Nikki Zeichner

Innovation Specialist, 18F.


Nikki Zeichner is a member of the strategy team at 18F through which she’s currently helping the cloud.gov team redesign the experience that it offers to early stage customers. Nikki holds degrees in philosophy, law and digital media and worked as a practicing attorney before transitioning to civic tech.

Janice Fraser

Director of Innovation, Pivotal.


Janice is one of America’s leading experts on Lean Startup. She has advised many successful companies including Lyft and Sharethrough and provided innovation trainings for public organizations including the White House and the governments of Ireland and Korea. She is Director of Innovation at Pivotal, where she helps Fortune 100 companies transform to embrace Lean and Agile methodologies. Before joining Pivotal, Janice was the founder and CEO of Luxr, among the first Lean Startup firms, as well as Adaptive Path, the world’s first User Experience firm.

Michelle Lee

Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, United States Patent and Trademark Office.


As the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Michelle K. Lee provides leadership and oversight to one of the largest intellectual property offices in the world, with over 12,000 employees and an annual budget of over $3 billion.  Ms. Lee also serves as the principal advisor to the President, through the Secretary of Commerce, on domestic and international intellectual property policy matters. Ms. Lee is the first woman to serve as Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the country’s history.

Prior to public service, Ms. Lee has spent most of her professional career advising some of the country’s most innovative companies on technical, legal, and business matters. She was Deputy General Counsel for Google and the company’s first Head of Patents and Patent Strategy. She joined the company when it was relatively young, and was responsible for formulating and implementing its patent strategy for all of its products and services worldwide. She also served as a partner at the Silicon Valley-based law firm of Fenwick & West LLP, where she advised a wide range of high-technology clients from startups to Fortune 100 companies intellectual property, licensing, litigation and corporate matters. Before her career as a legal advisor to technology companies, Ms. Lee worked as a computer scientist at the M.I.T. Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratories.

Ms. Lee worked in the federal judiciary as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for Judge Paul R. Michel and District Court for the Northern California for Judge Vaughn R. Walker. She holds a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from M.I.T., as well as a J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Ms. Lee has been recognized by numerous organizations for her work including by Politico Magazine as one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Visionaries in American Public Policy” in 2015, by Washingtonian Magazine as a “Tech Titan” in 2015, and by the San Francisco Business Times and San Jose Business Journal as the Best Bay Area IP Lawyer in 2012 and one of the top 100 most influential women in the Silicon Valley in 2013.

Jesse Taggert

Strategist, 18F / Technology Transformation Services / GSA.


Jesse Taggert is a design and product strategist at 18F. She helps government agencies understand and scope their needs, devise solutions in complex environments, and empower teams to pursue these solutions in an iterative, creative and ultimately, successful, ways.

Jesse is experienced in product strategy, user research, user experience design, creative direction, content strategy and stakeholder/client relations. Before 18F, she led a design team at Pivotal Labs, and led design at a number of startups. Before that she was an experience designer for major art, science and history museums. Jesse earned her master’s degree in graphic design from the Rhode Island School of Design. She lives in San Francisco.

Pratima Arora

VP, Product Management, Salesforce.


Pratima is a product junkie and a geek at heart. She is a VP of Product management at Salesforce for the flagship Sales cloud product. She has worked on various projects including mobile, the new user experience called Lighting and most recently the AI/Machine learning platform at Salesforce called Einstein.

Prior to Salesforce, she worked at SAP and Intuit.

She has a Masters in computer science and MBA from Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. When not at work, she loves being outdoors and spending time with her two young kids.

David Colby

Sr. Director, Strategy & Growth, Salesforce.

David Colby is the Sr. Director of Strategy & Growth, Product Data Science at Salesforce.

David is responsible for transforming product ideation, development, and customer engagement to an evidence-driven culture where intelligence becomes an intrinsic part of the product development process.

David leads a team of growth analysts and collaborates within the broader Product Data Science team of data engineers, data scientists, and visualization engineers.

Prior to Salesforce, David held leadership roles in growth, product management, and consulting at Qualcomm, Booz Allen, and a startup (PersonaLogic) that was acquired by AOL.

Shawna Wolverton

Senior Vice President, Product Management, Salesforce.


Shawna is an experienced product management executive focused on leading great teams that deliver market changing products that customers love.

Dan Costa

SVP Content / Editor In Chief, Ziff Davis / PCMag.com.


Dan Costa is the Editor-in-Chief of PCMag.com and the Senior Vice President of Content for Ziff-Davis. He oversees the editorial operations for PCMag.com, Geek.com, ExtremeTech.com as well as PCMag’s network of blogs, including AppScout and SecurityWatch. Dan makes frequent appearances on local, national, and international news programs, including CNN, MSNBC, FOX, ABC, and NBC where he shares his perspective on a variety of technology trends.

Hillary Hartley

Deputy Executive Director, 18F | GSA.


Hillary Hartley is co-founder and deputy executive director at 18F, a digital services consultancy inside the General Services Administration. Hillary is building the community, communications, and creative sides of 18F, focusing on keeping its messaging, brand, and culture aligned. She came to the federal government as a Presidential Innovation Fellow in 2013, where she worked on the development of MyUSA.gov. Hillary has been working to make government more accessible and available online for nearly two decades, starting as a web designer for Arkansas.gov in 1997. As Director of Integrated Marketing for eGovernment provider NIC, she helped their 30-plus state government partners embrace new technology and concepts for a 21st century government. She speaks at events across the country, educating and evangelizing digital services and transformative best practices for government.

Her latest co-creation is Yes and Yes Yes (YxYY) – a summertime “geek retreat” in Palm Springs. This annual event brings more than 400 thinkers, futurists, nerds, and creatives together for the ultimate experiment in planned serendipity. Hillary lives in Marin County, California, with her wife and two adorably ornery sons.

Dikran Ornekian

Screenwriter, .


A full time screenwriter for eight years running, Dikran (with partner Rylend Grant) has been fortunate enough to work with some of the top directors, producers and stars in Hollywood. Their script, THE GHOST AND THE WOLF appeared on the Black List, an annual ranking of Hollywood’s best screenplays as voted by studio executives and producers. Total Film Magazine called that screenplay one of the 50 greatest unproduced scripts in Hollywood.

Dikran has also published a number of short stories. THIEF COACH was published by Mulholland Books and generated considerable interest in Hollywood. Film rights ultimately sold to Justin Lin (Fast & Furious movies, Stark Trek 3). His next story, SMUGGLERS, is being developed for TV with director/producer Matt Shakman (FARGO, GAME OF THRONES). His latest story, BOTANY BAY, is being developed for F. Gary Gray (STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON).

Dikran holds a B.A. in Film and History from the University of Michigan and an M.F.A. from the Peter Stark Producing Program at University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.

CeCe Cheng

Director of Strategic Partnerships, Andela.


CeCe Cheng is Director of Strategic Partnerships at Andela, the premier technical leadership program on the African continent that provides companies around the world with access to the top 1% of tech talent. Before joining Andela, CeCe was a venture capitalist at First Round Capital where she built and ran the first venture fund focused on supporting student entrepreneurs, Dorm Room Fund. CeCe launched and managed Dorm Room Fund investments teams across 15 universities and 4 cities, advising investment decisions and portfolio company CEOs.

Prior to First Round, she was the first business hire at rich media startup Qwiki which was acquired by Yahoo! in 2013. In addition to venture and technology startups, CeCe has a background in public relations and public policy. CeCe was listed in Forbes 30 Under 30 for Venture Capital and serves as an advisor to Harvard Ventures and the Daily News Innovation Lab. Her work has been highlighted in Forbes, Fox News, Fast Company, TechCrunch and New York Times.

CeCe received her B.A. from Princeton University where she studied Politics and French. She was born in Shanghai and lives in San Francisco.

Ethan Geyer

User Experience Design Lead, IBM.


Ethan Geyer is a Lead User Experience Designer and Design Thinker at IBM, where he balances design at scale, cognitive computing, and the complexities of global enterprise software all while sweating the small stuff and advocating for the user. He is currently the Web and Interaction lead for an upcoming IBM Watson product. He believes in the foundational power of relationships to affect outcomes in fast moving product teams and relishes the opportunity to tackle cultural transformation at the organizational level. In a past life he worked with at-risk youth and young adults in the desert wilds of Utah — starting fires by rubbing sticks together and sleeping under the stars. Outside of work, he loves to explore wild places with his wife, one year old daughter and their hound dog.

Roger Dickey

CEO & Founder, Gigster.


Roger Dickey is founder and CEO of Gigster, an on-demand software development platform. Previously he founded a Facebook app startup, launching 19 apps with the largest generating 300M+ pageviews per month. After an acquisition by Zynga, Roger went on to found Mafia Wars (100M users), FishVille (35M users), and 5 other titles in his 3 years there. Roger served as an international product team advisor for Zynga helping the company grow their games in India, Japan and China. Alongside his work at Zynga, Roger began advising & investing in bay-area startups in 2010. His investments include Docker, Addepar, iCracked, OpenGov, ClassDojo, and Wanelo. Advisory roles include Formation 8, Nest, OpenDoor, and The Thiel Fellowship.

Rylend Grant

Screenwriter/Author/Comic Creator, .


Rylend spent a few wild years as a professional poker player before settling into a more stable, but much slimier career as an author/screenwriter. He’s worked for a solid decade in Hollywood, developing film and television projects with Ridley Scott, Luc Besson, Penelope Cruz, and Academy Award Winning Director Fernando Trueba, among others.

Rylend’s scripts have twice appeared on the Black List, an annual ranking of Hollywood’s best screenplays as voted by top studio and film executives. In 2009, Total Film called his script The Ghost and the Wolf one of the top 50 unproduced scripts in Hollywood.

Rylend has published a number of short stories, many of which are currently being developed for film/TV. The film rights to his story THIEF COACH were sold to Justin Lin (FAST & FURIOUS movies, STAR TREK III). He recently finished writing the filmic adaptation for Lin to direct. His story, BOTANY BAY, was just set up with F. Gary Gray attached to direct in the wake of his STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON success. And his story SMUGGLERS is being developed for television by director/producer Matt SHAKMAN (FARGO, GAME OF THRONES).

Rylend holds a B.A. in Film and Art History from the University of Michigan and an M.F.A. from the American Film Institute Conservatory. He also happens to be a Soto Zen priest in the lineage of Gudo Nishijima and Brad Warner.

Thuy Vu

Host/Anchor, KQED/Nasdaq.


Thuy is a five-time Emmy award winning journalist, anchor and program host who’s covered a wide range of topics from presidential debates to Silicon Valley’s tech industry…and just about everything else in between. She currently hosts “KQED Newsroom,” where she moderates panel discussions on current events and interviews newsmakers. The program airs on KQED television and radio, and is available online at www.kqed.org.

In addition, Thuy hosts “Scale the Wall” – a series of interviews with founders and CEO’s of prominent startups and private companies. They talk openly about why they started their business, the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. Sponsored by Nasdaq, the series is part of the Business Rockstars daily program devoted to entrepreneurship. It airs nationally in 40 million television households on BizTV, 150 radio markets and is available on the CBS Play.It podcast platform.

Prior to KQED and Nasdaq/Business Rockstars, Thuy was the host of LinkAsia, which combined news from Asia’s top television networks and conversations on Asia’s social media into a unique look at one of the most fast-paced regions of the globe. LinkAsia aired on Link TV, PBS World Stations and KCET in Los Angeles.

Perhaps one of her favorite gigs, though, was her stint as co-host of CBS5’s Eye on the Bay, the only nightly magazine program celebrating life in the San Francisco Bay Area—from its diverse personalities and businesses to the wonderful destinations and restaurants. She got to sample food and hang out with fun, interesting people all day long. What’s not to love?

Thuy has long been a familiar face and voice to Bay Area residents. She was a news anchor and reporter for various Bay Area stations, including ABC7, CBS5, KTVU, KQED-FM and National Public Radio. In 2011, Thuy’s special series on the devastating legacy of Agent Orange sprayed during the Vietnam War won nine regional and national awards, including National Headliner, Society of Professional Journalists and a prestigious Edward R. Murrow award.

