Announcing the Disrupt SF 2019 agenda

Disrupt SF 2019 is set to be the biggest and best Disrupt yet. We’ve got a little something for everyone, including space chats with Lockheed Martin’s Marillyn Hewson and Blue Origin’s Bob Smith, a word from Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, a fireside chat with two of 2019’s big VC winners, Ann Miura-Ko and Theresia Gouw, as well as a rare chance to sit down with GV’s David Krane.

And that’s just a taste of what’s to come on the Disrupt Stage. The Extra Crunch stage will feature experienced operators giving practical, real-world advice on how to launch, run and grow a successful startup. Topics include how to raise your first dollars, how to be good at hiring, how to design a brand and how to iterate a product, among many more.

And, of course, we can’t forget the Disrupt Battlefield competition, which will see one more startup crowned as the winner, with $100K in cash and the Disrupt Cup to take home with them.

Tickets to the conference are available here. We hope to see you there!

So without any further ado, here’s a look at our 2019 Disrupt SF agenda.

(Editor’s Note: The agenda is subject to change.) 

Wednesday, October 2


Reigniting the Space Race with Bob Smith (Blue Origin)

Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith intends to return the U.S. to crewed spaceflight, with a goal of doing so this year with its first suborbital trips. Hopefully, we can also get Smith to tell us the ticket price for a trip, once it begins taking on paying customers. Main Stage 

How to Build a Billion Dollar SaaS Company with Neeraj Agrawal (Battery Ventures), Whitney Bouck (HelloSign) and speaker to be announced

Growing your SaaS company to a billion dollars in revenue is no easy task. It takes patience, perseverance and a strong team. Often it doesn’t happen until well after a company has gone public. We will talk to three people who have experience working with SaaS startups and understand the unique challenges they face getting to a billion dollars and beyond. Extra Crunch Stage 

Creating the Means of Production with Joseph Gordon-Levitt (HitRecord)

For far too long, creators have been users of platforms rather than running those platforms. With HitRecord, Joseph Gordon-Levitt changed that. JGL has been head down and hands-on with HitRecord, and we’ll hear from him about how to put the power back in creators’ hands. Main Stage

Could the U.S. Government Be Your Next Investor with Steve Isakowitz (The Aerospace Corporation) and speakers to be announced

No founder likes dilution, which is why the US government is becoming an increasingly popular source for early-stage, ambitious venture capital. Hear from VC leaders and founders who have navigated the process to discover your next source of non-dilutive capital. Extra Crunch Stage

Getting to IPO with Aaron Levie (Box) and Jennifer Tejada (PagerDuty)

PagerDuty CEO Jennifer Tejada led the company to a successful IPO earlier this year. She’ll join Box CEO Aaron Levie to talk about how these two companies charted their path to an IPO, the pros and cons of doing so, and life after ringing the bell on Wall Street. Main Stage

How to Evaluate Talent and Make Decisions with Ray Dalio (Bridgewater)

Ray Dalio knows a thing or two about building successful startups. As founder of the firm, Bridgewater, he helped build it into one of the most successful investment companies ever, managing a whopping $150 billion in assets. He recently wrote a book called Principles, and he’s coming to the TechCrunch Disrupt Extra Crunch stage in October to discuss the book and companion mobile app on how building a strong culture can lead to a flourishing startup. Extra Crunch Stage

Setting the Pace for the Next Space Race with Marillyn Hewson (Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin has had roots in Silicon Valley going back decades. Today the aerospace giant has its hands in AI, autonomy, space exploration, and more. CEO Marillyn Hewson joins us to discuss returning to crewed spaceflight, investing in startups, and what comes next for America’s biggest defense contractor. Main Stage


Startup Battlefield Competition – Session 1

TechCrunch’s iconic startup competition is back, as entrepreneurs from around the world pitch expert judges and vie for the Battlefield Cup and $100,000. Main Stage

How to Take a Digital Brand Offline with Rich Fulop (Brooklinen), James Reinhart (ThredUp), and Susan Tynan (Framebridge)

