99U Conference attendees are entitled to ONE Studio Session. Choose yours below:

First Round Capital

Tech Trends That Are Getting Funded

60 Madison Avenue, Suite 1001

Thu, Apr 30 (9:15am - 11:00am)

The startup world is a rapidly changing landscape, so what ideas are investors looking toward as the next big thing?… Read More →

The startup world is a rapidly changing landscape, so what ideas are investors looking toward as the next big thing?

Join First Round partners Chris Fralic and Wiley Cerilli and Ringly founder Christina Mercando as they share the trends that have captured their attention. From hardware startups to socially focused businesses, they'll share plenty of examples and leave lots of time for Q & A to answer all of your funding and startup questions.

About Chris Fralic

Chris Fralic is a Partner at First Round Capital and based in their New York office. He joined the firm in 2006 and has focused on a number of the firm's investments in areas such as Advertising Technology including Invite Media (acquired by Google) and Demdex (acquired by Adobe), Social Media including CoTweet (acquired by ExactTarget) and myYearbook (acquired by QuePasa), eCommerce, Gaming, Mobile and more. Chris has 25 years of technology industry experience, with significant Internet business development roles since 1996. Chris was VP of Business Development at social bookmarking and tagging company del.icio.usthrough the Yahoo! acquisition. Chris was also one of the early employees and VP of Business Development at Half.com starting in 1999, and after the eBay acquisition spent six years with eBay in a variety of entertainment, business development and media roles. Chris earned his BS in Finance from Villanova University and his MBA from St. Joseph's University. He can be found tweeting @chrisfralic.

About Wiley Cerilli

Wiley is a Venture Partner at The First Round Capital. Wiley started his career dropping out of NYU his sophomore year to join the founding team at Seamless in 2000, and served on their executive team for ten years as their EVP of Sales and Marketing. After Seamless, Wiley started SinglePlatform which was acquired by Constant Contact ("CTCT") in 2012 for $100M. Wiley served on the CTCT executive team for two years until he left to join First Round. Wiley never went beyond his freshman year in college cuz he wasn't good at spellin. You can find him @wileycerilli.

About Christina Mercando

Christina Mercando is the founder and CEO of Ringly, a fashion/tech company composed of designers and engineers dedicated to blending art and technology in meaningful ways.Their first product is a ring that connects to your phone and provides customized notifications through vibration and subtle light. Since the launch in 2014, Ringly has been profiled in national and global media as one of the most exciting and forward thinking wearable technology companies. Ringly was also named one of Time Magazine's Top Inventions of 2014.

About First Round Capital

First Round is a seed-stage venture firm focused on building a vibrant community of technology entrepreneurs and companies. Since its inception in 2004, First Round has backed more than 150 companies, including Uber, Square, Warby Parker, and many more. ← Read Less

Contently

Making the Leap & Jumpstarting Your Freelance Career

598 Broadway, 4th Floor

Thu, Apr 30 (9:15am - 11:00am)

Going solo is scary, so make sure you’re set up to succeed. Luckily, the experts at Contently and have matched thousands of freelancers with clients, and in this session, they share what works.… Read More →

Going solo is scary, so make sure you’re set up to succeed. Luckily, the experts at Contently and have matched thousands of freelancers with clients, and in this session, they share what works.

Join Jordan Teicher and Bill Loundy as they cover all aspects of the freelance life: paying taxes, self-marketing, getting the right clients, what clients are looking for, and how to actually get paid on time. 

About Jordan Teicher

Jordan Teicher, Contently’s associate editor, helps run the company’s two publications, The Content Strategist and The Freelancer. He’s also written for The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and Wired.

About Bill Loundy

Bill Loundy, Director of Talent Management at Contently, oversees all network operations and strategy. Contently's unique business model enables the Contently talent network—tens of thousands of top journalists, designers, videographers and other content-creators—to engage directly with corporate clients through the Contently platform. The Talent Management team at Contently is responsible for growing the network, facilitating the placement process, and creating a delightful and lucrative experience for Contently freelancers.