Thuy immigrated from Vietnam in 1975, fleeing the country with her family as Saigon fell to the communists. She lived in two refugee camps before resettling with her family in Duluth, Minnesota. She currently lives in Silicon Valley.

Steli Efti

CEO, Close.io.


Steli Efti is the co-founder and CEO of Close.io. He’s Silicon Valley’s most prominent sales hustler, a YC alumni, advisor to several startups and entrepreneurs and the author of “The Ultimate Startup Guide To Outbound Sales”.

Phil Dillard

Faculty, Lean Startup Co..


Phil Dillard is a member of the Lean Startup Co. training faculty. He has experience as an entrepreneur, executive and educator with expertise in finance and strategy. A Philadelphia native, now living in San Francisco, Phil completed his BS in General Science, U.S. Naval Academy. After spending nearly 7 years on active duty with the US Navy, he completed MBA in Finance and Strategy at the Chicago Booth Business School. After several years as a corporate strategy consultant, manufacturing executive, and corporate strategy/innovation consultant, Phil embarked on his entrepreneurial career. He leveraged his experience from multiple industries to launch a small wind CleanTech company, serve as an advisor to a BioPlastics company and lead as CFO of a marketing automation company. Currently, as an independent consultant and trainer with Lean Startup Co., Phil helps early stage and growth companies develop and implement strategies and processes that build a foundation for profitable growth. He is also an adjunct MBA professor of Negotiations and Entrepreneurship at Golden Gate University, adjunct professor of Finance at Palo Alto University, and a board member at CiviCorps in Oakland California.

Rich Pearson

SVP of Marketing & Categories, Upwork.


Rich is senior vice president of Upwork, the world’s largest online marketplace for connecting businesses with skilled talent. He leads the marketing and categories teams at Upwork, where 20% are freelancers and the entire team is distributed across the globe. Prior to joining Upwork, he led marketing and business development at Posterous through its acquisition by Twitter, and previously held senior marketing positions at Yahoo!, Attributor, Homestead, Segasoft, and Del Monte Foods. Learn more about Rich’s point of view on Chief Marketer and CMO.com.

Rich holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business and a BS in Marketing and Finance from UC Berkeley.

Madhav Thattai

Vice President & Chief of Staff, Rigetti Quantum Computing.


Mr. Thattai is Vice President and Chief of Staff at Rigetti Computing. He is an experienced technology industry executive with over 10 years’ expertise in starting, growing, and leading global organizations. His focus is on lean process, sustainable scaling, and organizational development. Mr. Thattai worked at Dell, Inc. from 2006-2014 in a broad set of roles in operations, strategy, product management, and services. He holds an MS in Management from Stanford University (2015), an MS in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan (2005), and a BE in Mechanical Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, India (2004).

Bob Sutton

Professor, Stanford University.


Robert I. Sutton is professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University, where he is co-founder of the Center for Work Technology and Organizations, Stanford Technology Ventures Program, and Institute of Design (“the d.school”). Sutton was named as one of 10 “B-School All-Stars” by BusinessWeek, which they described as “professors who are influencing contemporary business thinking far beyond academia.” Sutton studies innovation, leadership, the links between knowledge and organizational action, workplace civility, and scaling excellence. He has published over 100 articles and chapters on these topics in peer-reviewed journals and the popular press. His books include The Knowing-Doing Gap (with Jeffrey Pfeffer), Weird Ideas that Work, and two New York Times bestsellers, The No Asshole Rule and Good Boss, Bad Boss. His latest book is the Wall Street Journal bestseller Scaling-Up Excellence: Getting to More without Settling for Less (with Huggy Rao). Sutton is a Fellow at IDEO and is co-founder and director of three Stanford executive education programs: Leadership for Strategic Execution, Customer-Focused Innovation, and a new online program called the Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate. He blogs at Work Matters and as a LinkedIn Influencer. You can follow Sutton @work_matters on Twitter.

Jay Parkinson

Founder & CEO, Sherpaa.


Jay Parkinson is the founder and CEO of Sherpaa. Dr. Parkinson completed residencies in pediatrics and preventive medicine at Johns Hopkins University. He has given talks on the new frontiers that technology creates for health and medical care at over 50 conferences including TED, Google’s Zeitgeist, the Clinton Global Initiative, The Aspen Institute, and Pop!Tech.

Suneel Gupta

Co-Founder & CEO, Rise.


Suneel is the Co-Founder and CEO of Rise, a mobile health company backed by Google Ventures and Greylock and named “Best New App” by Apple before being acquired by One Medical a few months ago. After the acquisition, Suneel began teaching Entrepreneurship at Harvard Medical School.

Prior to founding Rise, Suneel served as Groupon’s first Vice President of Product, and helped the company grow from baby startup to an IPO.

Suneel started his career as a speechwriter, beginning in President Clinton’s West Wing.

Michael Hagler

Partner, Clevertech.


Michael Hagler is an entrepreneur, angel investor and one of the two managing partners at Clevertech. Based in New York City, Michael partners with serial entrepreneurs, sophisticated investors, founding teams and C-level executives to help create new businesses and product innovation. As an investor, operator and founder, Michael has worked in the SaaS, logistics, agency, pharmaceutical, FinTech and market-economy industries, and past projects have been featured on TechCrunch, by Apple, in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, FastCompany, Inc5000 and on Bloomberg TV. Michael currently serves as a board member, advisor or active angel investor to a number of funded startups and growth businesses in London, New York City, Florida, Israel, Dubai and San Francisco.

David Binetti

Senior Faculty, Lean Startup Co..


David Binetti is a senior faculty member for Lean Startup Co. training program and is a six-time entrepreneur, having served on the founding team of companies ranging from consumer (QFN, later Intuit’s Quicken.com), to industrial (Arch Rock, acquired by Cisco Systems), to government (USA.gov named USA Today’s Site of the Year in 2000), to political (Votizen, acquired by Brigade) — with three stints as Founder/CEO.

David has been part of the Lean Startup movement for ten years and has a particular specialty on the practice of Innovation Accounting. He received his Bachelors with Highest Honors and University Distinction from UC Berkeley, and his MBA from UCLA where he received the Deloitte Consulting Award for Top Thesis in the Graduating Class.

David resides in San Carlos with his wife and two daughters, and when not enjoying time with them can be found coding, singing, or both.

Oseas Ramirez Assad

Senior Manager, Business Development and Innovation Enablement, Cisco Systems.


Oseas is a serial entrepreneur and intrapreneur. He has a diverse background spanning technology, humanities, business and entrepreneurship. He has worked as a CIO, CTO, a licensed family counselor, public speaker on topics of human development and technology. As an entrepreneur, he founded one of Mexico’s leading elearning providers (we-know.net), a solar energy company, and a digital marketing agency (wawa.mx). He currently mentors startups CxOs.

In the corporate side, he was responsible for the development of Cisco’s top 2% talent, led a Lean Startup based internal innovation initiative and is now responsible for overseeing the creation and supervising the execution of the co-innovation process for Cisco’s Innovation Centers.

David Nihill

Founder, FunnyBizz.


David is the Founder of FunnyBizz, a community, writer platform, and conference series, where business meets humor to abolish boring content. His learning, taken from one year’s intensive experiments in comedy, performed on someone from the business community with a huge initial fear of public speaking (i.e. him!) have been featured in Inc., Lifehacker, The Huffington Post, Forbes, and became the best selling book Do You Talk Funny?. A graduate of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in Ireland, he wears a tie but only to bungee jump, and calls San Francisco home when immigration officials permit.

Stuart Eccles

CTO & Co-Founder, Made by Many.

Stuart is the Co-Founder of Made by Many, a digital product innovation company. With a degree in Engineering and has 16 years of experience in making complex software systems he is always searching for the promised land of the perfect team and perfect process. This obsession has led to perfecting the intersection of design and engineering. He is also an Englishman in New York, you can hear it in his accent when he talks.

Kirk Serjeantson

Chief Information Officer, Dicom Transpiration Group.

Kirk Serjeantson has focused his career on innovation and technology for over nineteen years. With extensive experience in transportation, retail and healthcare, his solutions have helped driver corporate profitability for major Canadian organizations including Purolator, CAA and We Care Health Services. Kirk has filed eight patents over the past eight years and has been nominated for an international innovation award. He holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Rotman School of Management and a Masters of Strategic Foresight and Innovation from OCAD University. Currently Kirk is the Chief Information Officer for the Dicom Transpiration Group.

Charu Manchanda Nair

Principal, MGI.


Ms. Nair helps companies with their global strategy initiatives & cultural intelligence & held many corporate positions in the field.

Ms. Nair helped launch the first laptop portable in India, working with an Australian partner.
Soon after Ms. Nair helped launch the WTC Portland, as well led a trade mission to Asia.

She has provided key expertise in strategy to many companies including IBM & Tektronix & leadership training in diversity at a major university. Ms. Nair continued on to teach her critically curated curricula in the MBA & Humanities departments of universities for close to a decade.

Ms. Nair followed her liberal arts degree with two graduate business degrees in two continents.

Ms. Nair has actively given back to the community with her work on many boards in the field of human & civil rights as well as in education.

Ms. Nair’s work is informed by her overseas work-life experiences as well as her wide-ranging worldwide travels.

Active in sports, she participated in discus at the nations level in India. Currently she’s working on authoring books on her experiences.

Robert Lee

Research Fellow, Stanford.


Robert H Lee is a research fellow in Law, Science & Technology at Stanford University, a Silicon Valley technology lawyer and entrepreneur, and an instructor with Performance Freediving. He has spoken at Google, Twitter, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and other venues on the topics on surf survival, stress management, and performance optimization. Robert has worked with some of the most accomplished executives and founders in Silicon Valley, authored a paper in the Journal of Applied Physiology, and has spoken at the Bulletproof Biohacking Conference (from which you can find a podcast on his work).

Robert has also served as CEO of Fly Online, an e-commerce portal that was acquired by Travelzoo, and has his JD/MBA from UC Berkeley and his BS in biochemistry from Yale University. While not working, he spends his time outdoors on or near the ocean and his time indoors learning the latest machine learning and artificial intelligence tools.

You can contact Robert at fl0wstate.com/robert/ (that’s fl0w with a zero).

David Cunningham

CEO, Lean Startup Summit EMEA.


Dave Cunningham is an Angel Investor, the CEO The Lean Startup Summit EMEA and a founding director of Galway City Innovation District in his hometown of Galway, Ireland. After the successful Lean Startup Summit in London, Dave is currently focused on the development of the new payments platform PrivityPay and the expansion of the Lean Startup activities in Europe.

Jonathan Bertfield

Senior Faculty, Lean Startup Co..


Jonathan is a senior faculty member for Lean Startup Co. training program and founding partner at Spinnaker, a consulting group focused on building organizational capacity to deploy Lean Startup inspired product development and product investment governance, at scale. He is a Senior faculty member at Lean Startup Co. working with a variety of clients including agencies at the Department of Defense. Jonathan is also an instructor with General Assembly’s Enterprise group delivering Lean and Agile training and coaching to clients ranging from global insurance giants to the world’s largest hotel chain.

Jonathan has 20 years of leadership and consulting roles in product organizations at large enterprises and startups including Scholastic, Pearson, The Associated Press, News Corp, Business Insider, Peroozal, Readio and Sesame Workshop. He is also working with the American Press Institute to develop a lean startup focused innovation framework for regional and local news organizations.

Hugh Molotsi

Senior Faculty, Lean Startup Co..


Hugh Molotsi is a Senior Faculty member for Lean Startup Co. training program and is the founder and CEO of Ujama, a neighborhood ride sharing service for families. Hugh also advises and invests in startups and is an active practitioner and teacher of Lean Startup Methodologies. In 2015, Hugh concluded a 22-year career at Intuit where his last position was Engineering Fellow and Vice President of Innovation. During his Intuit tenure, Hugh worked on QuickBooks and several other small business offerings. Hugh has been a serial innovator and helped launch several new businesses at Intuit including Intuit Payments. Hugh is passionate about grassroots innovation and “giving voice to good ideas” wherever those ideas may come from.