E-commerce has fundamentally changed the way we browse and buy physical goods. But even though online sales have taken a huge bite out of brick-and-mortar, it doesn’t mean that digital brands aren’t interested in the prospect of offline channels. Hear from three founders who have taken their own unique approach to launching a store. Extra Crunch Stage

The Next Generation of Wireless with Hans Vestberg (Verizon)

Hear us interview our boss’s boss’s boss about the promise (and potential perils) of deploying 5G wireless technology. Main Stage

How to Hire at Breakneck Speed with Scott Cutler (StockX), Harj Taggar (TripleByte), and Liz Wessel (WayUp)

Nothing is better than striking product-market fit and suddenly finding a path to rapid, venture-scale growth. But as that growth accelerates, how do you create the conditions to rapidly find, attract, and hire the talent you need to reach unicorn status? Hear from some of the leading recruiters and services on how they have successfully scaled recruiting and avoided key pitfalls. Extra Crunch Stage

‘The Fourth Big Wave’: Talking Crypto with Chris Dixon (Andreessen Horowitz)

If you care about understanding crypto and the ways it may well impact you sooner than you might imagine, you won’t want to miss this fireside chat with Andreessen Horowitz general partner Chris Dixon. Main Stage 

How to be a Serial Founder with David Cancel (Drift) and Caterina Fake (YesVC)

So your first company worked out well. Let’s say you have the burning desire to do another one — what’s the right way to do it the next time around? Hear from frequent founders David Cancel (formerly Performable/Hubspot, Lookery, Ghostery, Compete) and Caterina Fake (Flickr, Hunch) on what they’ve done. Extra Crunch Stage

Brex: Special Announcement 

Hear Brex CEO Henrique Dubugras announce news right from the Disrupt Stage. Main Stage 

Building Sticky Products with Cal Henderson (Slack) and Megan Quinn (Spark Capital)

Slack co-founder Cal Henderson and Spark Capital general partner Megan Quinn will discuss what it takes to create a billion-dollar business and, in Slack’s case, list on the New York Stock Exchange in one of 2019’s most highly-anticipated exits. Main Stage

How to Build a Subscription Product with Sandra Oh Lin (KiwiCo) and speakers to be announced

The direct-to-consumer landscape has exploded in the past year but the keys to making a subscription product indispensable are still up in the air as few have discovered a path to success. This chat with KiwiCo’s Sandra Oh Lin will address the constant struggles of getting a subscription service off the ground and retaining customers. Extra Crunch Stage

Serving startups with Henrique Dubrugras (Brex) and Michele Romanow (Clearbanc)

CEOs of two of the fastest-growing startups, Brex co-founder Henrique Dubugras and Clearbanc co-founder Michele Romanow, come together to unpack new solutions for startups looking to raise capital and scale — quick. Main Stage

Beefing Up with Patrick Brown (Impossible Foods)

Protein replacement for human consumption is going to be an $85 billion industry by 2030, according to UBS. Impossible Foods’ Patrick Brown will discuss how to build a business around removing animals from humanity’s food chain. Main Stage 

Startup Battlefield Competition – Session 2

TechCrunch’s iconic startup competition is back, as entrepreneurs from around the world pitch expert judges and vie for the Battlefield Cup and $100,000. Main Stage
Thursday, October 3


Robots and Returns with Frederic Moll (Johnson & Johnson) and Ajay Royan (Mithril Capital)

Frederic Moll is a pioneer in robotic surgical applications. Backed by Ajay Royan’s Mithril Capital he sold his last business to JNJ for $3 billion. Hear from these two industry leaders on the opportunities available in medical robotic field. Main Stage

How to Raise My First Dollars with Russ Heddleston (DocSend), Charles Hudson (Precursor), and Annie Kadavy (Redpoint Ventures)