About Contently

We’re a tech startup based in NYC with the mission of building a better media world, and empowering the three groups that have a stake in that: publishers, creative people (journalists!), and readers. Contently.com makes software to help brands tell great stories to their audiences. Contently.net focuses on helping creative people make a good living doing what they love. ← Read Less

Betaworks

Startup Funding Secrets & War Stories

29 Little West 12th

Thu, Apr 30 (9:15am - 11:00am)

Ready to raise money for your startup? Get an unfair advantage with battle-tested stories and tactics from current investors and entrepreneurs.… Read More →

Ready to raise money for your startup? Get an unfair advantage with battle-tested stories and tactics from current investors and entrepreneurs.

Join a group of up-and-coming startup entrepreneurs led by Betaworks co-founder John Borthwick and investor Matt Hartman. They'll share what venture and angel investors look for when evaluating potential investments and how you can use their insights to get the inside track. Additionally, hear battle-tested methods and stories from Betaworks-backed startups to arm you for your own pitch meeting.

About Betaworks

We are a start-up studio based in New York. We make essential products that thoughtfully combine art and science. We have built products for the social web since 2007. Our 2013 Hackers in Residence helped us expand into mobile gaming with Dots and communication platforms with Giphy. Previous successes include Bitly, Chartbeat, and Tweetdeck. In 2012 we acquired and relaunched Digg and Instapaper. Our 2015 Hackers in Residence are busy creating the next generation of Betaworks products. ← Read Less

Work-Bench

How Small Startups Close Deals With Massive Companies

110 Fifth Avenue, Fifth Floor

Thu, Apr 30 (9:15am - 11:00am)

Want to count the Fortune 500 among your client or customer list? Selling to the big guys is part art, part science.… Read More →

Want to count the Fortune 500 among your client or customer list? Selling to the big guys is part art, part science.

In this session, startup founders Frida Polli and Rachel Kaplowitz will share their tactics and tools for finding, wooing, and closing the deal with large organizations. After, there will be plenty of time for Q and A to help you jumpstart your enterprise sales effort.

About Frida Polli

Frida Polli, PhD, MBA, is pymetrics' CEO and cofounder. Frida speaks regularly at MIT and Harvard, has appeared on CNN, and was named a Robert Kaplan Life Science Fellow by Harvard Business School in 2012. Before founding pymetrics, she was an award-winning neuroscientist at Harvard and MIT. Frida holds an MBA from Harvard, a PhD from Suffolk, and a BA from Dartmouth. She started pymetrics with cofounder and Chief Science Officer, Julie Yoo, and the company uses neuroscience and big data to provide match job candidates with companies. Think LinkedIn meets OkCupid! Job seekers get optimal career fit guidance, and companies find top-fit candidates in a process that eliminates unconscious bias and emphasizes diversity. Frida balances entrepreneurship with being a mom to an awesome daughter, Ele.

About Rachel Kaplowitz

Rachel Kaplowitz is the CEO & Co-founder of Honey, an enterprise social network helping thousands of employees share ideas, grow their professional networks, and contribute in a meaningful way to their companies. Rachel is a graduate of Columbia University and earned her MBA at NYU Stern School of Business. Rachel is also a committee member of Coalition for Queens, a member of the work-bench community, and a brand new mom! Before founding Honey, Rachel worked at Condition One, a video technology startup out of the 2012 NYC Techstars class. Follow her on Twitter @ZisserZappy.

About Work-Bench

Work-Bench is an enterprise technology growth accelerator in New York City. We scale enterprise technology companies by providing community and workspace, connecting exceptional builders to Fortune 500 buyers, and co-investing in extraordinary founders tackling enormous markets.

A technology hub, amongst major industries and Fortune 500 companies, is emerging in New York City. Yet despite the proximity, startups and corporations aren’t working together enough. Enterprise start-up founders continue to face challenges: slower value creation, complex sales and distribution networks, and lack of immediate feedback. Large corporations struggle to identify and integrate technologies capable of solving numerous critical business problems. Work-Bench bridges the divide to connect builders and buyers. ← Read Less

Frederator

Navigating the New Online Distribution Landscape

22 West 21st Street, 7th Floor

Thu, Apr 30 (9:15am - 11:00am)

How can creatives survive the messy new distribution paradigm that the internet provides? Frederator has spent the last decade developing and promoting video content to be published online and now, they're ready to share their secrets behind online hits like Bee and Puppycat and Bravest Warriors.