Outside work, Hugh is committed to helping underserved youth. He serves on the board of All Star Code, a prep program connecting young men of color to the tech industry. He is also the past president of the Board of Directors of Fresh Lifelines for Youth, a nonprofit agency that runs programs for at-risk youth.

Hugh holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Santa Clara University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering Technology from the University of Southern Mississippi. Hugh is married to Michelle and is the proud father of two daughters.

Marilyn Gorman

Senior Faculty, Lean Startup Co..


Marilyn Gorman is a highly experienced learning professional, facilitator and executive coach, who is able to leverage a unique perspective on the intersection between organizational culture and design, and entrepreneurial skills like Lean Startup.

While the Learning Leader for GE’s FastWorks transformation, she worked with Eric Ries, David Kidder and senior GE leaders to articulate and support the organizational need for behavioral change. As a Fastworks coach, she helped to change key legacy programs including Performance Development and her influence continues as FastWorks is applied in the design and development of Leadership and HR programs and processes.

Wendy Gonzalez

SVP & Managing Director, Samasource.


Wendy has over 20 years of experience in business and sales consulting at companies such as Ernst & Young, and Capgemini. She has also held leadership positions at Level 3 Communications and GCI. Prior to Samasource, Wendy was Vice President of Product and Professional Services at Cycle30, an internet of things software startup.

Wendy holds a B.A. from the University of Washington in Accounting and Information Systems, as well a CPA certification. She was awarded Women of M2M in 2013.

Zoe Romano

Writer & Ultra Runner , .


A resident of Portland, Maine, Zoe Romano is a world-class ultra-runner and adventure philanthropist. She is the only person to have run the entire Tour de France course, at thirty miles a day (2013), and the first female to run unsupported across the US (2011). Together with supporters, Romano has raised over $200K for youth charities and is an international keynote speaker, fitness professional, and a coach. She is a three-time TEDx speaker and her work has been featured on the Today Show, NPR, CNN and in Runner’s World. A former resident of Richmond, Virginia, Romano has been named to Richmond’s “Top 40 Under 40” list and received the “Distinguished Recent Graduate” award at her alma mater, University of Richmond. She is currently a Rotary Global Scholar and working towards an MFA degree in creative writing.

Steve Ma

Senior Partner, Accelerate Change.


Steve Ma is the Senior Partner at Accelerate Change where he works with non-profits to dramatically increase their member engagement, political power, and earned revenue. Steve also serves on the Board of Directors for the Sierra Club, the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. In May 2015, the Stanford Social Innovation Review included Steve’s feature article on how the social sector can improve its impact by employing proven strategies for innovation and rapid experimentation. Steve was also the Executive Producer of Fly By Light, an award-winning documentary which highlights the magic that happens when young people are given the love, support, and skills needed to transform themselves and their communities.

Previously, Steve founded and directed a successful social enterprise called Live Green, helped to pass some of the nation’s toughest consumer protection laws with AARP, and co-coordinated a national petition drive that generated 1,200,000 signatures in defense of the country’s most important environmental laws. In 2001, Steve literally walked 1,523 miles in an effort to reduce big money’s influence in the political process. AsianWeek named Steve their Asian-American of the Year in recognition of his walk and his efforts sparked the passage of a “clean” elections law.

Meena Palaniappan

Founder & CEO, Atma Connect.


Meena Palaniappan is the Founder and CEO of Atma Connect, an award-winning nonprofit headquartered in California. Since 2014, Meena has led Atma Connect to becoming a globally-recognized technology nonprofit focused on helping the urban poor to connect, neighbor-to-neighbor, by sharing information and solutions, taking collective action, and building community resilience. An environmental engineer and technologist, Meena has been implementing technology projects for nearly two decades, including ICT for development projects in Africa and Asia. In 2015, Atma launched AtmaGo, a neighborhood-level mobile app in Indonesia for users to share real-timeinformation and solutions to better prepare for disasters, to improve their access to basic needs, and to address chronic vulnerabilities. Atma is a winner of the 2015 Tech for Good’s Award and the global 2016 IDEO Amplify Urban Resilience Challenge. Ms. Palaniappan worked for many decades on international water and sanitation issues, has a B.S. in Environmental Engineering, and an M.S. in Energy and Resources.

Philippe Boulanger

CTO, Neopost.


Philippe Boulanger is the CTO of Neopost, a French based group with a worldwide footprint.

Philippe is also the founder and head of Neopost Labs, the innovation arm of Neopost. One of the core missions of Neopost Labs is to promote the Lean Startup principles and the experimentation culture across the group. Philippe shields this sanctuary of velocity from the usual corporate processes.

Prior to Neopost, Philippe performed in multiple technical and business assignments for Sony, Apple, Sagem. He has started his career as an entrepreneur, evolving from an independent software developer to founding a VC backed firm.

Philippe mentors few selected startups in his free time. His ambidextrous knowledge of startup and international corporate environments has proven to be a key asset.

Philippe holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis (France).

Alex Goryachev

Senior Director, Innovation Strategy & Programs, Cisco.


Alex Goryachev is an entrepreneurial go-getter. He takes risks, thinks ahead, and loves making way for new innovations. Over the past 20 years, he’s made it his business to turn disruptive concepts into emerging business models.

For him, it’s all about a passion to create a strategy and then drive it home to “get things done.” And as Cisco’s senior director of Innovation Strategy and Programs, he has plenty of opportunities to put this passion to the test.

He sparks internal innovation by providing employees at all levels the chance to share their big ideas, many of which make their way into the company’s innovation engine. Alex also carries the torch for co-innovation across Cisco’s ecosystem.

He’s especially excited about Cisco’s Innovation Centers, which can be found in major cities around the world. Led by Alex, these hubs bring together customers, partners, startups, accelerators, governments, research communities, and universities in a lab setting. Their goal is to discover, develop, and implement game-changing, outcome-based solutions.

He also heads up the Cisco Innovation Grand Challenges. These polished events help creative thinkers bring their technology ideas to life. And then there’s the Cisco Technology Radar, the company’s engine for identifying emerging technology transitions.

Alex began his Cisco journey in 2004 with a singular focus: Innovation. He defined and operationalized several high-profile Cisco initiatives, including the company’s Country Transformation plan for Cisco in emerging markets. He also held senior roles in Development, Marketing, Finance, and Channels, providing him a 360 view of how a great company ticks.

Prior to Cisco, Alex was a successful consultant with extended assignments at Napster, Liquid Audio, IBM Global Services, and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.

Stephen Liguori

Founder & CEO, Liguori Innovation.


Steve is the Founder and CEO of Liguori Innovation. The firm specializes in helping organizations rapidly create sources of growth for new products, services and business models. As GE’s Executive Director – Global Innovation through 2014, Steve was instrumental in major efforts to re-invigorate GE’s organic growth, including launching their Internet-of-Things or “Industrial Internet” digital transformation and deploying Lean Startup principles across GE through their “FastWorks” initiative.

Steve is an expert at applying startup related techniques that stress leadership, speed and improved customer outcomes in complex organizations. His signature expertise focuses on the area of “Disruptive Innovation – Doing it and Leading it! He is sought out for applying innovation leadership to large firms and startups alike.

Steve acts as an “Innovation Accelerator” says Beth Comstock, Vice Chairwoman of General Electric, “If you are looking for leadership and action to accelerate innovation in your firm, Steve is your ‘go to’ expert.”

Steve is currently an adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School and immediate past Chairman of the Business Marketing Association, the world’s largest organization of business-to-business professionals. He brings a background of thought leadership in diverse categories such as the Internet-of-Everything, consumer goods, heavy industry, financial services, and healthcare.

Steve’s distinctions include being named a Marketer of the Year, Harvard Business Review author, Chairman’s Award winner at both Citigroup and GE and launching the Super Bowl Halftime show with none other than Michael Jackson.

Tom Nguyen

Principal, Adobe.


Tom Nguyen is a Principal at Adobe, overseeing product management for next generation creative tools. He is pioneering approaches to empathetic design, storytelling, and product innovation to empower more people to create what they imagine. He co-founded Adobe Spark, an award-winning family of visual storytelling tools used by millions, and designed and launched Adobe Voice, a creativity app that Apple named one of the Best Apps of the Year.

Previously, Tom oversaw the growth of video and gaming products at Adobe used by over 1.3 billion people. At Reuters, he launched the first user generated news service at a global news agency, and he was selected as a Primetime Emmy Award finalist for his work in interactive media.

Recently Tom led design thinking education and created a self-directed learning curriculum for an after-school digital literacy program empowering students across 20 orphanages while working in Vietnam. He also serves on the board of Inforum at the Commonwealth Club, the largest and longest-running public forum in the United States.

Tom holds a BS from Stanford Engineering, MA from the Stanford Graduate School of Education, and MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He gets excited about laser cutting things, adventure photography, and colorful interlocking Danish bricks. You can find him biking the flat parts of San Francisco, at tomnguyen.com, or Twitter at @tomng.

Kelvin Kwong

Director of Product Management, Head of Behavior Change, Jawbone.


Kelvin leads Jawbone’s efforts on behavior change. He brings learnings from behavioral science to build experiences to help the UP community lead healthier lives. While Kelvin’s passion is in wellness, he has applied his studies of human behavior across the spectrum. Kelvin was previously at Amazon, was an investor, and was a professional magician for nearly a decade — and no, we’re not playing two truths and a lie. Engineer by training, Kelvin attended the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Business School. You can find him on twitter @kelvinskwong.

Tami Reiss

Principal, Good 2 Great Product Strategy.


Tami Reiss is an experienced product person who works with startups and established companies to bring their products and services to market. She is a public advocate for Agile development, Lean strategies, and cross team collaboration to accomplish business goals.
Tami founded Good 2 Great Product Strategy in 2007 to help entrepreneurs develop their ideas into great products. She has met with over a hundred entrepreneurs and nonprofits to advise them on next steps for growth.

While CEO of Cyrus Innovation, Tami created Just Not Sorry to help women (and men) be more confident communicators via a simple Gmail plug-in. It was covered in over 100 news sources and has been downloaded tens of thousands of times. It is an example of how Tami advocates for simple solutions that have big impact.

On a personal note, Tami is trying to visit 50 countries and all 50 states by the time she’s 40.

Kelly McAdoo

City Manager & CEO, City of Hayward, California.


Kelly serves as the City Manager and Chief Executive Officer for the City of Hayward, California, a municipal corporation with over 870 employees. She began her tenure as City Manager on August 1, 2016 after serving the past six years as the Assistant City Manager/Chief Operating Officer for the organization. The City of Hayward is located on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay with a community population of over 150,000 that has been identified as the second-most diverse in the State of California. Prior to joining the Hayward team, Kelly worked for the cities of Palo Alto and Fremont. The interplay of local governments in the Bay Area with technology companies located in those communities inspired Kelly to experiment with Lean methodologies as a way to think and act differently about local government service provision and community engagement.

Kelly earned Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science, Economics and International Studies and a Master’s degree in Public Administration, all from the University of Kansas.

Beth Sordi

Director, Product, BabyCenter.


Beth is Director, Product Management for BabyCenter, a Johnson & Johnson company. She leads the consumer experience team for a new business initiative applying Lean Startup principles, a first for her organization. She has proven skills in product and content strategy, cross-functional communication and front-line delivery leadership and is passionate about coaching teams to construct successful products. Prior to BabyCenter, Beth held various digital product roles at a number of health organizations, including Kaiser Permanente, John Muir Health and Accenture.

She has an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC, Berkeley and completed her BA in Quantitative Economics and Decision Sciences at UC, San Diego. In her free time, Beth actively volunteers for her sorority and has served as Pi Beta Phi Foundation’s Board President since 2014 where she strives to be a servant leader fostering a culture of philanthropy. She is a Bay Area native and proud dog mom to a sweet golden retriever.

Monty Campbell

Founder & CEO, Lean Mobile Apps, LLC.


