Lean Startup Night

We know you folks in the Lean Startup community are eager to connect and swap ideas with one another as much as you want to learn the nuances of the methodology from our expert network. So we’re combining the two concepts into a meetup series, Lean Startup Night, a networking hub and idea exchange with benefits that go beyond the free beer and pizza (but yeah, there’s free beer and pizza too!). Each meetup features a different fireside chat or presentation with one of our expert mentors.


December 2017

San Francisco

When: Tues, Dec 12 at 6pm – 8pm PT
Where: WeWork Jackson Square (655 Montgomery St, 7th Floor, San Francisco)

In a world of uncertainty, every startup aims to maximize their chances of creating a product or service that people want while minimizing wasted resources. In this talk, Carl Fudge shares how global design firm IDEO approaches designing new ventures: systematically reducing risk while keeping the user at the center of it all.

Join us for our very last meetup of the year! You’ll get the chance to meet other Lean Startup practitioners while learning more about designing human-centered ventures. And did we mention there’ll be pizza too?

Register for $5 here or register for free by Tweeting about the event here.


Carl is a Senior Design Lead with 10 years of experience launching and growing new businesses. At IDEO, he specializes in building digital ventures within large corporations, most recently with Swell Investing, an online impact investing platform that enables consumers to invest in stocks that align with their values. Carl believes that the core of any successful venture is delivering a high quality product that addresses a real need.
Carl began his career as a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Co. in Houston, Texas, where he worked on strategy and organization projects in the energy, media, and food & beverage industries. After discovering his passion for entrepreneurship and creativity, he went on to become a Director at Peer Insight, a Washington D.C.–based innovation think tank. There he led new business creation efforts with several consumer goods companies.
Born and raised in the UK, Carl has been on a tour of the United States in recent years, living in New York, Houston, Washington D.C., and Boston. Outside of work, you can find him riding his bike, fine tuning his pizza dough recipe, or supporting Arsenal FC. He holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, a Master’s in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, and a BSc in Psychology from University College London.

Big thanks to WeWork for hosting us. WeWork is the platform for creators. They provide everything you need to make a life, not just a living.


May 2017


When: Tuesday, May 16 at 6pm
Where: Code Node, 10 South Place, London EC2M 2RB

If you’re a product manager in London, the name Martin Eriksson should already be very familiar to you. The brains behind the successful global product manager meetup group ProductTank, as well the co-founder of the Mind the Product community blog and smash conference is not only a guru in product design, development, and management, he’s also a big proponent of nurturing a community of leaders in the field.

Martin is our featured guest for Lean Startup Night London on Tuesday, May 16 at CodeNode for an evening of networking and idea exchange inspired by the Lean Startup methodology. Martin will talk about his 20+ year trajectory as a product manager at Allt om Stockholm, Huddle, Monster, and the Financial Times, and the Lean Startup tools that helped him launch great products and build successful teams.

He’ll be joined by moderator Elena Sinel, another Lean practitioner who uses the methodology in her work with teens at Acorn Aspirations. Lean Startup Co. co-founder Melissa Moore and Lean Startup EMEA CEO Dave Cunningham will also be on hand at Lean Startup Night London to help answer your questions about improving your company’s product/market fit.

As with all our Lean Startup Nights, we’ll have small bites and beer on hand for this happy hour meetup.

Note: Your email will be shared with Trifork during the event. You may unsubscribe anytime. Thank you.