Venture funding may have boomed over the last decade, but the decisions around your initial funding are as tricky as ever. Hear how to take advantage of the current landscape from top Silicon Valley early-stage thinkers including pre-seed investor Charles Hudson of Precursor Ventures, early-stage investor Annie Kadavy of Redpoint Ventures, and Russ Heddleston, CEO of Docsend. Extra Crunch Stage

Inside GV with David Krane (GV)

Gain insight into the inner workings of GV, the firm’s bold bets (Lime, Impossible Foods), recent wins (Uber, Slack) and how Krane views SoftBank from in an exclusive interview with David Krane, Google’s former director of global communications and public affairs and current CEO and managing partner of GV. Main Stage

How to Build a Secure Startup without Slowing Growth with Heather Adkins (Google), Jennifer Sunshine Steffens (IOActive), and Dug Song (Duo) 

Leading security experts from Google, Duo, and IOActive discuss some of the challenges startups and enterprises face in security. How do companies navigate the litany of issues and threats without hampering growth? Extra Crunch Stage

Beyond AI with Sam Altman (OpenAI) and Greg Brockman (OpenAI)

Fresh off a $1B cash commitment from Microsoft, OpenAI’s Sam Altman and Greg Brockman are joining us to talk about the company’s plans to bring about the age of artificial general intelligence. We’ll talk about whether that’s a good idea or not. Main Stage

The Future of Flight with Sebastian Thrun (Kitty Hawk)

Sebastian Thrun — the scientist and inventor, educator and serial entrepreneur, Google moonshot factory chieftain and self-driving car architect — is coming back to Disrupt SF. This time, it’s to talk about his latest passion project: Kitty Hawk, the electric flying car company led by Thrun and backed by Google’s Larry Page. We’ll talk about the future of flight and how this startup aims to free people from traffic. Main Stage

How to Build a Sex Tech Startup with Cyan Banister (Founders Fund), Cindy Gallop (MakeLoveNotPorn), and Lora Haddock (Lora DiCarlo)

As the old adage goes, sex sells. A panel of investors and founders will discuss the opportunities — and challenges — of building a successful sex tech startup, and how to capitalize on a market that’s projected to be worth more than $123 billion by 2026.  Extra Crunch Stage

Scooting to a Multibillion-Dollar Valuation with Travis VanderZanden (Bird)

It’s a jungle out there in the scooter wars, but that didn’t stop Bird from being on an epic tear this year. Hear from Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden about what it took to hit a $2.5 billion valuation and what the company is doing to improve its unit economics. Main Stage

Trophies, Twitch and T-shirts with Scooter Braun and Matthew Haag (100 Thieves)

100 Thieves is one of the few esports orgs to look to Silicon Valley for investment – and it’s paying off. Hear from former pro gamer and 100 Thieves CEO and founder Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag and 100 Thieves co-owner Scooter Braun on how they built a brand worth more than $130 million that turns fans into ambassadors. Main Stage 


Startup Battlefield Competition – Session 3

TechCrunch’s iconic startup competition is back, as entrepreneurs from around the world pitch expert judges and vie for the Battlefield Cup and $100,000. Main Stage 

When Spies Meet Startups with Admiral Mike Rogers and Nadav Zafrir (Team 8)

Since leaving the world of intelligence, former NSA director Adm. Mike Rogers and ex-Israeli cyber-intelligence chief Nadav Zafrir talk shop about what startups need to learn about security. Main Stage

How to Build a Space Economy with Tess Hatch (Bessemer Venture Partners), Sara Spangelo (Swarm), and Adrian Steckel (OneWeb)

From thousand-satellite constellations to space tourism, orbit is a fresh and inspiring source of new startup ideas and evolutions of established ones. Swarm’s Sara Spangelo is taking on low-cost global connectivity and Bessemer Ventures’ Tess Hatch provides the perspective of investors looking to make bets like these happen. Extra Crunch Stage 

Dominating Growth Markets with Bob van Dijk (Naspers)

Naspers is a quiet but massive conglomerate of e-commerce, media, gaming, and communications properties based in South Africa, not to mention a huge stake in Tencent. Hear from CEO Bob van Dijk about what Naspers believes is around the corner in these growth markets, and why we should or shouldn’t be concerned about an Amazon/Facebook/Google-dominated world. Main Stage 