 … Read More →

How can creatives survive the messy new distribution paradigm that the internet provides? Frederator has spent the last decade developing and promoting video content to be published online and now, they're ready to share their secrets behind online hits like Bee and Puppycat and Bravest Warriors.

 

Frederator's Nate Olson will present key principles from the Frederator playbook for the programming and marketing of video content that people love such as titling, tagging, thumbnail design, scheduling, as well as earned and paid campaigns on all major social platforms. Then, Adventure Time executive producer and founder of Frederator Studios Fred Seibert will spend a generous amount of time answering questions and answers from the participants. Note: This session will focus mostly on the distribution of video, however questions about all media will be addressed.

About Fred Seibert 

Fred Seibert is the founder of Frederator Networks, co-founder of Thirty Labs, and a serial media entrepreneur. He was the first creative director of MTV and the last president of Hanna-Barbera Cartoons. Fred was the founder of Next New Networks (acquired by YouTube). He’s on the board of directors of Sawhorse Media, and was the first investor in Tumblr. Frederator Networks is Channel Frederator, the leading online cartoon network, Frederator Studios, an independent production company with hits on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, Cartoon Hangover, the home of Bravest Warriors and Bee & PuppyCat (the most funded web series Kickstarter in history), and Frederator Books. Frederator distributes hundreds of independently owned, animator operated, YouTube channels. Thirty Labs is a technology start-up studio, focused exclusively on video innovations. For more, read his interview with 99U.

About Nate Olson 

Nate Olson is the Director of Marketing, Licensing, and Publicity for Frederator Networks, where he is responsible for the promotion and branding of Frederator’s various Internet properties including Cartoon Hangover, Bravest Warriors, Bee and PuppyCat, and the Channel Frederator Network.

In 2012, Olson helped launch the YouTube funded channel Cartoon Hangover which grew to over 1 million subscribers in just over a year. He launched the social media networks for Cartoon Hangover and its subsidiary intellectual properties, and engineered the social media strategy across all accounts. He oversees successful licensing programs for Bravest Warriors and Bee and PuppyCat, which he has grown to include 30+ licensees and an extensive catalogue of product that are available at mass market brick and mortar stores and online retailers.

He managed the successful Kickstarter campaign for Bee and PuppyCat: The Series, which raised almost $900,000 and became the most-funded animation project, most-funded web series project, and fourth-most funded Film/Video project on Kickstarter. Olson comes from a rich media background and has held leading roles in production, marketing, and distribution. Nate Olson and partners created Bravo’s Gallery Girls docu-soap. A graduate of Brigham Young University’s Media Arts program, he did graduate studies in Instructional Technology at Utah State and Digital Media Design at Georgia Tech.

About Frederator 

Frederator Studios makes cartoons for television, movies and the Internet, and program the networks Channel Frederator and Cartoon Hangover.

Frederator Studios was founded by Fred Seibert in 1998. Since then the company has produced 16 series & over 200 short films including The Fairly OddParents, Fanboy & Chum Chum, and Adventure Time. Our shows are on Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, Cartoon Network, and Channel Frederator. Frederator is in producing partnership with Sony Pictures Animation and YouTube. ← Read Less

Shake Shack

Designing the Perfect Customer Experience

24 Union Square East

Thu, Apr 30 (9:15am - 11:00am)

From Blueprints to Burgers: A walkthrough of the role design plays in the Shake Shack guest experience, from custom architectural design, including forward-thinking structural elements and compelling eco-friendly touches, to intangible brand identity.… Read More →

From Blueprints to Burgers: A walkthrough of the role design plays in the Shake Shack guest experience, from custom architectural design, including forward-thinking structural elements and compelling eco-friendly touches, to intangible brand identity.

Note: There are several Shack Shack retail locations around New York City. This studio session is being held at Shake Shack's headquarters at 24 Union Square East.