Guest speakers include:

martinEntrepreneurial, driven and innovative Product Management professional with over 20 years experience building leading online products in both corporate and start-up environments across US, UK, and Sweden. Martin Eriksson also founded ProductTank, a global meetup for Product People with over 50,000 members across 100+ cities, and Mind the Product, a top 10 product management blog and annual conferences in San Francisco and London. Together they are the world’s largest product management community.




elenaCurrently, building the largest teen tech accelerator globally, which empowers young people aged 12-18 to create change, innovate, solve problems using technology: www.acornaspirations.com. What Elena Sinel did prior to embarking on a social entrepreneurial journey: International multilingual results-oriented hands-on turnaround specialist consultant with 9 years of experience in poverty reduction strategies, rural livelihood development and poverty alleviation with a specific focus on creation of small and medium enterprise development, product design, marketing and fundraising in Central Asia, the Balkans, Ethiopia and Bangladesh. Volunteered and worked on long and short-term assignments supported by international donor agencies and bilateral agreements where the main focus has been international trade and making markets work for the poor. Designed and developed livelihoods programs and projects targeted at poverty alleviation and capacity building for marginalised and disadvantaged groups of population affected by the Aral Sea disaster, young people and vulnerable women in Ethiopia and tribal indigenous groups of Chittagong Hill Tracts. Became one of the founders of the cross-border initiative in the Balkans known as Business Without Borders, linking youth from Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania and the UK through small business enterprises promoted as a tool for conflict prevention and post conflict development.


Thank you to our partner:



New York

When: Monday, May 1 at 6pm; registration starts at 5:30pm
Where: Alpha HQ, 584 Broadway, Suite 510, New York, NY 10012

We had such a blast switching coasts for our monthly community ‘n’ experts mixer last year that we’re returning to New York for another Lean Startup Night on Monday, May 1. Join us for the free beer, pizza, and of course the chance to get to know other Lean Startup practitioners who are also working on systemizing innovation in their organizations. We’ll introduce you to seasoned professionals who are embracing entrepreneurial thinking to accelerate innovation and drive their businesses forward.

This moderated discussion is for anyone interested in growing a business, whether you’re working at a startup or enterprise company, and will include time for audience Q&A.

Guest speakers include:

dianeAs Vice President of Global Business Operations, Diane Gotua focuses on various strategic growth initiatives for the NBA with a particular focus on international markets. Since joining the NBA in April 2013, Diane has led various initiatives including the launch of NBA Yao School in China, the Jr. NBA program in partnership with Reliance Foundation in India, and the planned NBA Experience development at Disney Springs in Orlando. Prior to joining the NBA, Diane served as Assistant Vice President within Barclays Capital’s Global Industrials and Lehman Brothers’ Communications, Media & Entertainment investment banking groups where she gained buy and sell-side M&A advisory experience executing various cross-border transactions. Prior to Lehman Brothers, Diane was an analyst at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. Diane received her MBA. from NYU’s Stern School of Business, with concentrations in finance and strategy, and her bachelor’s degree in economics from Ateneo De Manila University. Diane currently resides in New York City with her husband Dwayne and two children.


ryanRyan Jacoby is the founder of MACHINE, a strategy and innovation company that helps its clients Think Big and Act Small. MACHINE helps organizations design new ventures, services, and products using the best approaches from design, business, and startups. Ryan is also a Venture Partner at the Collaborative Fund, a venture firm based in New York City, and teaches in the IxD Masters program at the School of Visual Arts. Prior to founding his new firm, Ryan led teams and relationships at the design and innovation firm IDEO. He was a founding member and location head of the IDEO New York office and built the Business Design discipline at the firm. Ryan holds a BS in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Stanford University. He is often referred to as the first “graduate” from Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. Ryan loves to read. Ryan hates to go running, but he loves to come back from running. Follow Ryan (@jacobyryan) and MACHINE (@machineio) on Twitter


davidDavid Deane is a Global Digital Practice leader with 20 years experience designing, developing and implementing innovative branding, product and transactional Digital platforms for the institutional and retail financial services markets. David is the Global Digital Partner responsible for overseeing EY’s delivery of innovative digital strategies, products and business solutions for leading financial services companies. In his role at EY, he is called upon to advise global brands about digital disruption in the marketplace, teach them strategies embraced by startups and create a culture of innovation from the inside out. He previously led agencies that regularly won industry awards including Forrester Voice of the Customer, The Banker Innovation Digital Product of the Year award and others. David is a sought after keynote speaker at a range of conferences and forums, including Forrester Customer Experience, EMEA, National Underwriters Conference and Pegaworld.


