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

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

Exciting news! We're excited to reveal the near-complete agenda for the Builders Stage, the culmination of months of hard work. This is just one of six stages showing at this year's event, with many more announcements to come.

PS Early bird ticket sales end on May 31st. Book your pass today and save up to $800!

About the builder stage

The Builders Stage serves as a hub for dozens of panels and interviews dedicated to the essential elements of building and financing tech startups. This year, we are doubling down on our commitment to providing high-quality programming with innovation at all stages of a startup's journey. Expect a deep dive into business operations, talent acquisition, fundraising and other crucial topics tailored to the new wave of startup pioneers. Plus, don't miss sessions like “How to Find and Maintain Product-Market Fit,” “What You Need to Get a Series A Today,” and “When to Cash Out and When to Keep Fighting.”

First, take a look at the Builders Stage agenda

How the chain smokers add value beyond their celebrity status

While many celebrities invest in startups, the Chainsmokers are different. Instead of angel investments, Drew Taggart and Alex Pall launched a formal fund, Mantis Venture Capital; investing from a formal closed-end fund; and backing companies in industries where their celebrity can't always help, such as security startups and analytics platforms. In this session, Taggart and Pall are joined by Dan Lorenc, founder of Chainguard, to talk about how they are an asset to their B2B startups.

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

How to find and maintain product-market fit

Every startup knows they need to find product-market fit. But once they find real resonance between what they offer and what is in demand, how should a startup ensure they don't lose the product-market fit they've acquired? Finding PMF is one thing; sustaining it is another.

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

How to build a business while protecting your mental health

Everyone knows that building a business is stressful. And it is just as common knowledge that endless chronic work can lead to burnout. So why don't we talk more about the founder of mental health? As our culture becomes more comfortable discussing mental health in general, it's time we bring the topic to Disrupt for a thorough interrogation.

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

What you need to raise a Series A today

If you're not building the next base model AI company, it's probably harder to build a Series A company today than it has been in a while. So to help seed-stage founders prepare for their first letter round, let's explain to investors what they – and their companies – are looking for in their next Series A deals.

  • Renata Quintini, co-founder and managing director of Renegade Partners
  • Elizabeth Yin, General Partner, Hustle Fund

When should you cash out, when should you keep fighting?

Startup founders are often given the opportunity to sell their company before it is fully mature. In today's world, where IPOs are often delayed beyond historical norms, it can be tempting for founders to look for a parent company for their startups. But when does it make sense to sell, and when should a founder continue to follow their own path?

  • Naveen Rao, VP Generative AI, Databricks

How startups can save the world

Startup work and venture capital investments are usually judged through the lens of their financial results. The bigger a startup becomes, the more it is worth. But some early-stage tech companies are also working to improve the world and make money at the same time. So we want to know how far “doing good” can go, while not giving up on the crucial “making money” side of building tech companies.

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

Don't be a lemming: the anti-hype panel

What is the difference between real opportunity and hype? Answering that question correctly is the difference between success and failure in the technology industry. And it's a much harder question than it seems. When everyone is convinced that a specific technology is the future, founders – and even VCs – tend to pursue that technology en masse. But as anyone who has lived through a boom-and-bust cycle in the Valley knows, collective excitement – ​​hype – is not the best indicator.

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

The next billion-dollar tech companies

You might think that if former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, former Twitter COO Adam Bain, and former Facebook Chief Revenue Officer David Fischer joined forces for a venture capital firm, they would focus on a next-generation Internet. Or fixing social media. But you'd be wrong. They are looking for companies that are ready for a Series B round and help them get to hyper scale, without taking board seats.

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

Family Offices want startup exposure, but what are they looking for?

Family offices have become increasingly active in investing in startups, both directly and through their venture capital investors. But what are they looking for? While no two family offices are the same, this session will delve deeper into the investment trends of family offices and where they have spent time in the startup ecosystem. We will also discuss the type of risk these investors are willing to take and what makes a startup suitable for this category of financiers.

Can startups revive American manufacturing?

Not every startup solely builds software. A large number are also building hardware these days, raising the question of where their equipment will be designed and built. Some choose to invest in domestic production capacity, often under the banner of 'American dynamism'. This panel will explore how far – and how quickly – the reindustrialization of the United States can proceed, and how we can make it happen.

  • Rebecca Gevalt, Managing Partner, Dcode Capital
  • Topher Haddad, co-founder and CEO of Albedo
  • Kai Kloepfer, founder and CEO of Biofire

Free but not cheap: the open source dilemma

Open source software is everywhere and in everything. Many startups are explicitly pursuing open source business models. But every company that builds software is at least somewhat dependent on open source code. However, recent security issues have made it clear that open source software is a target for state-level hackers. How can we continue to build and use code that is developed collectively, but without the risk of backdoors and other security holes?

  • Aeva Black, Open Source Security Lead, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
  • Luis VIlla, co-founder and general counsel of Tidelift

How to rent in 2025

Gone are the days when recruiters seemed more plentiful than leaves in the wind; employees in virtually every startup position are therefore confronted with a more conservative labor market. How can founders take advantage of their increased labor purchasing power while treating their workforce with respect and retaining key talent? Founders, take note, this one is for you.

  • Heather Doshay, partner, people and talent, SignalFire
  • Lauren Ilovsky, talent partner, Capital G
  • Roger Lee, CEO, Comprehensive.io

How to raise in 2025 if you played a flat, down or extension round

Old ideas, like you need $100 million in back-end revenue to go public, and $1 million in annual recurring revenue to land a Series A, are so old that they're practically on top of people's heads. Abe Lincoln sitting. In today's market, what a startup needs to generate depends on the sector, the founder's profile and, yes, the momentum. So what do you need to raise that Series A?

  • Nikhil Basu Trivedi, co-founder and general partner of Footwork
  • Dayna Grayson, co-founder and general partner, Construct Capital
  • Elliott Robinson, partner, Bessemer Venture Partners

Interested in collaboration opportunities with JS? Contact the partnership team here.

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