State of the Security Union with Jeanette Manfra (DHS)

In an ever-evolving cyber world, from election security to the supply chain, Homeland Security assistant director Jeanette Manfra discusses the threats we face today — and tomorrow. Main Stage

How Do I Exit and What Happens Next with Justin Kan (Atrium), Jess Lee (Sequoia Capital) and Mike Marquez (CodeAdvisors)

Most good startup outcomes are acquisitions, and most good acquisitions happen because a buyer needs your company for a specific reason. Hear from Justin Kan (sold Twitch) and Jess Lee (sold Polyvore) plus top Silicon Valley banker Mike Marquez of Code Advisors about how to make them happen the right way. Extra Crunch Stage

Modernizing Matrimony with Shan-Lyn Ma (Zola) 

In just over five years, Zola has managed to become the go-to service provider for couples planning their wedding. Hear from Zola founder Shan-Lyn Ma on raising upwards of $140 million and how to capitalize on the most important day of her users’ lives. Main Stage

How to be a Positive Force in the Gig Economy with Derecka Mehrens (SV Rising) and Dan Teran (Managed by Q)

As gig workers continue to struggle with financial instability, inadequate labor protections and few alternatives, hear from leaders and companies that are now trying to figure out how to create an equitable, just, and sustainable economic system for gig workers. Extra Crunch Stage 

How AVs will Shape Cities with Aicha Evans (Zoox) 

Aicha Evans, the CEO of self-driving vehicle startup Zoox, will talk about the future of cities and how the tech her company is developing will change the look, feel and function of cities. Main Stage

How to Raise Capital without Talking to a VC with John Geiger (John Geiger Company) and Kathryn Petralia (Kabbage)

Raising venture investing is almost always a slog, but now there are a bevy of alternatives — many of which may not even require a slide deck and an uneasy coffee meeting with fleece-vest-wearing investors. Tune in to hear leading experts discuss how founders can raise VC without talking to VCs. Extra Crunch Stage 

Startup Battlefield Competition – Session 4

TechCrunch’s iconic startup competition is back, as entrepreneurs from around the world pitch expert judges and vie for the Battlefield Cup and $100,000. Main Stage 
Friday, October 4


The Business and Ethics of Real Tech Diversity with Tracy Chou (Block Party), Harry Glaser (Sisense), and Ellen Pao (Project Include)

There’s both a moral and a business imperative to building and fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce. Hear from Project Include’s Ellen Pao and Tracy Chou what it takes to get there, and from Harry Glaser, CEO of Sisense, how focusing on diversity has positively impacted his bottom line. Main Stage

How to Iterate Your Product with Manik Gupta (Uber), Diya Jolly (Okta), and Robby Stein (Instagram)

Launching an MVP and finding early product-market fit are just the first steps in the journey to build a great startup. Learn from leading product thinkers from Instagram, Okta and Uber on how they expand, grow, and refine their products to increase their value without alienating existing users. Extra Crunch Stage

The Grass Is Greener with Keith McCarty (Wayv) and Bharat Vasan (Pax Labs) 

The cannabis industry is projected to reach $50 billion in ten years. Keith McCarty and Bharat Vasan represent two of the biggest names in the market. Hear the duo talk about an industry with undeniable potential, but plenty of red tape to deal with, too. Main Stage

How to Take a Hardware Company Public with James Park (Fitbit) and Eric Friedman (Fitbit)

Ten years after launching their product at TechCrunch 50, Fitbit co-founders James Park and Eric Friedman join us to discuss the company’s ups and downs. Extra Crunch Stage

The Evolution of Online Video with Neal Mohan (YouTube)

YouTube remains the most popular destination for online video, and the platform for the next generation of stars. At the same time, it faces challenges around its original content strategy, competition, hate speech, misinformation and more. Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan will join us to discuss where YouTube goes from here. Main Stage