Thank you to our partner:


April 2017

When: Friday, April 21 at 6:00pm BST
Where: Google Campus London, 4-5 Bonhill St., Shoreditch, London EC2A 4BX

Great ideas are often sparked when you realize you need something that doesn’t exist—which is how James Eder, founder of Causr, came up with the concept for his app. While commuting on the Underground, he noticed a fellow passenger seated with his CV in hand, so James struck up a conversation—leading to the founding of his youth media company, Student Beans. After several other chance encounters followed, James created his location-based app, Causr, which allows users like he and his commuter buddy to connect with people nearby based on needs and interests.

James is our featured guest for Lean Startup Night London on Friday, April 21 at Google Campus at 6:00pm, an evening of networking and idea exchange inspired by The Lean Startup methodology. He’ll talk about his trajectory as an entrepreneur and the Lean Startup tools he applied to help him get his business started, sharing his insights to help you turn your idea into a successful product or service.


james In 2005, James Eder founded website Student Beans at age 22, alongside his brother Michael. 12 years later Student Beans has gone from an idea to a brand recognised globally for its student offers and discounts. Known today as The Beans Group, the business now also encompasses Voxburner, a youth events & insights consultancy. The company employs a team of over 30 people and continues to recruit and grow. James is also the founder of Kentish Cluster alongside Camden Cluster an initiative to bring local businesses and people together in London. James is a passionate helping people realise their potential and is a regular speaker at conferences, schools and universities on subjects including marketing, entrepreneurship and building a brand.


daveDave Cunningham is a serial Entrepreneur. He is the CEO Lean Startup Summits in Europe, is a founding director of Galway City Innovation District and the Portershed technology hub. Dave is currently focused on the development of the new payments platform Privity and the expansion of the Lean Startup activities in Europe.




February 2017

When: Wednesday, February 22 at 6pm
Where: WeWork SOMA, 156 2nd Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

Over the last decade, news audiences have moved from consuming content created by traditional outlets to curating individualized information feeds from various sources. Media companies struggle with how to reach disperse pockets of consumers across platforms—while also battling an onslaught of fake news. These same companies are also trying to generate revenue in an era when so much information is available for free at our fingertips.

So how are media companies—obviously a vital part of our democracy and public discourse—staying competitive? For one, by learning to better understand their audiences through practices like Design Thinking and Lean Startup.

Lean Startup Night returns in 2017 with a focus on the methods media companies are adapting to innovate in a rapidly changing industry. We hope you’ll join us for this very timely panel.

timTim Olson is the chief digital officer at KQED. The properties he oversees there include KQED.org, one of the most trafficked public media station sites in the nation. Tim works closely with Matter, a Silicon Valley accelerator co-founded by KQED and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and consults to a number of projects and organizations including the CPB, PBS and NPR.




zenaZena Barakat is design lead at IDEO, where she helps 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.)




jenniferModerator Jennifer Maerz is Lean Startup Co.’s program chair and editor-in-chief. She’s a digital media strategy consultant who authored a researched strategy study for American Press Institute on best practices for reaching millennial audiences and is the former editor-in-chief of The Bold Italic, Gannett’s visually-driven media experiment.





September 2016

When: Friday, September 30 at 5pm
Where: Rise New York, 24 W 24th St. New York, NY 10010

Lean Startup Night pops up in New York for the month of September, where we’ll host a meetup for our East Coast entrepreneurial community. This is your chance to meet like-minded innovators in your area over beer and pizza while also getting expert product and design tips from GV’s design partner, Daniel Burka. On Friday, Sept. 30 at 5pm ET, we’re featuring a discussion on the intersection of design sprints and Lean Startup, and how this combination of tactics leads to continuous learning. Daniel Burka, design partner at GV, will be interviewed by Carbon Five’s Courtney Hemphill, with time afterward for your questions on the issues that arise from their conversation. Daniel will go over examples of design evolutions based on the build-measure-learn feedback loop, how to avoid perfectionism while still correctly testing the feel of a product, and the usefulness of a well-crafted startup launch.

