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Startup Blueprint: TC Disrupt 2024 Builders Stage agenda sneak peek!

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TechCrunch Disrupt Builders Stage

TechCrunch Disrupt, our flagship startup event held annually in San Francisco, is back on October 28-30 — and you can expect a bustling crowd of thousands of startup enthusiasts.

Exciting news! We’re thrilled to unveil the near-complete agenda for the Builders Stage, the culmination of months of hard work. This is just one of six stages featured at this year’s event, with many more announcements on the horizon.

P.S. The sale of early-bird tickets ends May 31. Book your pass today to save up to $800!

About the Builders Stage

The Builders Stage serves as a hub for dozens of panels and interviews dedicated to the essential elements of building and financing tech startups. This year, we’re doubling down on our commitment to providing top-tier programming featuring innovation across all stages of a startup’s journey. Expect deep dives into operations, talent acquisition, fundraising, and other crucial topics tailored for the new wave of startup pioneers. Plus, don’t miss sessions such as “How to Find, and Keep, Product-Market Fit,” “What You Need to Raise a Series A Today,” and “When to Cash Out, When to Keep Fighting.”

First look at the Builders Stage agenda

How the Chainsmokers Bring Value Beyond Their Celebrity Status

While a lot of celebrities invest in startups, the Chainsmokers are different. Instead of angel investing, Drew Taggart and Alex Pall launched a formal fund, Mantis Venture Capital; invest out of a formal closed-end fund; and back companies in industries their celebrity prowess can’t always help in, like security startups and analytics platforms. In this session, Taggart and Pall will be joined by Dan Lorenc, the founder of Chainguard, to talk about how they are an asset to their B2B startups.

  • Alex Pall, General Partner, Mantis VC
  • Drew Taggart, General Partner, Mantis VC
  • Dan Lorenc, Co-founder and CEO, Chainguard

How to Find, and Keep, Product-Market Fit

Every startup knows that they need to find product-market fit. But once they do find true resonance between what they are offering and what there is demand for, how should a startup ensure that they do not lose the product-market fit they have gained? Finding PMF is one thing; maintaining it is another.

  • Spenser Skates, Co-founder and CEO, Amplitude
  • Tamar Yehoshua, President of Product and Technology, Glean

How to Build a Company While Protecting Your Mental Health

Everyone knows that it is stressful to build a company. And it’s just as commonly known that endless chronic work can lead to burnout. So, why don’t we talk more about founder mental health? Now that our culture is more comfortable discussing mental health in general, it’s time we brought the topic to Disrupt for a thorough interrogation.

  • Andy Dunn, Co-founder, Bonobos; CEO, Pie

What You Need to Raise a Series A Today

If you aren’t building the next foundation model AI company, raising a Series A today is likely harder than it has been in some time. So, to help founders building at the seed stage prepare for their first lettered round, we have investors explain what they — and their firms — are looking for in their next Series A deals.

  • Renata Quintini, Co-founder and Managing Director, Renegade Partners
  • Elizabeth Yin, General Partner, Hustle Fund

When to Cash Out, When to Keep Fighting

Startup founders are often presented with the chance to sell their companies before they reach full maturity. In today’s world with IPOs often delayed past historical norms, it may be tempting for founders to look for a parent company for their startups. But when does it make sense to sell, and when should a founder keep blazing their own path?

  • Naveen Rao, VP Generative AI, Databricks

How Startups Can Save the World

Startup work and venture capital investing are usually judged through the lens of their financial results. The bigger a startup gets, the more it’s worth. But some upstart tech companies are also working on making the world better, while making money. So we want to know how far the “doing good” can go while not giving up on the critical “making money” side of building tech companies.

  • Rebecca Hu, Co-founder, Glacier
  • Allison Wolff, CEO, Vibrant Planet

Don’t Be a Lemming: The Anti-hype Panel

What’s the difference between true opportunity and hype? Answering that question correctly is the difference between success and failure in the tech industry. And it’s a far more difficult question than it might appear. When everyone is convinced a specific tech is the future, founders — and even VCs — tend to pursue that tech en mass. But as anyone who’s been through a Valley boom-and-bust cycle knows, collective excitement — hype — isn’t the best indicator.

  • Matt Rogers, Co-founder, Nest; Co-founder and CEO, Mill
  • Natalie Sportelli, Director, Bullish
  • Hoolie Tejwani, Director, Corporate Development and Ventures, Coinbase Ventures

The Next Multi-Billion Tech Companies

You might think that when former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, former Twitter COO Adam Bain and former Facebook chief revenue officer David Fischer joined forces for a venture capital firm, they would be focused on a next-generation internet. Or fixing social media. But you’d be wrong. They are seeking companies ready for a Series B round and helping them hyper-scale, without taking board seats.

  • Adam Bain, Co-founder and Managing Partner, 01 Advisors
  • Dick Costolo, Managing Partner & Co-Founder, 01 Advisors
  • David Fischer, 01 Advisors

Family Offices Want Startup Exposure, but What Are They Looking For?

Family offices have gotten increasingly active in investing in startups both directly and through their VC investors. But what are they looking for? While no two family offices are the same, this session will dig into family office investing trends and where they have been spending time in the startup ecosystem. We’ll also dive into what kind of risk these investors are looking to take on and what makes a startup a good fit for this category of backer.

Can Startups Reignite American Manufacturing?

Not every startup is building mere software. A great number today are also building hardware, raising the question of where their gear will get designed and built. Some are choosing to invest in domestic manufacturing capability, often under the rubric of “American Dynamism.” This panel will dig into how far — and how fast — the reindustrialization of the United States may occur, and how we’ll pull it off.

  • Rebecca Gevalt, Managing Partner, Dcode Capital
  • Topher Haddad, Co-founder and CEO, Albedo
  • Kai Kloepfer, Founder & CEO, Biofire

Free but Not Cheap, the Open Source Dilemma

Open source software is everywhere, and in everything. Many startups are pursuing explicitly open source business models. But every company out there that builds software has at least some dependency on open source code. Recent security issues, however, have made it plain that open source software is a target for state-level hackers. So, how can we keep building and using code that is built communally, but without the risk of backdoors and other security holes?

  • Aeva Black, Open Source Security Lead, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
  • Luis VIlla, Co-founder and General Counsel, Tidelift

How to Hire in 2025

Gone are the days when recruiters seemed more plentiful than leaves in the wind; employees in nearly every startup function are therefore facing a more conservative labor market. How can founders capitalize on their increased labor buying power, while also treating their staff with respect and retaining key talent? Founders, take note, this one is for you.

  • Heather Doshay, Partner, People & Talent, SignalFire
  • Lauren Illovsky, Talent Partner, Capital G
  • Roger Lee, CEO, Comprehensive.io

How to Raise in 2025 if You’ve Taken a Flat, Down, or Extension Round

Old ideas like you need $100 million worth of trailing revenue to go public, and $1 million worth of annual recurring revenue to raise a Series A are so old that they are practically perched atop Abe Lincoln’s head. In today’s market, what a startup needs to raise depends on its sector, founder profile, and, yes, momentum. So what do you need to raise that Series A?

  • Nikhil Basu Trivedi, Co-founder and General Partner, Footwork
  • Dayna Grayson, Co-founder and General Partner, Construct Capital
  • Elliott Robinson, Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners

Interested in partnership opportunities with TechCrunch? Reach out to the partnership team here.

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