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

TechCrunch Early Stage is the ultimate educational resource for a founder who is just getting started. We’ve tapped experts across myriad startup core competencies, from fundraising to operations to marketing, to outline step-by-step guides on how you can set up and grow your business.

Wondering how to recruit talent in this landscape? We’ve got a session for it. Struggling to find product market fit? We’ve got you covered. Curious about the ideal process for raising a Series A? We’re one step ahead of you.

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

The format is unique to most TC Events, in that our speakers are giving presentations around their topics (all attendees will get transcripts and visual assets from those sessions) and then dedicating the majority of their time to audience Q&A. We’ll also have roundtables focused on fundraising, operations and more where founders can chat amongst themselves to resolve some of the biggest challenges facing early-stage startups today.

It’s going to be an incredible event, and we’re 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. Sequoia’s Jess Lee will talk you through how to get that first investor on board, which will more often than not 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 learnings from their own scientist-to-founder growth journeys. Learn how to go from bench to bedside and leverage scientific breakthroughs to save lives, how startups can ink productive partnerships with industry behemoths, and more.

Finding Product Market Fit
Terri Burns (GV)

  • Validating your idea, through customer love for your product, may be one of the most emotionally and intellectually taxing parts of being an early-stage founder. GV’s Terri Burns, former operator (Twitter and Venmo) turned VC, will lay out the fundamentals of finding product market fit, including processes, feedback loops, and adaptability.

How to Get Earned Media
Elliot Tomaeno (ASTRSK)

  • When wielded properly, press can be an invaluable weapon. ASTRSK founder Elliot Tomaeno has spent his life telling startups’ stories to the press. He’ll break down how journos think about news, how to get their attention and how to own the relationship in the long term.

Nailing Your Series A
Peter Boyce II (Stellation Capital)

  • The fundraising landscape is frothy. Startups, for the first time in a long time, have plenty of leverage going into their Series A raise. 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 fundraise.

Playbook for Startup Brand Building
Hadley Wilkins (Atomic)

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

Pitch Deck Teardown
Lotti Siniscalco (Emergence Capital)

  • An enticing pitch is foundational to a startup’s chance of successful fundraising. Pair that with a well-constructed pitch deck and you’re off to the races. In this interactive session, Emergence Capital’s Lotti Siniscalco will look through real startup pitch decks submitted by the audience to share what sings, what doesn’t and why.

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

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

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

  • Investors love unrealistic goals based on pragmatic strategies. Felicis Ventures’ Aydin Senkut and Viviana Faga will explain how to think about your early customers, the path to expanding that pool and how to balance the possible plan with the impossible dream.

How to Get into Y Combinator
Dalton Caldwell (Y Combinator)

  • Y Combinator is the most prestigious accelerator out there, with more successful alumni who started out at YC than we care to count. As far as startup launchpads go, it’s relatively unmatched. Hear from YC partner and head of Admissions Dalton Caldwell on how to increase your chances of getting accepted to YC and how to optimize your time there to set your company up for success.

Growth Marketing for Startups

Brian Rothenberg (

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

How to Hire Top Talent in Today’s Hyper Competitive Market
Glen Evans (Greylock)

  • Coming off of a record year for startups combined with the Great Resignation, nearly every startup is facing a shortage of talent. Hear from Greylock’s Glen Evans (former Slack, Facebook and Google) on how to optimize the recruiting and hiring process, how to find and develop talent and the 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 learnings from building Nutanix into a public company with over a billion dollars in revenue, as well as launching DevRev during the pandemic. Learn how to build distributed teams from day one, the playbook for igniting community and leveraging product-led growth, and more.

Setting the Foundation for Built-to-Last Companies (Sponsored by Mayfield)
Rajeev Batra (Mayfield) and Manny Medina (Outreach)

  • When it comes to company building, some things can’t be retrofitted — they have to be set in place 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 iconic journey, including lessons learned on 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 toward usage-based pricing, the old playbook becomes less and less useful. OpenView’s Kyle Poyar can talk through how to grow your business without all the same benchmarks, milestones and strategies as the SaaS companies who’ve come before.

TC Early Stage is happening on April 14 and we’re excited to bring all of this great content to you live and in-person! Grab your tickets now before we sell out and prices increase!