Learn how to protect your startup from a recession and more with these Disrupt roundtables

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Here’s what I’ll tell you guys. Round tables on TechCrunch Disruption – to come to you live and in person on October 18-20 in San Francisco with an online day on October 21 – will not be off the hook.

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We asked you to take part in our roundtable poll and vote on the topics you want on Disrupt. The winners you choose do put their choice in the Audience Choice. We have already told you about the first, second as well as third sets of winners, and we are ready to reveal the next ones. But first…

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Destroy less: Can be more than $1000 if you buy a pass in Disrupt until prices go up Friday, August 5 at 11:59 p.m. PT..

Disrupt members love roundtables — 30-minute expert-led discussions for up to 20 participants who share an interest in a particular topic. The format allows for more meaningful conversation, questions and answers, and gives participants time to network and explore opportunities for collaboration.

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These five roundtables cover a range of interesting topics, including the possibilities of connecting your company’s data and culture, focusing on growing revenue during an economic downturn, investing in diversity, funding founding students, and learning the basic art of persuasion.

Leveraging data and culture at scale

Speaker: Christine Spangco-founder and CTO of Nylas

After all, great companies serve two groups – their customers and their employees. For companies seeking growth, operational scale, and transformational innovation, these two groups need to be in sync and woven into the fabric of the company and how it makes strategic decisions.

During this roundtable, Spang and attendees will discuss how founders and business leaders can use the power of their data and their culture to make the best possible decisions for their customers and their employees.

How to protect a SaaS startup from a recession

Speaker: Hasib Budhani, co-founder and CEO of Rafay Systems

During economic downturns and when resources are scarce, companies must find ways to cut costs while still achieving business goals. In these situations, B2B SaaS companies are in the best position to not only stay afloat but also find growth opportunities. How? Leveraging mission-critical capabilities in the form of SaaS allows services to scale quickly and easily—network-no, organizations can better leverage their resources to innovate and reduce costs and meet company goals during times of economic hardship.

In this roundtable, we’ll discuss why SaaS startups should rethink their strategy during economic downturns and develop their go-to-market strategies to focus on revenue growth while lowering total cost of ownership.

Make the business more accessible

Speaker: Ryan Neseco-founder and managing partner of Next Play Capital

Does the actual flow of capital and the composition of teams in venture funds match the press releases and sound bites? Despite rising awareness of the disparity in venture capital funding, many barriers remain for both female-led startups and startups seeking funding, as well as job seekers hoping to land a coveted opportunity at a venture firm.

Although a record number of VCs have shared their intentions to improve support for underrepresented founders, VCs remain a closed club of insiders. Meanwhile, as the athlete venture capitalist trend continues to grow, many of these often diverse investors are leading the way by supporting different founders and teams.

During the round table we will discuss:

  • Steps to change
  • Best Ways to Test Opportunities
  • A guide to investing in diversity

Starting Early: How to Invest in Founding Students

Speaker: Melissa LeeCommunity Leader and Managing Partner of the Dorm Room Fund

Melissa Lee will talk about the importance of investing in founding students to save the future of technology—by closing the lingering gap between gender and diversity, and addressing the geographic disparities and network asymmetries faced by founders.

At this round table we will discuss:

  • Why Universities Are an Important Touchpoint for Transforming Representation, Diversity and Inclusion in Venture Capital and Startups
  • Ways to structure university or graduate-oriented mentoring programs and accelerators/incubators to support different founders and promote different types of businesses
  • How to structure campus-focused initiatives such as seed funds, alumni angel groups, or crowdfunded small business lending programs to put new technology hubs and growing local ecosystems on the map.

The Art of Persuasion: How to convince people to work with you

Speaker: Trisha Bantigco-founder and CEO of Queenly

As a founder, the most important lesson I’ve learned is mastering the art of persuasion. This allows you to convince almost anyone to work with you and believe in your ability to realize your vision. This allows you to confidently present the big picture of your company to investors and convince them that you are worth investing in.

To get a co-founder to sacrifice their current stability and work with you for free, you need to prove that you are a reliable partner and that you will not leave him when things go wrong. Attracting talent and building a team means selling the potential benefits of joining early and encouraging them to follow you as their leader.

These important interpersonal skills are often overlooked when tech articles, TED talks, podcasts, etc. e. brings up the topic “what makes a great founder”. You hear a lot about grit and technical skills, but they’re useless if you can’t convince anyone on your team.

In this roundtable, we’ll discuss the tools and tactics to help you convince others to become your supporters, stick with you to the very end – whether it’s success or failure – and be better prepared as you build your company.

TechCrunch Disruption will be held October 18-20 in San Francisco, with an online day on October 21. Buy a pass before the early booking price disappears Friday, August 5 at 11:59 p.m. PT.and you can save over $1,000.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or participating in TechCrunch Disrupt 2022? Contact our sponsor sales team at by filling out this form.



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