(cross posted from the NewCo blog)
NewCo’s San Francisco & Oakland festivals are less than a month away, and they will be our largest, most diverse events ever. More than 225 Bay area companies will be opening their doors to 3,000+ attendees. Choosing which companies to visit is a daunting task.
I’ve made my picks, but it wasn’t easy. One of the things that separates the NewCo model from many others is the time it requires to choose a schedule – our attendees select from 15+ companies for every time slot – and there are often very difficult choices to make. NewCo creates deep engagement and strong business intent by forcing these choices – it insures the group that shows up in a host company’s offices have actively chosen to be there – they come with a purpose, so to speak.
So here are my choices, with a bit on the intent behind them.
Monday, October 5th
6:00 pm VIP Kickoff & Reception at WeWork presented by Deloitte WeWork
This is our annual kickoff event, this year featuring the CEOs of six participating NewCos. It’s nearly sold out already, so if you want to join the festivities, sign up quickly!
Tuesday, October 6th
9:30 am AltSchool
I am a nominal advisor to AltSchool, which aims to do nothing less than revolutionize how children learn. They’ve already set up schools in the Bay area and Brooklyn, but I’ve never been to their offices. Time to change that!
Notables during this time slot: The Climate Corporation (data driven ag); SV Angel (legendary SF investor); Meadow (medical cannabis).
11:00 am The Battery
I’m an early member of this somewhat controversial social club; and I’ve heard all the pros and cons about exclusivity, tech bros, and the like. But my experience has been positive so far, and I know the club works hard to source diverse membership. I’m eager to see how the NewCo vibe mixes with The Battery’s zeitgeist.
Notables during this time slot: Metamarkets (big data meets insight); TechShop San Francisco (super cool tools); Lyft (great offices!).
12:00 pm Lunch Break – Provided by Off the Grid, Sponsored by Wolff Olins
This lunch is almost sold out, but I’ve been dreaming about an Off the Grid event at NewCo since we started three years ago. Thanks, Wolff Olins!
1:30 pm Compass Family Services/Twitter NeighborNest
I love how Twitter has integrated direct, local community service into its working environment. I’ve never seen it in action, however, and this is my chance. Compass Family Services has been around for a very long time, and is one of NewCo’s featured community philanthropies this year.
Notables during this time slot: DarkRoom (a fun new way to communicate securely); sf.citi (an important membership org. for tech companies); ODC (part of our arts track).
3:00 pm San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation
For three years the Mayor’s office has been part of NewCo, but I’ve never had a chance to see inside its hallowed halls. Again, time to correct that!
Notables during this time slot: Twitter (maybe they’ll have a new CEO?!); QB3@953 (premier life science incubator); The Hall (thoughtful SF development).
4:30 pm Slack Technologies
We live on Slack here at NewCo HQ. I want to see the factory where the magic is made! (I also have a few feature ideas…)
Notables during this time slot: Westfield Labs (cool co-working and retail innovation space); Pinterest (meet Tim Kendall, head of product/ads); Alta Motors (super cool motorbikes).
6:00 pm Meetup at Bespoke
Bespoke is Westfield’s gorgeous co-working space, in the heart of the Westfield Mall in downtown SF. Come on by for drinks, conversation, and serendipity!
Weds. Oct. 7th
9:30 am Hint Water
Hint founder Kara Goldin lives in my neighborhood in Marin, but I’ve never seen her offices. Her story is unique and inspiring, and I can’t wait to hear her tell it in her own headquarters.
Notables during this time slot: yerdle (a new way to shop and share); One Medical Group (a new way to doc); SoFi (a new way to do finance).
11:00 am NewCo Platform
Well I better be at this one, as I’ll be presenting, along with the whole NewCo team. This is our first ever NewCo session, as this is the first year we actually have an office. We’re in the Presidio, which is an entire track of its own as well.
Notables during this time slot: Metromile (rethinking loans); The Representation Project (inspiring films about females in society); Medium (see what Ev and Co. are up to!).
12:00 pm NewCo Lunch @ NewCo Headquarters
We’re buying folks lunch! You’re welcome!
1:30 pm Google
Google’s SF session (they do sessions with NewCo worldwide) is on the mobile web, which is the most important question the company faces, IMHO.
Notables during this time slot: 826 Valencia (innovative writing studio); Rickshaw Bagworks (great bags, awesome founder); Kiva.org (a new way to lend to the world’s disadvantaged).
3:00 pm Airbnb
I just love the Airbnb offices, and didn’t get enough last time, so I want to go again. If you can possibly see inside this company, I highly recommend it. Super inspiring.
Notables during this time slot: Off the Grid (the folks behind the trucks!); WIRED (20+ years and going strong); Tides (seminal Bay area foundation).
4:30 pm LiveRamp
I’m on the Board of the company that bought LiveRamp, yet I’ve never seen their offices. I know their work well, and it’ll be a treat to finally see inside this industry-changing business.
Notables during this time slot: Applauze (founder Kirin is a treat); Strava (I’m an avid user); LinkedIn (the standard for business networking).
6:00 pm We pivot to Oakland for the VIP Kickoff & Reception at Gensler Oakland
Come hear the founder of Blue Bottle Coffee and five other Oakland CEOs speak about their NewCo Oakland sessions, which run all day Oct. 8th!
Thursday, October 8th – NewCo Oakland!
9:30 am Ask.fm
I’ve always been fascinated by lesser-known but popular social networking services, and Ask.fm is pre-eminent among teenagers. I’m not a teenager, but I’ve got three of them in my household!
Notables during this time slot: Kapor Center for Social Impact (Mitch’s new building in downtown Oakland is ready!); Bolt Threads (sustainable duds!); WeWork Berkeley (I bet the vibe there is awesome).
11:00 am Gracenote
Ever since I first ran into this service, I found it magical. But Gracenote does more than recognize music. They’ve got big plans in many associated fields. I look forward to hearing CTO Ty Robert’s vision.
Notables during this time slot: Schoolzilla (big data for schools); Art.com (art of the future); SkyDeck | Berkeley (UC’s own incubator).
12:00 pm Lunch Break
1:30 pm Blue Bottle Coffee
Founder James Freeeman’s obsession with coffee with be on full display during this session. I’m a Blue Bottle convert, now I get to see where it all happens!
Notables during this time slot: SfunCube (accelerator for all things solar); Mosaic (another solar innovator); Semifreddi’s Bakery (yum!!).
3:00 pm 99designs
I’ve long thought this company’s unique approach to crowd sourced design would eventually be part of how I approached design challenges, now I can learn how to really lean into the platform.
Notables during this time slot: Hack the Hood (it is what it sounds like!); Numi Organic Tea (another Oakland F&B success story); Pandora Media (extraordinary offices).
4:30 pm Sungevity
Oakland is the solar capital of the world, and Sungevity is one of its most important players. I’ve got a big solar installation on my roof, but I don’t know much about the state of the industry. At Sungevity I plan on getting smarter.
Notables during this time slot: Youth Radio (excellent program); Mamacitas Cafe (amazing place); Dictionary.com (fun session!).
6:00 Meetup at The New Parish
After four days of exploring innovation in the Bay area, it’s time for some drinks, fun, and great music! The New Parish is a wonderful new music venue in Oakland’s flourishing entertainment district. Stay tuned for the band (to be named!) – but it’ll be a blast.
NewCo’s SF & Oakland Festivals are filling fast – Register now to get inside your own picks!