dave Zito (Miso Robotics)
The founders of Miso Robotics and Zume Pizza are set to chat about their companies’ plans to revolutionize food service through robotics.

9:25 AM – 9:45 AM
Fireside Chat with Jenny Lee (GGV Capital)
GGV Capital’s Managing Partner will talk China’s homegrown trends and which players and innovations matter right now.

9:45 AM – 10:05 AM
In Conversation with John Giannandrea (Google)
Google’s artificial intelligence chief will discuss the company’s vision for AI and what that means for the future of Google (and humanity).

10:05 AM – 10:25 AM
Fireside Chat with Sebastian Thrun (Udacity)
The legendary innovator and entrepreneur has plenty to talk about, including autonomous vehicles, AI’s impact on humanity and one of his latest ventures — an AI-based app that detects skin cancer.

10:25 AM – 10:35 AM
Founder’s Spotlight on a Startup Against Doped Driving
Hound Labs CEO Mike Lynn reveals the origin of its marijuana breathalyzer, and the unexpected opportunities in pot legalization.

10:35 AM – 10:55 AM

10:55 AM – 11:15 AM
In Conversation with Lisa Jackson (Apple)
Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives will provide a look at the values that drive Apple’s mission.

11:15 AM – 11:35 AM
Fireside Chat with Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman (Durant Company / Thirty Five Media)
The Golden State Warriors’ MVP and his agent and investment partner talk about what it means to be in control of your own brand — from investment, to management, to media.

11:35 AM – 11:55 AM
In Conversation with Alon Cohen and Adi Tatarko (Houzz)
Hear how the married co-founders built one of Silicon Valley’s hottest unicorns to help people aviod the nightmarish process of renovating a home.

11:55 AM – 12:15 PM
In Conversation with Anne Wojcicki (23andMe)
The founder and CEO of 23andMe will reveal how her company genotyped more than 2 million customers while making peace with the FDA and aiding genetics research across the globe.

12:15 PM – 1:35 PM

1:35 PM  – 1:40 PM
How the Startup Battlefield works with Anthony Ha

1:40 PM – 2:30 PM

Startup Battlefield Competition – Session 3                   
Judges: Lisa Lambert (The Westly Group), Tripp Jones (August Capital), Arvind Gupta (SOSV) Nancy Pfund (DBL Investors), Kira Radinsky (eBay)

2:30 PM – 2:35 PM
Special Announcement
Citizen CEO Andrew Frame is joined on stage by former Washington, D.C. mayor and company investor Adrian Fenty for a special announcement.

2:35 PM – 3:00 PM
Tech as a Force for Good with Tiffani Ashley Bell (The Human Utility), Andrew Frame (Citizen), Rosanne Haggerty (Community Solutions) and Adrian Fenty
The former mayor of Washington, D.C., Adrian Fenty, will lead a roundtable discussion on how the latest startups are tackling society’s toughest issues and creating systemic change.

3:00 PM – 3:20 PM
In Conversation with Maureen Fan (Baobab Studios)
The CEO of Baobab Studios will talk about the outlook for the virtual reality industry and what’s on the horizon for immersive entertainment.

3:20 PM – 3:40 PM
Fireside Chat with Sam Altman (Y Combinator)
The president of Y Combinator sits down to talk basic income, Silicon Valley’s culture wars and what California can do for the rest of the country.

3:40 PM – 4:00 PM

4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Startup Battlefield Competition – Session 4
Judges: Nina Kjellson (Canaan Partners), Anna Patterson (Gradient Ventures), Pejman Nozad (Pear Ventures), Pat Gallagher (CrunchFund), Jenny Lee (GGV Capital)

5:00 PM – 5:10 PM

5:10 PM – 6:00 PM
Startup Battlefield Competition – Session 5
Judges: Jenny Lefcourt (Freestyle Capital), Arlan Hamilton (Backstage Capital), Jon Sakoda (NEA), Sam O’Keefe (Google Cloud)

6:00 PM

8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
The Official Disrupt SF After Party
Location: The Chapel and expect trivia, games, and plenty of friends


9:00 AM – 9:05 AM
Opening Remarks: Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch Editor-in-Chief

9:05 AM – 9:25 AM
In Conversation with Cindy Mi (VIPKID)
The co-founder and CEO of VIPKID is taking the stage to share how the company became a major player in the English as a second language market by employing thousands of fluent speakers as teachers.