About Cathie Urushibata, Shake Shack Senior Designer

Cathie was born and raised in Southern California. She received her B.F.A. in Illustration at California State University, Long Beach. She then moved to NYC to get her Master’s Degree in Art Therapy at the School of Visual Arts. Cathie quickly returned to design and illustration and interned at Paper + Cup Design. She then worked at a boutique design and print company, 3SL Creative, where she consulted with various stationery companies and created branding for start-ups. Cathie then joined Shake Shack as their first in-house designer. She’s now Shake Shack's Senior Designer, managing the design vision and identity across the brand.

About Lily Jordan, Shake Shack Senior Manager of Design

Lily Jordan oversees the design of the Shake Shack built environment, directing all aspects of the design process from concept through delivery. Prior to joining the Shack, Lily specialized in Michelin-starred fine dining at the Hakkasan Group, launching highly acclaimed restaurants in London, Mumbai, New York, and the UAE. Lily has also worked as an architect, educator, and design critic in the UK and Canada. She has a passion for brand expression in architecture, and for bridging the gap between academia and professional practice.

About Shake Shack

Shake Shack sprouted from a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in Manhattan to support the Madison Square Park Conservancy’s first art installation. The cart was quite the success, with Shack Fans lined up daily for three summers. In 2004, the bid was won to open a permanent kiosk in the Park: Shake Shack was born. This modern day “roadside” burger stand serves up the most delicious burgers, hot dogs, frozen custard, shakes, beer, wine and more. An instant neighborhood fixture, Shake Shack welcomed people from all over the city, country and world who gathered together to enjoy fresh, simple, high-quality versions of the classics in a majestic setting. The rest, as they say, is burger history.

http://shakeshack.com ← Read Less

SYPartners

Supercharging Your Collaboration Skills

218 West 18th Street, 10th Floor

Thu, Apr 30 (9:15am - 11:00am)

The problems we as designers, innovators, entrepreneurs, creatives, and civic leaders are asked to take on are escalating in complexity, and they require diverse minds to come together to solve them. Collaboration is essential, but not always an easy endeavor.… Read More →

The problems we as designers, innovators, entrepreneurs, creatives, and civic leaders are asked to take on are escalating in complexity, and they require diverse minds to come together to solve them. Collaboration is essential, but not always an easy endeavor.

In this session, creative leaders in SYPartners’ consulting practice will share lessons learned from working together to help transform some of the world’s most iconic companies. You’ll come away with new tools and insights for collaboration to bring back to your teams and colleagues.

About SYPartners

We help great leaders build great companies. We partner with CEOs and their leadership teams to define vision and strategy, build cultures of purpose, and design the innovative brand experiences. Past projects include work with the leaders of Apple, Facebook, GE, IBM, Nike and the complete transformation of Starbucks. ← Read Less

Firstborn

Selling & Pitching Your Work to Skeptics

32 Ave of the Americas, 5th Floor

Thu, Apr 30 (9:15am - 11:00am)

Most client projects start with the unenviable task of the tough sell—earning a company's trust and asking them to shun the status quo. Join creative agency Firstborn as they relive some of their riskiest pitches and the methods they used to win over the hearts, minds, and budgets of companies like Pepsi, Rolex, and L'oreal.… Read More →

Most client projects start with the unenviable task of the tough sell—earning a company's trust and asking them to shun the status quo. Join creative agency Firstborn as they relive some of their riskiest pitches and the methods they used to win over the hearts, minds, and budgets of companies like Pepsi, Rolex, and L'oreal.

During an interactive session, you’ll get a chance to put some of their techniques to the test and learn how to get stubborn skeptics on your side.