Blessed divorced father of 2 boys, blogger & former general contractor, Monty Campbell loves the artistry of building and home improvement. His building journey switched to startups in the late 90’s. Monty’s startup Journey began with LifeMinders. I early an online direct marketing company that went public going from from a $14 IPO to $96 a share giving it a unicorn valuation, before unicorns were unicorns. Monty’s role with LifeMinders was Membership acquisition Manager with a focus of Lifetime Customer Value & online optimization.

Grateful LeanStartup student, he is constantly learning. As and online marketing, blogging & podcasting maven Monty has built a LinkedIn network of over 8,000 people. Monty is a Serial Entrepreneur whom loves Morgan State & Stanford & Omega Psi Phi, Fraternity Incorporated Qka Preacher Qka Bishop. Last but not least Monty is the Founder and CEO of leanmobileapps.com.

Amy Jo Kim

CEO, Shufflebrain.


Amy Jo Kim is a world-renowned social game designer, community architect & startup coach who’s helped thousands of entrepreneurs innovate faster & smarter with Game Thinking. Her design credits include Rock Band, The Sims, eBay, Netflix, Cover Fashion, indiegogo, nytimes.com, Ultima Online, Happify, Pley and numerous startups. Named by Fortune as one of the top 10 influential women in games, Amy Jo pioneered the idea of applying game design to digital services, and is well known for her 2000 book, Community Building on the Web. She holds a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Washington (along with a BA in Experimental Psychology) and is an adjunct Game Design professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Her new book, Built To Evolve, explores how game design, systems thinking and lean/agile principles are merging into a powerful new approach to creating products that drive long-term engagement.

Zena Barakat

Design Lead, IDEO.


Zena Barakat is a storyteller and designer at IDEO. She works in the Design for Change Studio, helping organizations evolve their cultures and businesses to become more innovative. Prior to joining IDEO, she worked in journalism for 12 years, producing and shooting video for The New York Times, ABC News, National Public Radio, Bloomberg News, National Geographic and the Independent Film Channel (IFC.) From 2014-2015, she was a John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University.

Nicole Shephard

Design Manager, Travelport Labs.


Nicole is a design strategist and startup coach for Travelport Labs, the innovation arm for Travelport, a Travel Commerce Platform providing distribution, technology, payment, mobile and other solutions for the global travel and tourism industry.

Nicole has been instrumental in imagining, building, running and refining Travelport’s internal innovation program and travel startup accelerator. She is a lean startup and design thinking evangelist, a customer advocate, and a sucker for continuous improvement.

When she’s not yammering excitedly about new business ideas, Nicole enjoys reading, knitting, and walking around town with her chocolate lab, Jackson.

Bhavin Parikh

CEO, Magoosh.


Bhavin is co-founder and CEO at Magoosh, a company that creates web and mobile apps to help students prepare for standardized tests such as the GRE, GMAT, and SAT. He received his BS in Economics and Computer Science from Duke University and his MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Bhavin loves advising startups on growing their ideas and crafting great user experiences. He can also often be found playing puzzles, games, and ultimate frisbee — and eating gelato.

Paul Michelman

Editor in Chief, MIT Sloan Management Review .


As editor in chief of MIT Sloan Management Review, Paul leads editorial and digital strategy for one of the world’s most influential sources of new ideas for business executives. He recently led the launch of “Frontiers,” MIT SMR’s online and print initiative focused on new research and insights on the role of technology in transforming the practice of management and the ways organizations produce value. He previously served as editor-in-chief of O’Reilly Media’s Safari Books Online and has held senior editorial positions at strategy+business and Harvard Business Review, where he was one of the founding editors of HBR.org and launched HBR’s popular podcast, the HBR IdeaCast.

Janel Wellborn

VP Product & Change Management, Nisum.


Janel spent the last 5 years as a VP at macys.com, where she was a founding partner of MacysLabs – an innovation pipeline enabling the quick validation of product ideas and ultimately the delivery of “winning” products that meet our customer needs. In doing so, she and her partners implemented Lean principals and scaled a new delivery framework for 20+ Lean teams across the Macys enterprise. Last year, Janel left her role at Macys and joined Nisum to build a global consulting practice, helping her clients in South America and the US to build and scale Lean delivery teams across their own large enterprises.

SC Moatti

Founder & CEO, Products That Count.


SC Moatti is a technology visionary, venture capital investor, and bestselling author of mobilized, an insider’s guide to the business and future of connected technology. While serving as an executive at mobile pioneers like Facebook, Trulia and Nokia, SC launched and monetized mobile products that are now used by billions of people and have received prestigious awards, including an Emmy nomination. Today, SC is the managing director of The Angels’ Forum, an early-stage hybrid venture fund, and the founder of Products That Count, a community of 12,000+ product managers and innovators that produces a popular speaker series on product design. She also serves on boards of both public and private companies, including mobile technology giant Opera Software (OPERA:Oslo). SC frequently gives keynote on the business of innovation and is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review. She lectures at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she earned her MBA and has a Master of Science in electrical engineering. For more information, visit scmoatti.com.

Benjamin Yoskovitz

Founding Partner, Highline BETA.


Ben is the Founding Partner at Highline BETA, a startup co-creation company. He’s the co-author of Lean Analytics with Alistair Croll.

Ben has 20 years experience in the web and digital space. He’s an active angel investor and ran the first Lean Startup-focused accelerator program, Year One Labs.

He’s an active blogger (www.instigatorblog.com) about product management, investing, Lean Startup, Lean Analytics and more.

Cindy Peterson

Vice President, Org & Process Optimization, Macys.com.


Cindy Peterson is the Vice President of Macys Organization and Process Optimization team. Cindy and her team work across the Macys technology organization to help teams deliver more value to Macys customers and help teams do more, better, and faster. Cindy’s team has worked within the Macys.com organization to implement and scale lean methodology and practices and integrate the culture and mindset into how Macys.com delivers customer solutions at scale, drive employee engagement, and dramatically reduce the build, measure, learn cycle.

Prior to Macys.com, Cindy has held leadership and consulting positions in both Semiconductor and Solar manufacturing with companies including Intel, Hitachi, and Miasole Solar.

Jennifer Maerz

Contributing Editor, Lean Startup Co..

Jennifer Maerz is a contributing editor at Lean Startup Co. She’s a digital media strategy consultant, freelance writer, and former editor-in-chief at The Bold Italic, a product of Gannett’s innovation department. You can find out more about her work at jennifermaerz.org.

Janet Bumpas

Chief Strategy Officer, Innoleaps, a part of StartupBootcamp .

Janet Bumpas loves creating new products. She currently lives in Amsterdam (Netherlands) where she works with Innoleaps, a division of Startupbootcamp that helps large corporate enterprises accelerate their innovation by running internal accelerators based on Lean Startup.

Janet spent over a decade in Silicon Valley where she was part of three startups: one went public, one was acquired by eBay/PayPal, and one crashed and burned. Through these experiences, she learned not only the importance of developing a product based on customer needs but the ins and outs of how exactly to take customer feedback and turn it into a product that can be built.

Michel Gelobter

CEO, Lean Change.


It took Michel about twenty-five years of work on environmental and social justice to realize that his real specialty was startups. His career has moved in seven-year increments through government, academia, advocacy, and, most recently, business. The intense focus on innovation and launching startups in this last phase brought him to the realization that, in each of his prior incarnations, his work had also been about bringing new things to light in the world.

He was raised in a community of innovators—community activists who reformed Democratic machine politics in New York City and helped make Shirley Chisholm the first black person to run for president of the United States. As a graduate student at Berkeley, Michel wrote the first doctoral dissertation in the field of environmental justice and co-taught the first class at any university in the field as well.

He returned to political work after graduate school, working for Rep. John Dingell’s Energy and Commerce Committee, and later moved back to New York to serve as Mayor Dinkins’s Director of Environmental Quality. As assistant commissioner to the city’s $2 billion a year water and environmental agency, he started demand-side and watershed management for the city’s water system, and these programs cumulatively reduced demand in the city by almost 25 percent in the following decade.

He was invited by Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs to be founding director for its environmental policy program. During this period he also cofounded a number of local and regional environmental justice organizations and water and oceans organizations, as well as the country’s first multistate community-based research consortium at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Michel moved back to Berkeley in 2001 to teach and to lead Redefining Progress, at the time the country’s only national sustainability policy institute. He and the team there pioneered new ways of thinking about climate policy primarily as economic and employment policy. Under a federal government that was committed to inaction on climate change, Redefining Progress helped California and nine northeastern states adopt legislation that today raises over $3 billion a year in revenue from fees on carbon emissions.

Michel focused next on addressing the new imperative for sustainability in the business world. He started as a software entrepreneur in 2007, launching a social venture called Cooler that aims to activate consumers to make better choices. He subsequently joined a Kleiner-Perkins portfolio company, Hara, that became the leading provider of enterprise-scale environmental management software and put over a million buildings worth of energy data in the cloud as a cofounder of BuildingEnergy.com.

Most recently, Michel worked as a Senior Fellow with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to help develop new approaches to innovation in climate philanthropy. He designed experiments in Turkey, Australia, and Indonesia and helped to develop a prize platform specific to climate challenges.

Michel is the curator of the Lean Change Blog as well as the author of Lean Startups for Social Change.

Peter Szanto

Founder & Productivity Hacker, SpringTab & Szanto.co .


Loving user of Apple, iPhone, Spark, Yesware, Spotify, Pomodoro, GTD, and Smart Habits.

Peter Szanto is a USC Trojan and the founder of SpringTab.com and Szanto.co. He helps companies like Time-Warner, L’Oreal, OTP, Fashion Street and TripTrotting in digital business development to grow their revenue. Peter won the Pro Universitate award from Corvinus University of Budapest, where he graduated cum laude and was President of the Student Government. Peter gave a TEDxYouth Talk – a life long bucket list dream. The leading Hungarian TV channel, RTL Klub featured him as host of the first StartUp and Social Media show, he is a regular speaker at Kürt Academy, Internet Hungary, and mentor at Mentorship. He was recognized as a 30 under the age of 30 by Forbes Magazine Hungarian edition, nominated to Entrepreneurs’ Role Model Award 2015. One of Peter’s projects has also been awarded Mastercard’s Mobile Banking App of the Year Award with the OTP SmartBank, where he was responsible for Customer Development and UX. Currently he is working using smart productivity hacks to personalize the Internet.

Lynn Johnson

Co-Founder & CEO, Spotlight:Girls .


Lynn Johnson is a social entrepreneur, girl advocate, and Co-­founder/CEO of Spotlight: Girls, a benefit corporation that celebrates girls and women through multi-media learning experiences and products. Spotlight: Girls produces Go Girls! Camp, a popular SF Bay Area summer camp where girls learn and practice social/emotional skills through the arts.

Founded in 2008 when 17 girls came together to make a play in a church basement in Oakland, CA, Go Girls! has grown into a movement to be reckoned with ­serving hundreds of girls each summer in five different locations.

Go Girls! received international recognition when it was chosen as one of 15 finalists from over 600 entries from all over the world in Ashoka Changemakers’ “Activating Empathy” competition and has been featured on the George Lucas Foundation’s Edutopia website.

A graduate of Northwestern University and a former actor, director, and teaching artist, Lynn has worked with people of all ages from all over the country using theater as a tool for personal transformation and community development. Lynn works regularly as a speaker, facilitator, and workshop leader. She lives in Oakland, CA with her wife and daughter.

Barry O’Reilly

Founder & CEO, ExecCamp.


Barry O’Reilly works with leading global organizations on continuous improvement using lean and agile practices and principles. He has been an entrepreneur, employee and consultant. After several startups, his focus shifted towards larger enterprises where he has explored the intersection of business model innovation, product development, organizational design and culture transformation.

He is a co-author of Lean Enterprise: How High Performance Organization Innovate At Scale, the latest addition to the Eric Ries Lean Series with O’Reilly Media, 2015, and a Harvard Business Review must read for would-be CEO’s. He is an internationally sought after speaker and frequent writer for The Economist.