Daniel Burka is a design partner at GV, Google’s venture capital group. He works with the venture fund’s many portfolio companies to solve their design challenges and build great product teams. Daniel has had a varied career that included co-founding an agency (silverorange), design directing at startups (Digg and TinySpeck), and founding two startups (Pownce and Milk). When Milk was acquired by Google, Daniel ran a mobile-focused design team there before moving to GV where he gets to work on everything from robots to apps to wearable therapeutics.




courtneyCourtney Hemphill is a Partner at Carbon Five, an integrated product design and 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.


Thank you to our partner:


August 2016

When: Thursday, August 25 from 6-8pm
Where: NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center – 505 Howard St., San Francisco, CA

Our Lean Startup Night series continues with a meetup themed around correctly testing those MVPs on the way to product/market fit. We’ll hear from a panel of digital product pros, including Megan Neese (Nissan), Courtney Hemphill (Carbon Five), and Tanya Koshy (Facebook). They’ll share their techniques for (and learnings from) testing those early MVP hypotheses, case studies that’ll be valuable in thinking about both new and mature offerings, with moderator Jennifer Maerz (Lean Startup Co.). Join us for this chance to network with like-minded entrepreneurs, crack the codes around testing MVPs, and snack on some delicious beer and pizza as part of the monthly Lean Startup Night series.


meganMegan 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 Neese has filled similar roles blending design and business as an associate director at BMW Group DesignworksUSA, a senior design strategist at Samsung Design America and as product planner at Nissan North America. As a consultant Neese has helped build design functions at two start-up firms and has led research and strategy programs for clients such as John Deere, LG Electronics, Navistar and Direct TV. Neese holds a bachelor’s in industrial design and a master’s in product development from Carnegie Mellon University.



courtneyCourtney Hemphill is a Partner at Carbon Five, an integrated product design and 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.


Tanya Koshy

Tanya Koshy 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.



JenniferJennifer 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.





July 2016

When: Thursday, July 28 from 6-8pm
Where: Pivotal Labs – 875 Howard St., San Francisco, CA
Featuring: SC Moatti and Carol Tran

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For this monthly meetup, we’re hosting mobile pioneer SC Moatti and growth marketer Carol Tran. SC, the bestselling author of Mobilized, an Insider’s Guide to the Business and Future of Connected Technology, built mobile products for Facebook, Trulia, and Nokia. She’s now the founder of Products That Count and a lecturer on mobile and growth at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Carol is a marketing professional and expert in developing targeted, cost-effective programs that generate profitable revenue growth.

SC and Carol will offer advice on how to serve existing customers while unlocking new sources of growth. They’ll cover the science and art of growth hacking, as well as best practices that can drastically drive conversion.

The cost to guarantee a spot is $5. Please only RSVP if you know you can make it, as space is limited. You can also get free admission by Tweeting about the event. 


June 2016

When: Friday, June 24th from 6-8pm; Registration and doors open at 6pm
Where: WeWork SOMA – 156 2nd St., San Francisco, CA
Featuring: Hugh Molotsi

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For this first round, we’re hosting serial innovator Hugh Molotsi, who worked at Intuit for 22 years (he ran the Intuit Labs Incubator and was an Engineering Fellow and Vice President). Now we’re lucky to have him as a Lean Startup Training Faculty Member, where he specializes in taking companies through the specifics of MVP design by working side-by-side with them as well as coaching cross-functional teams to design and build their first MVPs. At Lean Startup Night, Hugh will explain why designing an effective MVP is critical to building products your customers love, and he’ll offer real world examples as support.  Lean Startup Night is held during President Obama’s 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford June 22-24 — we’re heeding the summit’s call for entrepreneurs to host events focused on innovation.