Funding Workshop

Funding Workshop

July 9-10, 2019

Presented by
The Funding Workshop
The knowledge you need to close funding

The knowledge you need to close funding.

A carefully curated lineup of talks, interactive discussions and hard-won lessons on finding product-market fit, growing the organization, and creating the right processes and systems to scale your business. This 2 day event culminates in the opportunity to pitch to a room of VC’s eager to invest in the next great idea.

Space is limited to qualified applicants.

Funding workshop

This workshop is for startups who:

  • Have raised funding, but not closed a Series A
  • May be an accelerator graduate
  • Has a sustainable, repeatable business model hypothesis
  • Proven the product, but need to transition to mainstream market acceptance and growth

What we’ll cover:

Getting product design right

Getting product design right

How to maintain core values while getting culture ready for change

How to maintain core values while getting culture ready for change

Analytics and using data to grow better and faster

Analytics and using data to grow better and faster

Go-to-market strategies, positioning, and sales models

Go-to-market strategies, positioning, and sales models

“Once you’ve found the right product, for the right market, sold in the right way, you’re ready to step on the gas.”

Funding Workshop Agenda

Tuesday, July 9th

TIMETITLE AND DESCRIPTIONSPEAKER
8:00 AM – 9:00 AMBreakfast
9:00 AM – 9:10 AMOpening Remarks
9:10 AM – 9:55 AMNo Dumbing Down: Leading Your Organization for Growth
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Many successful startups experience a particularly disturbing problem: that is, you’ve made big promises to the marketplace, but things aren’t working the way you know they could. Producing what you should be producing is more difficult than you expected. You and your teams are working far too hard. What’s causing these bottlenecks? It all boils down to one word: execution. You’re not executing up to your capabilities. In this workshop, execution-and-growth expert Karen Walker will show you strategies – including how to avoid “teamwork-as-usual” – so you can handle the transition and pump up your ability to scale.
Karen Walker
9:55 AM – 11:25 AMStructuring your company and deciding how—and if!—you should take money
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In this hands-on, practical, and very prescriptive workshop session, multi-exited serial entrepreneur Randy Smerik looks at how to take your company from an initial startup to a scale-ready organization. In the no-nonsense style for which he’s become a Startupfest favorite, Randy tackles the hard questions about when and how to take institutional funding beyond the seed stage.

Randy’s the street-smart champion behind dozens of startup founders, as well as massive exits of his own including iPivot (Intel) and Tarari (LSI.) His years of real-world experience in management, growth, and strategic M&A make this an unmissable session packed with concrete advice for participants.

Key take-aways include:
– How do you know when you are ready to take the leap to a Series A Round?
– Are you sure you have the right co-founders?
– What’s the best way to structure the company?
– How important is a business plan?
– How—or even if—do you take money at this stage?
– How mature should your product development and deployment be?
– How soon do you need to have real paying customers?
– What are the top reasons why all of this may not matter, given that failure is such a likely outcome?

Join Randy in this session and the previous sentence is less likely to be true.
Randy Smerik
11:25 AM – 12:25 PMHiring and Compensation
Learn more

It all starts with the team.

Get it right and there is no obstacle a founder can’t overcome. When the team is healthy, people show up at work with a smile and work relentlessly for the collective good. Get it wrong and you’ll wonder why the office is empty by 4 PM.

When your company is at its earliest stage, you’ll hire people you already know. But with a little success, adding talent more quickly forces you to recruit total strangers. But how to do that well?

Brady Forrest, Partner of Enjoy The Work, a startup advisory firm out of San Francisco representing such companies as WeWork, Tipalti and inDinero, has developed a proprietary framework for startup hiring and will deliver a fast paced, practical guide that any founder can implement. It’s called the 12 Rules To Not Screw Up Startup Hiring.
Brady Forrest
12:25 PM – 1:25 PMLunch
1:25 PM – 2:55 PMPositioning for Growth – How to Make Complex Products Obviously Awesome
Learn more

We operate in markets that are insanely crowded, and struggle to reach customers that are completely overwhelmed with choices. Positioning has never been more important and yet most companies fail to strategically choose a market position for their products. In this talk, I am going to teach you how to recognize the common signs of weak positioning and what to do about it. I will walk you through a process for positioning around your strengths and how to strategically choose a market context that makes those strengths obvious to customers. Lastly I will show a series of examples of startup that unlocked rapid revenue growth through a strategic shift in positioning.
April Dunford
2:55 PM – 3:55 PMScaling Product Management
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Great products originate from the vision of the founders, who have deeply studied their audience and can easily intuit their needs. As you audience grows, however, companies must keep existing users happy while not falling off the innovation curve for new users and investors. This is the job of Product Management, but it can be hard to know how to start and grow the team. From this talk, you’ll learn:
– How to tell your product story to employees, customers, and investors
– How to start or or grow your Product function, assess needs and hire into them
– How to scale process without slowing down and crushing productivity
– And what you can do about these things today!
Drew Dillon
3:55 PM – 4:10 PMBreak
4:10 PM – 5:00 PMClosing Panel: Founding, Funding and Structure
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When you first built your startup, you made lots of mistakes. You didn’t know enough about cap tables, option plans, the value of investors, pricing, technical debt, and plenty more. And that’s fine; in the early stages of a new business, speed and adaptivity matters most. But now, on the cusp of closing serious institutional funding, it’s time to pay up.