Barry is Founder and CEO of ExecCamp, the entrepreneurial experience for executives, and Antennae it’s mission to help technology led businesses innovate at scale.

Hiten Shah

Co-Founder, Quick Sprout.


Hiten Shah is the co-founder of Quick Sprout, KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg and Advanced Consulting Services. Since 2003, he’s been creating and growing both self-funded and venture backed SaaS and marketing businesses. As an advisor, investor and/or service provider, he has played an instrumental role in supporting hundreds of companies with marketing, product and growth initiatives.

Saul Gurdus

Founder, Method Garage.


Saul brings 19 years of experience building and inspiring a wide variety of customer-focused teams, designing experiences for enterprise customers and leading cultural movements of customer-first thinking and human-centered design. Saul regularly partners with Stanford’s d.school to lead executives through design thinking challenges. Saul speaks regularly at conferences and writes for UX Magazine. His current obsession is to bring the best practices, top design activation methods, and lessons learned to companies pursuing their own customer-centered transformations.
• https://uxmag.com/articles/3-things-that-will-change-experience-design-in-2015
• https://uxmag.com/articles/data-marries-design-to-drive-customer-success-in-2016

Bonny Simi

President, JetBlue Technology Ventures.


Bonny Simi is the President of JetBlue Technology Ventures, the innovation hub for JetBlue Airway’s investment and incubation of emerging startups at the intersection of travel and technology.

She joined JetBlue in 2003 and has served in operational and strategic roles within Flight Operations, System Operations, People, Airports, Customer Support and developed the award winning “Voice of the Customer” program. Most recently she was the head of Talent for JetBlue, overseeing the hiring of 3000+ JetBlue Crewmembers every year, and the launch of an innovative education program called JetBlue Scholars that provides free college education to Crewmembers. Uniquely, she is also a qualified airline captain for JetBlue and flies frequently.

Prior to JetBlue, Ms. Simi was a Captain at United Airlines, flying 727, 737 and 777 jets domestically and internationally. Better known by her maiden name of Bonny Warner, she is a 3 time Olympian and 10 time national champion in the sports of luge and bobsled. Ms. Simi is a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business as well as the Stanford School of Engineering, and regularly facilitates programs at the Stanford d.school

Lindsey Gray

Senior Director, NYU Entrepreneurial Institute.


Lindsey Gray is the Senior Director of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute, where she advises startups and develops and manages entrepreneurship programs to educate, accelerate, connect, and fund entrepreneurs across NYU.

Lindsey is also a member of the Teaching Team for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program.

Prior to joining NYU, Lindsey worked for Innosight, an innovation firm founded by Clayton Christensen where she worked with Fortune 100 companies to help them identify strategic growth opportunities and build and invest in new businesses. She has worked with companies across a wide range of industries, and has helped clients establish a number of new high growth ventures.

Before joining Innosight, Lindsey was a Director for the marketing analytics consulting firm, Kantar Retail, where she helped develop and sell new technology solutions for the consumer packaged goods industry. Lindsey also worked at CVS /Caremark in the pharmacy retailer’s strategic product development group.

Lindsey received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Connecticut College.

Justin Wilcox

Founder, Customer Development Labs.


Justin is a regular speaker at the Lean Startup Conference, a mentor for TechStars and Google for Entrepreneurs programs, the author of The FOCUS Framework and founder of Customer Development Labs.

Knowing how difficult applying Lean Startup is, Justin now teaches entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs a practical approach to finding Product-Market Fit via the FOCUS Framework: a step-by-step guide on how to find Product-Market Fit.

More about Justin, and his actionable approach to applying Lean Startup at his blog: www.CustomerDevLabs.com.

Dan Olsen

Lean Startup Consultant & Author, The Lean Product Playbook.


Dan is a Lean Startup consultant and author of the bestseller The Lean Product Playbook. At Olsen Solutions, Dan works with CEOs and product leaders to help them build great products and strong product teams, often as interim VP of Product. Dan has helped a wide variety of companies, including Facebook, Box, Microsoft, Medallia, and One Medical Group.

Prior to consulting, Dan worked at Intuit, where he led the Quicken product team to record sales and profit. He also led product management at social networking pioneer Friendster and was the cofounder and CEO of TechCrunch award winner YourVersion, a personalized news startup. Dan hosts the Lean Product and Lean UX Silicon Valley Meetup. He holds engineering degrees from Northwestern and Virginia Tech and an MBA from Stanford.

Aaron Eden

COO & Co-Founder, Moves the Needle.


Aaron Eden worked as an Innovation Catalyst at Intuit and coached employees and senior leaders on effective innovation practices across the entire enterprise. He went on to start a series of internal workshops inside Intuit that resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of new revenue and tons of delighted customers. Aaron plays a very active role in the Tucson startup community as the co-founder of Startup Tucson, and adjunct professor at the University of Arizona.

Brant Cooper

CEO & Co-Founder, Moves the Needle.


Brant Cooper is the NYT Bestselling Author of books like The Lean Entrepreneur, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development, and The Lean Brand. He’s helped startups go from idea to IPO, acquisition, rapid growth, and has first-hand experience with crushing failure. Today, his main focus is on bringing an entrepreneurial spirit to the enterprise with Moves the Needle.

Melinda Jacobs

Co-Founder, Lucent Sky.


Melinda is the cofounder of Lucent Sky, a company that builds security software for developers. Selling enterprise software is a lot like communicating between cultures. Melinda applies Lean methodologies to gather and execute on sales and product feedback from customers on 3 continents, spanning different functional roles. Melinda studied International Relations at the University of Toronto as a Loran Scholar, and previously worked in social business design and investment. She lives with her shoes and three roommates in San Francisco.

Huda Idrees

Founder & CEO, Dot Health.


Huda is the Founder and CEO of Dot Health, a health technology platform that helps you understand your own health better. Most recently a partner and Head of Product and Design at Wealthsimple, Huda is a product designer, an engineer, and a writer. She previously jumpstarted the product design team at storytelling giant, Wattpad, and led the invoicing and accounting products at Wave.

Ash Maurya

Author & Creator of Lean Canvas, LEANSTACK.


Ash Maurya is the author of the international bestseller “Running Lean: How to Iterate from Plan A to a plan that works” and the creator of the one-page business modeling tool “Lean Canvas”.

Ash is praised for offering some of the best and most practical advice for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs all over the world. Driven by the search for better and faster ways for building successful products, Ash has developed a systematic methodology for raising the odds of success built upon Lean Startup, Customer Development, and Bootstrapping techniques.

Ash is also a leading business blogger and his posts and advice have been featured in Inc. Magazine, Forbes, and Fortune. He regularly hosts sold out workshops around the world and serves as a mentor to several accelerators including TechStars, MaRS, Capital Factory, and guest lecturers at several universities including MIT, Harvard, and UT Austin. Ash serves on the advisory board of a number of startups, and has consulted to new and established companies.

Ash lives in Austin, TX.

Charles Hudson

Managing Partner, Precursor Ventures.


Charles is a Venture Partner with SoftTech VC and Managing Partner of Precursor Ventures, a pre-seed venture capital firm focused on investing in B2B and B2C software companies. Prior to forming Precursor Ventures, Charles was a Partner at SoftTech VC in which he focused on identifying investment opportunities in mobile infrastructure, mobile applications, and marketplaces. Previously, Charles was the VP of Business Development for Serious Business until the company was acquired by Zynga in February 2010. Charles was also the founder of the Virtual Goods Summit and Social Gaming Summit, two of the leading conferences in the free-to-play games space. Charles spent several years working at In-Q-Tel, the strategic venture capital group for the Central Intelligence Agency. He holds an MBA and a B.A. in Economics and Spanish from Stanford University.

Karla Monterroso

Vice President, Programs, Code2040.


Karla Monterroso is committed to closing the opportunity gap for Blacks and Latinos in the United States. She believes CODE2040 sits in the perfect intersection of a skills- and network-building opportunity for Black and Latino talent and a systems change opportunity for a critical segment of the country’s economy.

Karla has focused much of her professional life in growing the people and program functions of rapidly scaling social enterprises driving youth advocacy and leadership. Prior to joining CODE2040, Karla was the National Director of Advocate Engagement for Health Leads. Health Leads is a national non-profit changing health care by ensuring hospitals address the intersection of poverty and health. In her most recent role, Karla developed the national training standards, structure, and curriculum; recruitment systems; and performance management tools that will allow Health Leads to scale. As their Director of Talent, she tripled the staff size to 70+ team members within two years and grew the operations that impacted employee recruitment, performance, and engagement.

Karla has spent the last 14 years working for underserved communities. She enjoys the art of group and team facilitation, has a natural aptitude for organizational development and change management, and believes fervently in the cultivation of organization culture.

Karla’s passion for equity and social justice comes from her upbringing in a low-income community with parents who dedicated their lives to making sure she was the first in her family to go to and graduate college. Karla is an alumnus of the University of Southern California.

Caterina Rizzi

Co-Founder & CCO, Breather.


Caterina Rizzi is a Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Breather, an innovative on-demand space company, since 2012. As co-conceiver of the rapidly expanding startup, she curates the design and user experience of the spaces, which have been continuously praised by media (fans include Dwell, The New York Times and CNN). Prior to her latest venture, Caterina translated a background in Fine Arts and a BFA in Design into a successful career in fashion, most recently leading a creative team for an international clothing retailer. Her talent for reading trends, innovating products and developing ideas into viable strategies has set her apart across industries as she spearheaded the creation and launch of engaging campaigns and meaningful experiences for major brands around the world.

Steve Case

Chairman & CEO, Revolution.


Steve Case is one of America’s best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and a pioneer in making the Internet part of everyday life. Case co-founded AOL in 1985 and under Case’s leadership and vision, AOL became the largest and most valuable Internet company driving the worldwide adoption of a medium that has transformed business and society.

Case is chairman and CEO of Revolution, a Washington, D.C.-based investment firm he co-founded in 2005, as well as Chairman of the Case Foundation, which he established with his wife Jean in 1997. Case was the founding chair of the Startup America Partnership- an effort launched at the White House to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. He is also a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship and was a member of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness where he chaired the subcommittee on entrepreneurship.

Mamie Kanfer Stewart

Founder & CEO, Meeteor.


Mamie Kanfer Stewart is the Founder and CEO of Meeteor, a company that empowers organizations to leverage their meetings to drive productivity, build a healthy company culture, and achieve greater results. Meeteor includes a web app, mobile app, coaching and skill-building services. In her role at Meeteor, Mamie writes and speaks about meeting best practices and team collaboration. She is passionate about helping others achieve their mission through smart process and great technology. Prior to founding Meeteor, Mamie consulted with non-profit organizations on staffing and strategic planning. She received an MBA from Stern Graduate School of Business at New York University and a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two young daughters. When not working to improve the world and eliminate unproductive meetings, you might find Mamie flying through the air on a trapeze.

Laura Klein

Principal, Users Know.


Laura fell in love with technology 20 years ago when she saw her first usability test. Since then, she’s been an engineer, designer, and product manager, helping companies of all sizes learn about their users so they can build better products. She’s the author of UX for Lean Startups and a second book coming out in 2016 called Build Better Products. In her blog and podcast at Users Know she rants about product management, design, startups, and growth.

Stacy Conlon

Business Development Manager, Lean Startup Co..


With more than 15 years experience in sales and marketing, Stacy helps large, complex organizations around the world get the tools and support they need to build products and services faster, minimize risk and create a framework for innovation.
As a Certified Wellness Coach and Spirit Led Practitioner™, Stacy also leads mindfulness sessions and guided meditations so people can find more calm and wellbeing in their lives. She’s been practicing yoga and meditation since 2000.

Susana Jurado

Head of Innovation Portfolio, Telefónica R&D.