About Firstborn

Firstborn is a culture of thinkers and makers. Comprised of 96 strategists, designers, producers and technologists from around the world, we share a passion for creating progressive ideas and translating them into engaging, intelligent and innovative user experiences for brands like Pepsi, L’Oreal, HBO, and American Express. Recently recognized as a Creativity Standout and a Best Place to Work by Advertising Age, we push both our clients and ourselves to the forefront of the digital space. ← Read Less

MoMA

Creating Compelling & Memorable Physical Spaces

4 West 54th Street

Thu, Apr 30 (9:15am - 11:00am)

How do the brilliant minds at MoMA design world-class exhibitions and spaces? Join Associate Creative Director Ingrid Chou and Senior Creative Director Mike Abbink for a workshop that will explore how you can bring the physical spaces around you to life in unexpected ways using design.… Read More →

How do the brilliant minds at MoMA design world-class exhibitions and spaces? Join Associate Creative Director Ingrid Chou and Senior Creative Director Mike Abbink for a workshop that will explore how you can bring the physical spaces around you to life in unexpected ways using design.

After the MoMA team shares their philosophy on creating provocative, memorable experiences, attendees will be challenged to engage in a live exhibition-building exercise to test their chops.

About MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art is a place that fuels creativity, ignites minds, and provides inspiration. With extraordinary exhibitions and the world's finest collection of modern and contemporary art, MoMA is dedicated to the conversation between the past and the present, the established and the experimental. Our mission is helping you understand and enjoy the art of our time. ← Read Less

Spotify

Getting Started with User Research (On a Budget)

45 West 18th Street, 7th Floor

Thu, Apr 30 (9:15am - 11:00am)

Great products start by listening to your users, but where do you start? In this session, Spotify's user research team will share their favorite tools and techniques, and guide you through every step you need to get started on your listening journey.… Read More →

Great products start by listening to your users, but where do you start? In this session, Spotify's user research team will share their favorite tools and techniques, and guide you through every step you need to get started on your listening journey.

You'll learn how to get meaningful feedback from your users quickly, especially when budgets are tight or nonexistent, and hear the story of how Spotify built its user research team from scratch.

About Spotify

With Spotify, it’s easy to find the right music for every moment—on your phone, your computer, your tablet and more. There are millions of tracks on Spotify. So whether you’re working out, partying or relaxing, the right music is always at your fingertips. Choose what you want to listen to, or let Spotify surprise you. ← Read Less

Quirky

Mastering the Art of Collaborative Decision-Making

606 West 28th Street

Thu, Apr 30 (9:15am - 11:00am)

Get an inside look at how Quirky launches three new products every week and take a tour of their headquarters and workshop, complete with a massive 3D printer.… Read More →

Get an inside look at how Quirky launches three new products every week and take a tour of their headquarters and workshop, complete with a massive 3D printer.

CEO and Founder Ben Kaufman will lead a live "product evaluation session" with Quirky experts to give audience members a behind-the-scenes look at how the company selects products for manufacturing using a community decision-making process. Learn how the company decides what goes, what stays, and how it creates hot products for mass-retail.

Notes:

  1. Due to proximinty to mass transit, allow for a little extra time to get to this studio session.
  2. By attending this session, you agree to abide by the Quirky Non Disclosure Agreement.

About Ben Kaufman

Ben is the 28-year-old founder and CEO of Quirky. Ben publicly launched Quirky in June of 2009. In 2007, Inc Magazine named Ben the top entrepreneur in the country under the age of 30.

About Quirky

Quirky is a social product development company that releases three new products every week from independent inventors, as approved by the worldwide Quirky community. ← Read Less

IDEO

Using Rapid Iteration to Take Your Designs to the Next Level

408 Broadway, 5th Floor

Apr, 30 (9:15am - 11:00am)

The creative world increasingly rewards those who can ship and ship quickly. But how do we produce our best work in a fast-paced creative environment? By taking feedback from others and iterating rapidly.… Read More →

The creative world increasingly rewards those who can ship and ship quickly. But how do we produce our best work in a fast-paced creative environment? By taking feedback from others and iterating rapidly.

In this studio session, you'll solve a quick design challenge in collaborative IDEO-like teams and learn how to make the most of meaningful feedback on your work. IDEO staff will be on hand to walk you through the challenge and share insights on how to produce great work quickly.

About IDEO

IDEO is a global design company committed to creating positive impact in the world. We are known for having created some of the world’s best-known products, such as the first mouse for Apple and many other technology firsts. Today, we apply our human-centered, design-based methods to the stickiest problems facing business and society. ← Read Less