New Early Stage speakers to tackle growth marketing, media strategy and M&A


In a little less than three months, TechCrunch will bring its Early Stage event to SF for the very first time. Early Stage is meant to bring together more than 50 experts across startup core competencies, from funding to marketing to operation.

Today, I’m pleased to announce another four experts being added to the agenda. We’re thrilled to be joined by Priti Youssef Choksi, Brooke Hammerling, Ethan Smith and Susan Su.

Priti Youssef Choksi

Choksi is a partner on the Norwest Venture Partners consumer internet team. Before joining Norwest, she spent nine years in executive roles at Facebook around corporate and business development, leading the company’s M&A efforts. Before Facebook, Choksi spent six years at Google in strategic partnership roles. She was one of the people responsible for setting up the search partnerships with Apple and Mozilla, with top-line revenue from these deals growing from $0 to $4 billion on her watch.

How To Get Your Company Acquired, Not Sold

Learn how to think about M&A as a possible exit opportunity from a former Facebook corporate development executive turned investor. Understand what acquirers are looking for and what questions you should be asking. Create optionality for yourself as you build and grow your company.

Brooke Hammerling

Brooke Hammerling is the founder of The New New Thing, a strategic communications advisory that works with founders to shape the brand narrative. She also founded Brew Media Relations, which was acquired by Freuds in 2016 for a reported $15 million. She has 20 years of experience in the communications field, with a focus on authenticity and relationships at the core of her business. Brands she’s worked with include Live Nation, Framebridge, Refinery 29, Sonos, Splice, GroupMe, Eko and Oracle.

How To Tell The Story Between The Stories

The news never sleeps. Hear from communications veteran Brooke Hammerling, founder of Brew PR and The New New Thing, about how to build a narrative that isn’t driven by press releases and announcements.

Ethan Smith

Ethan Smith is the founder and CEO of Graphite, an SEO and growth marketing agency based out of San Francisco. He’s served as a strategic advisor to Ticketmaster, MasterClass, Thumbtack and Honey. Before Graphite, Smith held several executive roles in product management and marketing, and has been tapped by organizations like VenturebBeat, MarketWatch and INC to speak and write about SEO and growth marketing.

How To Build A High-Performance SEO Engine

Hear from Ethan Smith, who has worked with brands like MasterClass, Ticketmaster and Thumbtack, as he shares some of the most effective modern SEO strategies. Starting with a deep understanding of the user and their intent, the most successful modern SEO strategies focus on building a data-driven approach to drive user experience, content and conversion to ultimately beat the competition.

Susan Su

Susan Su is a startup growth advisor and EIR at Sound Ventures. Su has led startup growth at Stripe, served as an in-house growth advisor at 500 startups and led the growth marketing as a founding team member at Reforge. After a career that spanned both product and marketing, Su has combined the two to take advantage of the rise of scaled distribution platforms.

Minimum Viable Email

Love it or hate it, email is here to stay. But understanding where it fits into the conversion funnel, and how to maximize its impact, can be arduous. Learn from Sound Ventures advisor and EIR Susan Su how to optimize open rates, deliverability, unsubscribes and conversions for consumer and enterprise products alike.

There will be about 50+ breakout sessions at the show, and attendees will have an opportunity to attend at least seven. The sessions will cover all the core topics confronting early-stage founders — up through Series A — as they build a company, from raising capital to building a team to growth. Each breakout session will be led by notables in the startup world on par with the folks we’ve announced today.

Don’t worry about missing a breakout session, because transcripts from each will be available to show attendees. And most of the folks leading the breakout sessions have agreed to hang at the show for at least half the day and participate in CrunchMatch, TechCrunch’s great app to connect founders and investors based on shared interests.

Here’s the fine print. Each of the 50+ breakout sessions is limited to around 100 attendees. We expect a lot more attendees, of course, so signups for each session are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Buy your ticket today and you can sign up for the breakouts we are announcing today. Pass holders will also receive 24-hour advance notice before we announce the next batch. (And yes, you can “drop” a breakout session in favor of a new one, in the event there is a schedule conflict.)

We’re absolutely thrilled for this event, and we hope you are, too. Buy a pass to Early Stage SF 2020 right here!

Interested in sponsoring Early Stage? Hit us up here.

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