Susana is Head of Innovation Portfolio of the Product Innovation organization at Telefonica. In the last five years her career has mainly focused on innovation and had been a member of the team that defined the current seedbed innovation model, where Lean Startup is the cornerstone of the execution phase. In her role at Telefonica she drives the innovation process, the key tool for managing innovation projects funnel; and runs the innovation calls, where employees submit their ideas for innovation projects (such call are thus the main source of projects for the innovation funnel). She also fosters conceptualization of new ideas to get high quality innovation proposals and mentors, and assesses innovation projects.

She has co-authored the Lean Elephants report, describing the experience and learnings of applying Lean Startup to innovation projects at Telefonica for more than four years. Its conclusions show that the application of Lean Startup at a large corporation is complex, but it definitely pays off, speeding up the innovation process and being able to do more with less, with a clear focus on market and customers.

Susana lives in Madrid, Spain, and holds a MS in Telecommunication Engineering and an MBA from IE Business School.

Christina Stembel

Founder & CEO, Farmgirl Flowers Inc..


Christina dreamed up the idea for Farmgirl Flowers in 2010 after gaining experience across a variety of industries including hospitality and event planning. Although she loves beautiful flowers, the top of her bucket list was always to start a business that was not only innovative and creative, but one that did something good in the world. After researching the huge floral industry, she found a tremendous amount of problems and very little innovation. She set her sites on figuring out ways to solve the all of the problems while providing a better product and customer experience – which is how she came up with Farmgirl’s transformative new model.

By offering one daily arrangement™ made of 100% American Grown flowers, Farmgirl Flowers minimizes flower waste by 40%, while providing designer quality arrangements at generic e-commerce prices – and it does all this while supporting American flower farmers. Christina created a strong, authentic brand in her trademarked burlap wrapped bouquets™ made of recycled coffee sacks – which allows Farmgirl to not only differentiate the origin of their flowers, but creates solid brand identity as well. Farmgirl now delivers nationally, which was always her intent – to build a national brand that provided a socially conscious, better alternative to traditional e-commerce flower companies.

Christina is driven not only to to provide the absolute best customer experience possible, but to also build her company and brand based on integrity and doing what’s right for her consumers, team, and the environment.

Christina grew up on a farm in northern Indiana, which is how the company found its name, although it was corn and soybeans and, unfortunately, not beautiful flowers!

Irene Au

Design Partner, Khosla Ventures.


If you have used the internet at all, you have been impacted by Irene’s work. Irene Au is Design Partner at Khosla Ventures, where she works with portfolio companies to make their design great. Irene has unprecedented experience building and leading User Experience teams, as she built and led the entire UX team at Google (2006-2012), Yahoo! (1998-2006), and Udacity (2012-2014). She began her career as an interaction designer at Netscape Communications, where she designed the internet’s first commercial web browser.

Irene also teaches yoga and meditation at Avalon Art and Yoga Center, one of Palo Alto’s oldest and most established yoga studios.

Tren Griffin

Senior DIrector, Microsoft.


Tren Griffin works at Microsoft. His responsibilities include developing new services-based business models. Before joining Microsoft, Tren was a partner at Eagle River, a private equity firm controlled by Craig McCaw with investments in the telecommunication and software industries including Nextel, Nextel Partners, and many start-up firms. He previously worked as a senior executive with marketing, business development, and strategy responsibilities with a range of portfolio companies controlled by Eagle River, most recently XO Communications. His early career included five years working and living as a business consultant in Korea and Australia.

Tren writes a blog at http://25iq.com/. He is active on Twitter at @TrenGriffin

Kara Goldin

Founder & CEO, Hint® .


Kara Goldin, Founder & CEO, HINT Inc. Kara Goldin started HINT, Inc. to make it easier for consumers to lead a healthy lifestyle by “drinking water, not sugar.” Her first product line, unsweetened HINT Water has successfully challenged the notion that drinks must contain sugar to be successful. Flavored only with natural fruit essence, HINT delivers refreshment without unnecessary additives. Under Kara’s guidance, HINT has received numerous accolades from national publications including “Best Flavored Water” (in Health, Men’s Health, and SELF in both 2010 and 2012), “Best Enhanced Water” (BottledWaterWorld and BevNET) and “Top 25 New Products” (in Prevention). Kara herself was selected as one of Ernst & Young’s 2012 Class of Entrepreneurial Winning Women and in 2011 chosen as one of Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs.” To this day, Kara continues to expand the brand, most recently by introducing HINT Fizz, a carbonated version of HINT Water, to the beverage market which went on to win a 2012 Better Homes and Gardens “Best New Product Award”. Her authority in the beverage industry has propelled her to be a leading media resource and contributor to national outlets including The New York Times, MORE, The Huffington Post, Forbes.com, Reuters and Businessweek as well as appearances on national programs including CNBC and Fox News.

HINT is available at leading retailers and is one of the top beverages at Google, Facebook and other forward-thinking companies. Kara’s prior work experience includes roles at AOL, CNN and Time magazine. She currently lives near San Francisco, with her husband, four children and two Labradors.

Jeff Gothelf

Principal, Gothelf.co.


Jeff is the author of Lean UX and the upcoming Sense and Respond, a speaker and organizational designer. Over his nearly 20 years in digital products and services Jeff has worked to bring a customer-centric, evidence-based approach to product strategy, design and leadership. Most recently Jeff co-founded Neo Innovation (sold to Pivotal Labs) in New York City and helped build it into one of the most recognized brands in modern product strategy, development and design. As a principal in Neo’s NYC office, Jeff functioned as head of executive training, coaching, workshops and education. Jeff is regularly keynoting conferences, teaching workshops or working directly with client leadership teams across North America, Europe & Asia.

Guy Kawasaki

Chief Evangelist, Canva.


Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. He is on the board of trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, a brand ambassador for Mercedes Benz USA, and an executive fellow of the Haas School of Business (UC Berkeley).

Guy was also the chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of The Art of the Start 2.0, The Art of Social Media, Enchantment, and nine other books.

Guy Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

Mark Raheja

Founding Team, August.


Mark Raheja is co-founder of August, an organization transformation consultancy that builds high-performing teams for the world’s most meaningful missions. A relentless optimist (and former sketch-comic), Mark is sought out as a speaker, advisor and coach to leadership teams and organizations that seek purposeful growth and positive change.

Previously, Mark was a Partner at Undercurrent, where he designed and led responsive transformation programs for some of the world’s leading organizations – including GE, PepsiCo and American Express. Recently, Mark co-designed and taught a Responsive Organization Design Masterclass, which was refined through workshops at leading US graduate schools – including Harvard and Yale Universities.

Ted Ladd

Professor, Hult International Business School.


Ted Ladd is a professor of internet economics and a research fellow at the Center for Disruptive Innovation at the Hult International Business School. He was recently the director of ecosystems at a startup backed by Foxconn to pioneer the wearable internet of things (we built a smartwatch) until it was acquired by Google as the basis for Android Wear.

His research, consulting, and entrepreneurial activities focus on the design of business models for early stage high-tech startups. He holds a PhD in management from Case Western Reserve, an MBA in entrepreneurship from Wharton, an MA in economics from Johns Hopkins, a BA in government, biology, and sociology from Cornell, and a certificate in horseshoeing. He has founded, led, or participated in five mobile-tech and clean-tech startups. Some used Lean, some were successful, but with imperfect correlation.

Ted and his wife live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where he is on the board of several private, public, and non-profits emphasizing economic development.

Jake Knapp

Design Partner, GV.


Jake Knapp created GV’s sprint process and is the author of the book Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days. He has run more than a hundred sprints with startups such as 23andme, Slack, Nest, and Foundation Medicine. Previously, Jake worked at Google, leading sprints for everything from Gmail to Google X. He is currently among the world’s tallest designers. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two sons.

Karl Munthe-Kaas

Co-Founder & CEO, Kolonial.no.


Karl Munthe-Kaas is the Co-founder and CEO of Kolonial.no, Norway´s largest online grocery store. Kolonial.no was founded in 2013 by a group of ten friends, combining skills in software development with traditional Lean operations. They have used the Lean Startup philosophy extensively, both in the overall startup strategy, as well as in their daily experiments.

Kolonial.no was valued at 30m USD in their series A round, after raising only 1m USD in seed money, by proving customer value quickly and efficiently. They began full-scale marketing in August 2015 and reached 1m USD turnover per week just seven months later.

Kolonial.no has a fully integrated warehouse and distribution system, resting on proprietary technology and operational processes. This has enabled them to compete profitably with discount supermarkets, while offering the convenience and time-saving of online retail.

Karl previously consulted large companies on Lean operations at McKinsey & Company, and developed new online marketplaces for Schibsted Classified Media. He holds an M.Sc. in Economics from London School of Economics.

Jason Fried

CEO, Basecamp.


Co-founder & CEO at Basecamp. Bringing a distinctly different point of view to the world of software and software businesses. Long-time proponent of keeping companies small, tight, and manageable. Lean before lean was a thing. Believes in businesses, not startups (ask me about that).

Rand Fishkin

Wizard of Moz, Moz.


Rand Fishkin uses the ludicrous title, Wizard of Moz. He’s founder and former CEO of Moz, board member at presentation software startup Haiku Deck, co-author of a pair of books on SEO, and co-founder of Inbound.org. Rand’s an unsaveable addict of all things content, search, & social on the web, from his multiple blogs to Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, and a shared Instagram account. In his minuscule spare time, he likes to galavant around the world with Geraldine and then read about it on her superbly enjoyable travel blog.

Phil Gilbert

General Manager, IBM Design, IBM.


As General Manager of IBM Design, Phil Gilbert sets the strategy for and leads the transformation of product design at IBM. IBM Design is focused on three things: recruiting & retaining top designers, scaling the consistent practice of great design across IBM, and simplifying access to IBM’s broad portfolio of capabilities. Previously, Phil led the Business Process Management segment for IBM, where he drove the simplification of its portfolio and the ease-of-use of its products. Phil joined IBM in 2010 via the acquisition of Lombardi Software where he was President. Phil is a recognized leader in the technology industry and holds multiple patents. In addition to leading three successful start-ups, he is a respected thought leader who regularly shares his expertise on topics of portfolio and software design, design governance, strategy and culture with clients and organizations around the world.

Sam Parr

Founder, Hustle Con Media.


Sam Parr is a San Francisco-based entrepreneur. He was born in Missouri, grew up in Tennessee, and moved to California after graduating from college. Sam has worked for himself most of his life. Some of his ventures include a hot dog stand, an online liquor store, a roommate matching platform, and a media company. He’s the founder of The Hustle, which is one of the fastest-growing media companies in the country, and Hustle Con – a one-day conference that teaches non-technical startup tactics.

Matthew Brimer

Co-Founder, General Assembly.


Matthew Brimer, General Assembly & Daybreaker
Matthew Brimer is an entrepreneur and community builder. As Co-Founder of General Assembly (GA), a global education company that focuses on the most in-demand skills, Brimer supports GA’s global efforts around social impact, alumni community engagement, and partnership development. Most recently, Brimer launched GA’s scholarship fund for underrepresented communities, Opportunity Fund, so that anyone willing to work hard and follow their passions can have a meaningful career pursuing work they love.

Brimer is also Co-Founder of Daybreaker, a global community and lifestyle brand producing conscious morning experiences around the world. Daybreaker aims to create an entirely new genre of experience, fueling a worldwide movement to increase mindfulness, camaraderie, wellness, self-expression, and mischief.

Prior to founding GA in 2011, Brimer held a variety of different roles including consulting on digital education strategy as well as co-founded two other startups. Brimer earned his BA in Sociology from Yale and is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.

Michael Perry

Director of Kit, Shopify.


Michael Perry is the Director of Kit at Shopify. He is the Founder of Kit, a virtual marketing assistant for business owners. Michael started working in family businesses at 10 years old, and is a self proclaimed small business survival enthusiast. In 2013 he was awarded Innovator of the year for small businesses at the Innovation Summit, and in 2016 was recognized by Forbes for 30 under 30 in the world of marketing.

Tatyana Mamut

VP & Head of Design and UX, IoT Cloud, Salesforce.


Tatyana Mamut is an innovator, business builder, and economic anthropologist.