Your organization is going to change. From organizational chart to board makeup, from metrics and bonuses to tracking objectives, predictability starts to overtake possibility. In this interactive panel discussion, veteran board- and startup-executives talk candidly about how to structure companies as they go into scale-stage growth.
Jana Eggers, Lorrie Norrington, Nanon de Gaspé Beaubien-Mattrick

Wednesday July 10th

TIMETITLE AND DESCRIPTIONSPEAKER
8:00 AM – 9:00 AMBreakfast
9:00 AM – 9:10 AMOpening Remarks
9:10 AM – 9:55 AMHow to Build and Maintain a Diverse & Inclusive Culture from the Start
Learn more

Creating an inclusive workplace culture can pay dividends in revenue and a company’s bottom line to innovate for the future. The easiest way for companies to build a D&I culture is to build it into day one. Start-ups who don’t make it a priority may ultimately have debt that becomes harder and harder to address.

Join this session to learn:
– How to scope and source a diverse culture of talent from the start
– Ways to rethink onboarding and retention strategies for early employees
– Culture ‘musts’ to prioritize to maintain a great place to work
Sarah Nahm
9:55 AM – 11:25 AMUnderstanding Customer Decision-making
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It’s been a decade since Eric Ries said “the biggest cause of startup failure is building a product no one wants” – but it’s still happening to startups every day. Why? We can observe potential customers, ask good questions, and experiment in good faith, and still not understand what tips customers into deciding to buy and use.

In this workshop, we’ll talk about the misunderstandings that occur:
– I’m really excited about this solution! (but the problem isn’t that important to me)
– I’m a big-name customer, I’ll be a great reference if you just build these few things (which no one else wants, and actually I don’t really need either)
– I like to think of myself as the person who’d buy/use that! (but my past behavior patterns say something different)

You’ll practice your responses and questions through a series of exercises with your other workshop attendees. By the end of this workshop, you’ll recognize biased thinking in yourself and your potential customers, and you’ll have a list of effective questions for cutting through the noise.
Cindy Alvarez
11:25 AM – 12:10 PMThe Startup Rollercoaster
Learn more

From the point of view of an entrepreneur, a startup accelerator founder and an investor, Ian has seen and been through a lot, and if there’s one thing he’s learned along the way, it’s that mental health trumps everything. Now in his 40’s with a wife and two kids, Ian is focused on his recently launched InsurTech startup. In this talk, he’ll be exploring how to manage the wild startup ride and how, above all, it’s crucial to focus on the health and wellness or yourself and your team.
Ian Jeffrey
12:10 PM – 1:30 PMLunch
1:30 PM – 2:20 PM Investor AMA: What do investors talk about when you leave the room?
2:20 PM – 5:00 PMVentureFest Pitch Series

2019 Speakers

April Dunford

Founder | Ambient Strategy

Drew Dillon

Drew Dillon

Freelance | Product Leader

Sarah Nahm

Sarah Nahm

CEO & Founder | Lever

Brady Forrest

General Partner, Enjoy The Work | Co-Founder, Ignite Talks

Randy Smerik

Founder/CEO | Osunatech, Inc.

Cindy Alvarez

Cindy Alvarez

Principal Product Manager | Microsoft

Ian Jeffrey

Ian Jeffrey

Co-Founder & CEO | Breathe Life

Karen-Walker

Karen Walker

Author | Strategist, Advisor

Jana Eggers

CEO | Nara Logics, Inc.

Lorrie Norrington

Operating Partner | LeadEdge Capital

Nanon de Gaspe Beaubien-Mattrick

Founder and President | Beehive Holdings

How to attend

  1. Space is limited to qualified applicants. Submit your application.
  2. You will receive an answer by early summer.
  3. If you are selected to attend, you will be send a code to register for your ticket. This ticket will include access to The Founding Workshop and Startupfest.
  4. If you already had a ticket, and you are selected, you will be transferred to the combo ticket type.

Criteria:

  • Have raised funding, but not closed a Series A
  • May be an accelerator graduate
  • Has a sustainable, repeatable business model hypothesis
  • Proven the product, but need to transition to mainstream market acceptance and growth