9:25 AM – 9:45 AM
Fireside Chat with Kirsten Green (Forerunner Ventures)
As a general partner at Forerunner Ventures, Green will lay out her views on making great bets and what it takes to build a new business from scratch. We’re also curious about where she put the VC of the Year Crunchie that she won earlier this year.

9:45 AM – 10:05 AM
In Conversation with Justin Kan (Atrium)
Atrium LTS founder Justin Kan will discuss how technology can be used to improve the legal industry and build a next-generation law firm.

10:05 AM – 10:15 AM
Founder Spotlight on The Neuroscience Of Recruiting
Pymetrics CEO Frida Polli explains how AI can use games to predict your career destiny.

10:15 AM – 10:35 AM
In Conversation with Balaji Srinivasan (
The co-founder and CEO will talk cryptocurrency, government regulation and building a business with bitcoin.

10:35 AM – 10:55 AM

10:55 AM – 11:15 AM
Fireside Chat with Alex Rodrigues (Embark)
What it takes to build the autonomous commercial transport of tomorrow.

11:15 AM – 11:35 AM

Combating Sexism and Harassment with Sarah Kunst (Proday), Kim Malone Scott (Candor), and Hilary Gosher (Insight Venture Partners)
Silicon Valley has turned into a hotbed for sexual harassment and scandal. Hear from three seasoned Silicon Valley leaders about their experiences in tech and what’s needed to foster a better workplace.

11:35 AM – 12:05 PM
Playing the Esports Industry with Craig Barry (Turner Sports), Heather Garozzo (Team Dignitas Ltd.) and Stratton Sclavos (Vision Venture Partners)
Esports are already a massive industry, yet there’s still areas of opportunity and these three experts from different corners of the industry will speak to how startups and players alike can join the fun.

12:05 PM – 12:15 PM
Special Presentation with Carl Vause (Soft Robotics)
Robots may be getting smarter, but Soft Robotics will demonstrate its low-tech grippers that may prove to be the real game-changer.

12:15 PM – 1:00 PM

1:00 PM – 1:20 PM
Fireside Chat with Andrew Ng (Coursera)
After co-founding Coursera and leading AI teams at Google and Baidu, Andrew Ng is starting a mysterious machine learning shop of his own.

1:20 PM – 1:40 PM
In Conversation with Bozoma Saint John (Uber
Uber’s newly hired chief brand officer plans to change the public perception of Uber in light of sexual harassment allegations, lawsuits and changes in executive leadership. But how?

1:40 PM – 1:55 PM
Startup Battlefield Alumni Update

1:55 PM – 2:00 PM
Passing of the Disrupt Cup

2:00 PM – 2:05 PM
How the Startup Battlefield Final Competition works with Anthony Ha

2:05 PM – 3:45 PM
Startup Battlefield Final Competition
Finals Judges: Theresia Gouw (Aspect Ventures), Kirsten Green (Forerunner Ventures), Matthew Panzarino (TechCrunch), Krishna Yeshwant (GV), Ann Miura-Ko (Floodgate), Aileen Lee (Cowboy Ventures)

3:45 PM – 4:10 PM

4:10 PM – 4:15 PM
Hackathon Highlights

4:15 PM – 4:35 PM
Fireside Chat with Matt Rogers (Nest Labs)
Nest’s co-founder and Chief Product Officer talks about how Nest is upending the energy, safety and security spaces and what industry his company is aiming for next.

4:35 PM – 4:55 PM
In Conversation with Laurene Powell Jobs (Emerson Collective) and Ron Conway (SV Angel)
Fueling innovation – how the tech community and students need each other to thrive and compete.

4:55 PM – 5:15 PM
In Conversation with Fritz Lanman (ClassPass)
The investor and new ClassPass CEO is currently in leadership positions at ClassPass, Verst and Doppler Labs, and has had to make a few tough calls along the way.

5:15 PM – 5:35 PM
Startup Battlefield Closing Awards Ceremony