She is VP / Head of Design & UX for the Salesforce IoT Cloud, a revolutionary big data, real-time event processing platform. Last year, she led Salesforce’s design-driven “re-invention” of the Sales CRM product, culminating in the “Lightning Experience.”

Prior to Salesforce, Tatyana was at IDEO, where she built and co-led the Organization Design Practice, which partners with large complex organizations to help them become more innovative. She led high-stakes IDEO engagements including the creation and scaling of a User-Centered Innovation Culture at Life Technologies & the Human Centered Design (HCD) Toolkit for the Gates Foundation, which is powering the processes & tools for innovation in the developing world. She has also founded two successful businesses, Emergent Thinking and CS Solutions.

Tatyana has a PhD in anthropology from UC Berkeley and a BA in economics from Amherst College.

Viv Goldstein

Director, Innovation Acceleration & Co-Founder, FastWorks, General Electric.

Viv Goldstein is Director, Innovation Acceleration, GE. She is the co-founder of FastWorks, a platform that applies entrepreneurial tools, processes and culture across GE. By providing additional resources, capabilities and coaching for critical growth initiatives, she is focused on driving impact and competitiveness in support of GE’s focus on delivering better outcomes for their customers faster.

Prior to this, Viv was Director of Commercial Learning & Transformation, GE Corporate Marketing, with responsibility for continuing to enhance and drive commercial capabilities across GE globally. She led the commercial curriculum development and supported the businesses and the various emerging markets to continue to drive the commercial skills.

Previously VP Marketing, GE Money (a division of GE Capital) Viv was actively engaged with the Customer Centric transformation of GE Money, developing and implementing value proposition strategies for the private and co-brand credit cards for leading retailers and clients. In her previous role, Viv was Vice President of Loyalty, responsible for the introduction of new loyalty capabilities, strategies and functionalities.

With GE Money since 1991, Viv has held various marketing and client management roles both in America and Europe, including general manager for the Gap Inc. portfolios. Her previous employment experience includes Bass, Johnson Wax and 3M Companies.

Viv balances her busy work schedule with her 3 children, traveling and community work.

Melissa Moore

Co-Founder, Lean Startup Co..


Melissa Moore is co-founder of Lean Startup Co. and Executive Producer of Lean Startup Week, the company’s flagship conference. As the executive producer, Melissa is responsible for strategy and revenue, and oversees the editorial, marketing, sales, and production teams. Over the past six years, she managed and produced dozens of technology and entrepreneurship conferences, such as SF MusicTech Summit, FailCon, PuppetConf, and Gigaom’s Structure events. She majored in Business and Communications at Ateneo de Manila University, and minored in European Studies. Fun fact: Melissa is an avid traveler and is a digital nomad three months of the year.

Heather McGough

Co-Founder, Lean Startup Co..


Heather McGough is co-founder of Lean Startup Company. For five years, Heather has been providing education, tools, and partnerships to entrepreneurs and corporate innovators, empowering them to overcome challenges in building new companies and products. She spends most of her time heading up our training program, hosting guests on our podcast series, and developing our upcoming Lean Startup Labs series. She enjoys developing new ways to support the global community of aspiring and existing Lean Startup practitioners. She has formed two other companies and before that spent seven years building non-profit programs.

Sonja Kresojevic

SVP, Global Product Lifecycle, Pearson.


Sonja Kresojevic is a senior executive with 20 years of global experience building products and driving agile and lean transformation for companies in the media, publishing and education sectors.
She is a passionate innovation strategist that understands what it takes to bring Lean startup and Agile into the enterprise. Most recently an SVP in the Chief Product Office at Pearson, leading the implementation of the Global Product Lifecycle, award winning innovation program focused on transforming product portfolio investment management and delivering a faster and more entrepreneurial focused organization.

Eric Ries

Co-Founder & Conference Host, The Lean Startup.


Eric Ries is an entrepreneur and author of the New York Times bestseller The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business, published by Crown Business. He graduated in 2001 from Yale University with a B.S. in Computer Science. While an undergraduate, he co-founded Catalyst Recruiting. Ries continued his entrepreneurial career as a Senior Software Engineer at There.com, leading efforts in agile software development and user-generated content. He later co-founded and served as CTO of IMVU, his third startup. In 2007, BusinessWeek named Ries one of the Best Young Entrepreneurs of Tech. In 2008 he served as a venture advisor at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers before moving on to advise startups independently. Today he serves on the board of directors for Code for America and on the advisory board of a number of technology startups and venture capital firms. In 2009, Ries was honored with a TechFellow award in the category of Engineering Leadership. In 2010, he was named entrepreneur-in-residence at Harvard Business School and is currently an IDEO Fellow. The Lean Startup methodology has been written about in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Inc., Wired, Fast Company, and countless blogs. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Tara.


Johnna Herrmann

Strategic Consultant, Humana.

Johnna Herrmann is a Strategic Consultant for Consumer Experience at Humana. She’s been with Humana’s FastStart lab since its inception, where she uses design thinking, lean startup, and agile methodologies to deliver quality, consumer-centered products and experiences. Before joining Humana, she served customers and employees in the fast-paced world of big-box retail management.

Kevin Schwake

Consumer Experience Strategic Consultant, Humana.


Kevin Schwake is a Strategic Consultant for Consumer Experience at Humana, where he is at the forefront of brining customer-centricity to a Fortune 100 company. He is a founder of Humana’s FastStart Lab, an incubator that harnesses design thinking, lean startup, agile and lean six sigma in order to dramatically accelerate the speed and quality of product and experience development. The Fast Start Lab was awarded a 2016 Innovation Award by the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA).

Prior to joining Humana, Kevin was the Global Digital Experience Program Manager at the world’s largest bank.

Terhi Ignatius

Co-Founder / Design Director, 60NRTH.

Terhi has consulted on visual strategy and design thinking challenges for global brands including LinkedIn, RocketSpace, and Fluid. Her consulting practice combines information design and multi-dimensional creative experiences with service design, design thinking, visual storytelling, design direction, complete visual systems, and the productization of concepts. Terhi was born and raised in Finland, where she gained an appreciation for minimalism and functional design.

Zach Larson

Managing Director, Pivotal.


Zach has been involved in the Bay Area tech scene since ’99. He did his first programming in Logo and shipped his first product using Hypercard. Zach has been a UX designer, a software developer, a sysadmin, and an entrepreneur. Zach has built and sold companies. He’s been working in an XP fashion since ~2006. Zach likes building teams that build great things. Zach is currently leading the Palo Alto Pivotal Labs office.

Ruy Cervantes

Innovation Consultant, Cisco.


Ruy Cervantes is an innovation researcher, builder of innovation ecosystems. He has extensive experience in building innovation and startup communities. For his Ph.D. research, he conducted a study on how the Mexican startup community created a culture of innovation in a country with little precedent for it. He developed and implemented policies for the State Government of Jalisco, Mexico, to strengthen its innovation ecosystem. He currently works for Cisco designing and building internal innovation programs, and external co-innovation processes. He is an active member of the Mexican innovation and startup community. Talk to him about innovation communities.

Sugath Warnakulasuriya

Managing Director/Partner, Thalamus Labs/Liguori Innovation.


Sugath Warnakulasuriya is Managing Director of Thalamus Labs, focused on helping innovative enterprises accelerate growth through latest innovation and digital business-building techniques. He brings 30 years experience in technology/market driven innovation with Fortune 500s and startups. He is a Partner at Liguori Innovation and was co-founder/CEO of 10EQS on-demand crowd-sourced consulting firm. Previously, he was at McKinsey & Company and was co-founder/CTO of eLink Commerce B2B commodity logistics platform. He is a startup advisor/investor in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, with Sand Hill/Pasadena Angels and AmplifyLA Accelerator. He has a PhD in EE and an MS/BS in CS from USC.

Jason Fraser

Principal Product Manager, Pivotal Labs.


Jason co-founded the Innovation and Transformation Practice at Pivotal Labs, establishing the core values and practices and setting the strategic vision for these practices. He’s currently a Principal Product Manager at Pivotal labs, working with clients to identify high-value products, validate product ideas, and break through barriers to innovation.

Before joining Pivotal, Jason co-founded the first Lean User Experience company, and worked with pioneers in the Lean Startup movement to help companies shift Lean Startup from theory into practice. Jason has advised countless entrepreneurs and delivered workshops and talks to organizations and universities around the world.

Michele Perras

Head of Strategy and Market Development, Labs, Pivotal.


Michele Perras is an entrepreneur, consultant and advisor. She’s passionate about building and accelerating businesses. As Head of Strategy and Market Development at Pivotal Labs, Michele leads new strategies and partnerships for growth and innovation. She coaches and advises on Lean Startup, product and business development, working with startups, the Fortune 50 and Silicon Valley accelerators including Alchemist and 500 Startups.

Michele has spoken about innovation, technology and foresight at SXSW, Mobile World Congress, ATech and has taught at Duke, UCLA and OCAD University. She is a member of Pivotal’s Diversity and Inclusion council, and her work is supported by almost 20 years experience in design, product and strategy. She lives in San Francisco.

Theron McCollough

Partner, Acceleprise.


I live at the intersection of marketing, branding, business development and sales. I have worked with some of the world’s best tech brands & employees for over a decade.

James Birchler

Principal, jamesbirchler.com.


Product development leader, advisor, and coach. I build culture to support engagement and learning. I base my practice in mindfulness and I focus on strong communication skills. I helped build the first Lean Startup with Eric Ries and the team at IMVU.

Tom Nguyen

Principal, Product Management, Adobe.


Tom manages new creative product development at Adobe. He co-founded Adobe Spark, a new family of storytelling tools used by millions worldwide, and launched Adobe’s first mobile app named by Apple as one of the Best Apps of the Year, pioneering lean startup methodologies at Adobe.

Tom is a two-time speaker at the Lean Startup Conference, taught design thinking at Reuters, serves on the board of Inforum at the Commonwealth Club, and was selected as an Emmy Award finalist. He holds Computer Science, Masters of Education, and MBA degrees from Stanford University.

Rebecca Woodcock

EIR, Digital Health Track, 500 Startups.


Rebecca is an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at 500 Startups, where she manages the San Francisco accelerator’s digital health track. Previously she founded CakeHealth.com (acquired), to help individuals track and manage their healthcare expenses, and was a TechCrunch DISRUPT finalist. She is recognized as one of 70 Digital Leaders by the United Nations, and has also been an advisor to the White House health data standards movement for patient access. If you can’t find her, try looking in Baja California Sur.

John Bradberry

Founding Partner, ReadyFounder Labs.


Background in psychology. 25 years of experience improving performance of global companies, startups, and all in-between. I help leaders/teams get smarter, more focused, more honest. Focused on (1) founder readiness and fit, (2) investor-founder alignment, (3) founder transitions, and (4) corporate entrepreneurial talent. Co-developer of Entrepreneur Core Characteristics Profile (ECCP).

Michael Hagler

Partner, Clevertech.


Michael Hagler is an entrepreneur, angel investor and one of the two managing partners at Clevertech. Based in New York City, Michael partners with serial entrepreneurs, sophisticated investors, founding teams and C-level executives to help create new businesses and product innovation. As an investor, operator and founder, Michael has worked in the SaaS, logistics, agency, pharmaceutical, FinTech and market-economy industries, and past projects have been featured on TechCrunch, by Apple, in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, FastCompany, Inc5000 and on Bloomberg TV. Michael currently serves as a board member, advisor or active angel investor to a number of funded startups and growth businesses in London, New York City, Florida, Israel, Dubai and San Francisco.

Ritika Puri

Co-Founder, Storyhackers.


Ritika Puri started Storyhackers with $0 of investment, and she has grown the company to a team of 23 and hundreds of customers. She specializes in helping people turn abstract ideas into processes, framework, and tangible products. In past lives, Ritika was a martial arts instructor and web developer who taught herself how to program between the ages of 9-14. She holds a B.A. in Literature from Claremont McKenna College and M.A. in Demographic and Social Analysis from U.C. Irvine. She’s wanted to be a writer since she was 11 years old.