How to Build a Brand that Gets Attention with Brooke Hammerling (Brew PR), Chelsea Maclin (Bumble), and Ben Pham (Character)

Brooke Hammerling is the founder of one of the most iconic tech startup PR firms of the past decade, Brew PR, which was sold for $15 million in 2016. Chelsea Maclin is VP of Marketing at Bumble, one of the most recognizable brands in the app world today. And Ben Pham is the founder of Character, a brand design firm that’s worked with the likes of Oculus, Nike, DoorDash and Peet’s Coffee. The three will discuss how to think about brand design and what gets and keeps the attention of users.  Extra Crunch Stage

Lyft, The RealReal and 2019’s IPO circus with Ann Miura-Ko (Floodgate) and Theresia Gouw (Aspect Ventures) 

Floodgate co-founding partner Ann Miura-Ko and Aspect Ventures co-founder Theresia Gouw will unpack the trends in venture capital that have dominated headlines in 2019 and dive deeper into two of this year’s most talked about IPOs. Main Stage

The Ethics of Snipping DNA with CRISPR with Rachel Haurwitz (Caribou Biosciences)

Rachel Haurwitz is co-founder of Caribou Biosciences, a startup on the cutting edge of gene editing technologies — including animal and human DNA. She will chat with us about the ethical and scientific questions surrounding CRISPRing human embryos and what that could mean for the future of humanity. Main Stage

Snap Stays Sticky with Evan Spiegel (Snap)

Snap’s 2018 was rocky and its 2017 wasn’t much better, but in the face of renewed user growth and accelerating revenues, Snap has been mounting a massive comeback on Wall Street this year. Hear from CEO Evan Spiegel about the company’s long-term prospects and its biggest existential threats. Main Stage


Startup Battlefield Alumni Update

Battlefield startups from the past return to the stage to tell us what they’ve been up to since they competed for the Disrupt Cup. Main Stage

Startup Battlefield: Final

TechCrunch’s iconic startup competition is back, as entrepreneurs from around the world pitch expert judges and vie for the Battlefield Cup and $100,000. Main Stage

How to get into Y Combinator with Michael Seibel (Y Combinator)

The seed-stage venture firm has come to form its own startup economy over the years, with its network of companies and founders interconnecting across the tech industry and beyond. Find out how Y Combinator works today, and how you can become a part of it, in this discussion with CEO and partner Michael Seibel. Extra Crunch Stage

Bucking Smartphone Stagnation with Carl Pei (OnePlus) 

OnePlus has maintained impressive growth even as global numbers smartphone sales have faltered. Co-founder Carl Pei will discuss how the company has managed to buck industry trends by catering to a devoted fanbase and offering an innovative alternative to Apple and Samsung. Main Stage

Surviving the Smartphone with Cher Wang (HTC) 

No one knows the pain of slowing smartphone sales better than HTC. Co-founder and CEO Cher Wang will discuss how the company has maintained an industry-wide slow down and how technologies like blockchain and VR could hold the keys to the future. Main Stage

How to Build a Better Banking Startup with Chris Britt (Chime) Omer Ismail (Goldman Sachs), and Angela Strange (Andreessen Horowitz)

Chris Britt, the chief executive of Chime, Goldman Sachs’ Omer Ismail, and Andreessen Horowitz’s Angela Strange know that money is what everyone wants. The problem is how to make it more accessible to everyone in the world. Hear them discuss how to build a better bank for everyone. Extra Crunch Stage

Browse Different with Gabriel Weinberg (DuckDuckGo) 

In 2019, the average adult spends the majority of their day staring at screens, with a good chunk of that spent browsing the web. Hear from DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg about how the company is looking to change the privacy dynamics of being on the web, and the challenges of competing with behemoths like Google. Main Stage


Everybody loves a Hackathon! Hear from developers about what they built in 24 hours. Extra Crunch Stage

Startup Battlefield’s Closing Awards Ceremony

Watch the crowning of the latest winner of Startup Battlefield. Main Stage

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