Opening Applications for First Round’s Founder Summit 2018

By Anita Hossain

Applications for this event are now closed.

For the last 10 years, First Round’s annual Founder Summit has brought together 400+ of tech’s most talented founders, CEOs and senior executives for one day of intensive learning in San Francisco. In an industry with no shortage of startup-focused events, we believe the only way to stand out is to deliver exceptional utility in the form of advice that transforms the way people work. We do this by bringing epic leaders to the stage — not to give standard talks — but to share the most important lessons of their careers with off-the-record candor and a focus on tactics. We’ve heard from many past attendees that there’s nothing else quite like it in our field.

Since its inception, Founder Summit has been invite only. This year, for our event on May 8th, we’re trying something new. We’re reserving a portion of seats to be filled via an open application. If you’re a founder, CEO or leader at a tech company, or you know someone who fits that description — regardless of size, sector or location — we’d love to hear from you.

Josh Kopelman on stage at SF Jazz, Square Product Lead Gokul Rajaram, TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot.

Over the years, we’ve been fortunate to feature both big names and rising stars. Unfiltered and brutally honest, they’ve shared the frameworks, systems and habits that led to their biggest wins (or were learned from their biggest failures). To name just a few of the remarkable people who’ve joined us:

  • Ev Williams, Co-founder of Twitter & Medium
  • Beth Comstock, former Vice Chair of General Electric
  • Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn
  • Caryn Marooney, VP Communications at Facebook
  • Max Levchin, Co-founder of PayPal, Slide & Affirm
  • Patty McCord, Netflix’s former Head of People & Culture
  • John Donahoe, former CEO of eBay & CEO of ServiceNow
  • Damien Hooper-Campbell, Chief Diversity Officer at eBay
  • Julia Hartz, Co-Founder & CEO at Eventbrite
  • Bret Taylor, Co-Founder at Quip
  • Molly Graham, former VP Operations at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  • Nathan Blecharczyk, Co-Founder of Airbnb
  • Aneel Bhusri, Co-Founder & CEO at Workday

With every talk and small detail throughout the day, our mission is clear: We want to bring together the most remarkable group of people possible to share ideas, learn from the best, and form lasting bonds. We know we can only achieve this if we set a new standard for the diversity of backgrounds, thinking and experience at events in our industry — which is why we’re excited to open this application.
If you’re interested in attending this year’s Summit in San Francisco in May, please tell us about yourself or nominate someone else who you think should be there here.
To give you a quick taste of the kind of content you can expect, here’s Kim Scott on stage in 2015, presenting her now famous ‘Radical Candor’ framework that went on to become a viral article on First Round Review and bestselling book:

Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz, PayPal & Affirm Co-founder Max Levchin, Facebook VP Communications Caryn Marooney, Steve Jobs Coach Bill Campbell in conversation with Intuit Founder Scott Cook, eBay Chief Diversity Officer Damien Hooper-Campbell, and Chan Zuckerberg VP Operations Molly Graham.

What attendees say about the experience:

“High impact, candid talks from speakers who I haven’t seen deliver similar comments in other settings.”

“This continues to be the most valuable event of the year in terms of reconnecting with my network and meeting new people. I enjoy being in a space with so many people experiencing similar challenges.”

“I came away with some great ideas to take back to my company, and we’ve already started to implement a few of them.”

“The quality is off the charts. It’s like a mini CEO-MBA.”

Applications for this event are now closed.