Oseas Ramirez Assad

Senior Manager, Business Development and Innovation Enablement, Cisco Systems.


Oseas is a serial entrepreneur and intrapreneur. He has a diverse background spanning technology, humanities, business and entrepreneurship. He has worked as a CIO, CTO, a licensed family counselor, public speaker on topics of human development and technology. As an entrepreneur, he founded one of Mexico’s leading elearning providers (we-know.net), a solar energy company, and a digital marketing agency (wawa.mx). He currently mentors startups CxOs.

In the corporate side, he was responsible for the development of Cisco’s top 2% talent, led a Lean Startup based internal innovation initiative and is now responsible for overseeing the creation and supervising the execution of the co-innovation process for Cisco’s Innovation Centers.

Vincent Thamm

Innovation Manager, Transavia Airlines.


Intrapreneur with a focus on improving the organization by working on change, innovation (Lean Startup, Agile), continuous improvement (Lean) and culture. Lean Startup mentor. Co-founder of the Lean Startup Leadership Platform Netherlands

Eleanor Bell

Director, Strategy Planning and Management, formerly Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Eleanor plays at the intersection of strategy and culture, creating intentional system change that recognizes and adapts to existing organizational culture for lasting results. She has over 20 years’ experience successfully leading change in organizations. She is an expert in strategy, human systems, culture change, Lean transformation, and analytics. She has worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Group Health Cooperative, and Cornell University and is now exploring her next chapter. She holds a PhD in Sociology and MA in Demography, both from University of California, Berkeley, and an AB in Sociology from Bryn Mawr College.

David Bland

Founder & CEO, Precoil.


David is the Founder / CEO of Precoil, an innovation consulting agency in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is an early adopter of Lean Startup, Design Thinking and Agile. He advises Fortune 500 companies and Silicon Valley startups through the shift from can you build it, to should you build it.

Prior to Precoil, David was a Principal at both Neo and BigVisible, where he pioneered Lean Startup services and innovation consulting.

Before his transition into consulting, David spent most of his career at early stage startups in the Washington DC Metro Area.

Maxine Friedman

SVP, Partnerships, Bionic.

Maxine Friedman has 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and executive in strategy, marketing and BD roles at agency, start-up and Fortune 500 companies. She is currently SVP, Partnerships at Bionic where she leads the company’s strategic client partnerships driving growth at Fortune 100 companies. Prior to Bionic, Maxine was VP of BD for Contently, a TechStars start-up, where she led strategic partnerships with media companies, agencies and large brands. Previously, as VP of Partnerships at SEM/Social platform company Clickable Maxine was responsible for the start-up’s technical, channel, and strategic partnerships, including Clickable’s white label partnership with American Express. She is also the co-founder of Verve Collective, an executive parents’ organization, and Lead21, an organization focused on the intersection of politics and technology. Maxine holds a B.S. in Journalism from California State Polytechnic University and an MBA from both Columbia University and London Business School.

Pam Krengel

Innovation Champion, Moves The Needle.


A successfully bootstrapped entrepreneur for 17 years, helped several Fortune 500 companies like Anheuser-Busch Companies, LLC, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo take action in specific markets and increase customer experiences to create a more passionate customer base.

Lean Practitioner, Mentor, and Coach on lean methodologies and principles working with Startups and Enterprise organizations as a catalyst helping them make significant progress.

It begins with educating and coaching the why, and how of Lean Innovation. Connecting, listening and asking the right questions. Building rapport and trust. Evaluating and providing what’s needed to guide them so they can achieve more than they thought possible.

Jeremiah Gardner

, Author of The Lean Brand.


Jeremiah Gardner helps organizations create value. He is the author of the bestselling book, The Lean Brand and Principal at Moves The Needle where he empowers companies like GE, Sprint, eBay, Intuit, and Cisco practice Lean Innovation. He has been featured in several media outlets including Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Lifehacker, and The Guardian. Jeremiah reads a lot of Mark Twain, is an avid Lakers fan, and a self-professed amateur home chef. Jeremiah tweets @JeremiahGardner and blogs athttp://jeremiahgardner.com.

Lindsey Gray

Senior Director, NYU Entrepreneurial Institute.


Lindsey Gray is the Senior Director of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute, where she advises startups and develops and manages entrepreneurship programs to educate, accelerate, connect, and fund entrepreneurs across NYU. Lindsey is also a member of the Teaching Team for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program.

Prior to joining NYU, Lindsey worked for Innosight, an innovation firm founded by Clayton Christensen where she worked with Fortune 100 companies to help them identify strategic growth opportunities and build and invest in new businesses.

Lindsey received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Connecticut College.

Blair Beverly

, Google.


Blair builds data products and web applications to help Google AdSense sales and marketing teams drive growth.

He advises individuals and teams both in and outside of Google on how to construct MVPs to test fundamental assumptions before investing big in an idea. Blair spoke about his experience leading his organization to adopt Lean Startup methods at the 2014 Lean Startup Conference.

A researcher at heart, Blair studied and researched organizational behavior while earning a master’s degree from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. He also has a B.S. from Stanford University, where he studied and researched behavioral ecology.

Peter Szanto

Founder, SpringTab.


Peter Szanto is a USC Trojan and the founder of SpringTab.com and Szanto.co. He helps companies like Mazda, L’Oreal and MasterCard in digital business development to grow their revenue. Peter gave a TEDxYouth Talk – a life long bucket list dream. He was recognized as a 30 under the age of 30 by Forbes Magazine Hungarian edition, nominated to entrepreneurs’ Role Model Award 2015. Currently he is working using smart productivity hacks to personalize the Internet.

Gretchen DeKnikker

COO, SaaStr.


Gretchen DeKnikker has been launching and growing enterprise SaaS startups and platforms since way back in the last century. She is currently the COO of SaaStr. She previously cofounded SocialPandas, launched LivePerson’s (LPSN) Apps Marketplace platform and was an early employee at Genius.com and EchoSign (acquired by Adobe). Gretchen loves bacon, bourbon, hip hop and all things tech. She holds an MBA from UC Berkeley.

Ben Tinker

Visioneer, OGSystems.


Ben is a visual consultant specializing in guiding leaders and groups through visual-based processes. He is a student of Lean Startup principles and Design Thinking methods, and applies his learnings to his work as a consultant, facilitator, and project manager.

Ed Ceballos

CEO & Co-Founder, Hivelab.co.


+20 years experience in helping Corporate & Startups design and execute best business acceleration strategies and build successful organizations. Have lived and / or worked in 12 countries.

Co-founder of StartupCisco, an initiative aimed at accelerating the speed of innovation at Cisco.

Co-founder of Hivelab.co, a global community and incubator built around service thinking and entrepreneurship. Our acceleration methodology is being used by companies like Cisco as a way to foster and develop service innovations in a relevant, lean and Agile manner

Megan Neese

Senior Manager, Future Lab, Renault Nissan.


Megan Neese is a senior manager in Future Lab at Nissan Motor Ltd., a cross-functional team tasked with uncovering new business opportunities for the future of automotive. Prior to this she filled similar roles at BMW Group DesignworksUSA and Samsung Design America. She holds a bachelor’s in industrial design and a master’s in product development from Carnegie Mellon University.

Hung Pham

Founder, Culture Summit.


Hung is the founder and producer of Culture Summit, a conference that helps companies be successful by building culture from the bottom up. Prior to Culture Summit, Hung was a program manager at Cisco and a workshop leader for Lean Startup Machine where he taught hundreds of entrepreneurs how to validate their ideas using the Lean Startup methodology.

Brant Cooper

CEO, Moves the Needle.


Brant Cooper is the NYT Bestselling Author of books like The Lean Entrepreneur, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development, and The Lean Brand. He’s helped startups go from idea to IPO, acquisition, rapid growth, and has first-hand experience with crushing failure. Today, his main focus is on bringing an entrepreneurial spirit to the enterprise with Moves the Needle.

Tanya Koshy

Product Manager, Facebook.

Tanya has significant experience applying her entrepreneurial spirit within large companies. She’s currently a product manager at Facebook. She was previously a PM for Google Express, Head of Growth for Google Helpouts, and PM for Groupon’s merchant team.

In all roles, she’s focused on using Lean Startup principles, user research, and data analysis to drive growth.

She has an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, with concentrations in Marketing and Management and Organizations. She also graduated from Stanford University, majoring in American Studies and minoring in Computer Science.

Frank Mendoza

Founder & Chief Catalyst, Catalytics, LLC .


Frank Mendoza is founder & Chief Catalyst at Catalytics, LLC. For more than 15 years, Frank has leveraged his passion for change and improvement to drive results for large multi-national Fortune 500 companies as well as Pre-Series A startups. He is passionate about the Lean Startup movement and is a proud alum of Ash Maurya’s Lean Academy BOOTSTART program.

Frank lives and plays in Austin, TX and welcomes the opportunity to help all businesses (large and small) reach their full potential.

Lou Moore

VP Software, Jawbone.


Lou Moore is Chief Technology Officer at Code for America. Prior to CfA, Lou was VP of Software at Jawbone where he led software development from applications to infrastructure. He and his team were focused on delivering products that helped people to live happier, healthier, and longer. He got his start building high-performance technical teams and effective consumer products at scale while serving as Director of Product Engineering at social networking destination hi5. The process of fast-paced experimentation that fueled hi5’s growth early in Lou’s career developed into a passion for lean product development techniques that he has continued to apply and evolve ever since. Lou hails from Wisconsin originally and holds a degree in Computer Engineering from Northwestern University.

Ariana Friedlander

Founder, Rosabella Consulting, LLC.


Ariana Friedlander, MPA is a community organizer, a social entrepreneur and the Founder of Rosabella Consulting, LLC. She specializes in designing co-creational processes with leaders doing business as UNusual. Her unique coaching and facilitation style creates conditions for collaborative conversations by modeling shared leadership. Ariana’s first book, “A Misfit Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building a Business Your Way” will be released this fall. She is an Enhanced Skills Conversational Intelligence Coach, has her Master’s in Organizational Leadership from the University of Delaware and her BA from Hampshire College. Ariana lives in Fort Collins, CO with her husband and daughter.

Nick Noreña

Innovation Coach, TriKro LLC.


Nick Noreña is a lean entrepreneur and coach with experience building a venture-backed company, driving and executing customer driven product development, and coaching groups of individuals to create real value as teams. He has worked on projects ranging from ecosystem development where he trained startup mentors and accelerator managers, to coaching product teams to experiment faster and build validated businesses.

Courtney Hemphill

Partner, Carbon Five.


Courtney Hemphill is a Partner at Carbon Five, an strategic digital product development firm known for its work with early stage and growth companies such as Echosign, Square, Thumbtack, Groupon, Altschool, StitchFix, and many others. She has done full stack development for over 10 years for both startup and enterprise companies. Today she works with teams at Carbon Five to do more by building less.

She has presented or mentored at various conferences in the US and abroad; most recently at SXSW V2V, O’Reilly Fluent, GOTO Berlin and QCon NYC. She enjoys running coding workshops, has been a part of the Women Who Code and Railsbridge organizations for decades, and is constantly finding random corners of the world to climb rocks.

Tristan Kromer

Founder & President, TriKro LLC.


Tristan Kromer works with innovation teams and leaders to create amazing products and build startup ecosystems. He has worked with companies from early stage startups with zero revenue to enterprise companies with >$1B USD revenue. (Swisscom, Pitney Bowes, Fujitsu, LinkedIn)

Tristan has worked with over 15 technology accelerator programs and ecosystem programs such as Innovation Norway, Vinnova (Sweden), Enterprise Ireland, NEST’up (Belgium), StartSmart (Estonia) and the Innovation Partnership Program (Vietnam-Finland) With his remaining hours, Tristan volunteers his time with Lean Startup Circle and blogs at GrasshopperHerder.com.

Cindy Alvarez

Director of UX, Microsoft.


Cindy Alvarez runs the research team for Yammer (a Microsoft company), and is the author of Lean Customer Development. Previously she held UX leadership positions in a variety of startups; now she helps Microsoft teams practice Lean/experimental/customer development.