Every summer, over a thousand founders, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs gather in Montreal for Startupfest, a sprawling week of events around launching new companies. I help put together the content for the event, and it’s always a blast—from elevator pitches in an actual elevator, to post-conference fireworks over the St. Lawrence River, to impromptu Q&A sessions with startup legends, to Montreal’s infamous nightlife.

Here’s a brief video of last year’s mayhem:

This year, Ben and Alistair are teaming up with Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits, authors of the best-selling Lean Entrepreneur, to put on a one-day workshop immediately before Startupfest. Tickets are $90 if you’re also attending Startupfest, and $195 if you’re just coming for the workshop. The first 100 people to buy a ticket also get signed copies of Lean Analytics and The Lean Entrepreneur.


The lessons of these two books don’t just apply to startups—they’re relevant to marketers and product managers working to change the status quo within companies of all sizes and shapes, from agencies seeking new angles for their clients to Fortune 500 titans trying to revitalize cash cows and fend off disruption.

If you’re already sold, go buy a ticket now. If you still need some convincing, read on.

The Startupfest Lean Workshop

Marc Andreesen said “Markets that don’t exist don’t care how smart you are.” Whether you’re a startup founder trying to disrupt an industry, or an intrapreneur trying to provoke change from within, your biggest risk is building something nobody wants.

This day-long workshop will show you how to fix that.

Alistair, Ben, Brant and Patrick—along with a lineup of guests—will tackle the challenges of building a business head-on. Using the latest thinking in customer development, analytics, and continuous learning, we’ll look at what it takes to build a better business faster. From understanding your product and market, to building the right team, to measuring the right things, it’s a day of concrete, real-world lessons from seasoned entrepreneurs.

The Lean Entrepreneur

Market uncertainty can be described by an innovation spectrum stretching from lesser uncertainty, when you’re undertaking projects that build directly on others, to greater uncertainty, when you’re pursuing truly disruptive ideas. Where is your idea on the innovation spectrum? Whether you are in a startup or in the enterprise, where you sit on the spectrum determines how you can most profitably apply lean startup methods.

In this session, Brant and Patrick will show you:

  • The best strategy and tactics for your place on the innovation spectrum
  • What waste looks like in a lean startup and how to capture the value stream
  • How to ignore anti-segment and how to segment your market expertly
  • The difference between listening to customers and doing what they say
  • How to build a cross-functional team for Day 0

You’ll leave knowing:

  • The value you are creating
  • For whom and
  • How to deliver that value

What you won’t get is:

  • A paint-by-numbers approach for instant success;
  • A 400-page workbook;
  • Or time wasted listening to pie-in-the-sky theories of entrepreneurial success.

Lean Analytics

The Lean Startup is all about a constant cycle of learning. By measuring and analyzing as you grow, you can validate whether a problem is real, find the right customers, and decide what to build, how to monetize it, and how to spread the word. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to figure out what kind of business you are, what stage you’re at, and what’s the One Metric That Matters to your startup right now.

In this session, Ben and Alistair will share lessons learned from discussions with over a hundred business experts and more than thirty case studies.

You’ll learn:

  • Lean Startup models, analytics fundamentals, and the data-driven mindset
  • How your business model and company stage drive your analytics strategy
  • How to choose the One Metric That Matters for your business right now
  • How to draw a line in the sand, so you’ll know it’s time to move ahead
  • Applying Lean Analytics principles beyond the garage—to large enterprises and established products

Schedule and lineup

The two “anchor” sessions will be Brant and Patrick talking about entrepreneurship, and Ben and Alistair talking about metrics. We’re adding some guests and surprise speakers to the lineup over the coming months, too. It’ll be a full day, starting at 9AM and ending at 5PM.

Brant Cooper

brantcooperBrant consults for and advises startups on Lean Startups and Customer Development. He runs the San Diego Tech Founders monthly meetup, curates the San Diego edition of the Startup Digest, and mentored at CONNECT for four years. He is the co-author of The Lean Entrepreneur and a sought-after speaker and consultant on entrepreneurship.

Brant has over 20 years experience in IT and a long track record of bringing high-tech products to market with companies such as Tumbleweed, Timestamp, WildPackets, Incode and InfoBright. A prolific writer, he’s published articles for Venture Beat and Business Insider and blogs at Market By Numbers.

Alistair Croll

Alistair CrollAlistair has been an entrepreneur, author, and public speaker for nearly 20 years, involved in web performance, big data, cloud computing, and entrepreneurship in that time. In 2001, he co-founded web performance startup Coradiant (acquired by BMC in 2011), and since that time has also launched Rednod, CloudOps, Bitcurrent, Year One Labs, the Bitnorth conference, the International Startup Festival and several other early-stage companies.

Alistair is the chair of O’Reilly’s Strata conference, Cloud Connect, and Interop’s Enterprise Cloud Summit. Lean Analytics is his fourth book on data, networking, technology, and entrepreneurship. Alistair lives in Montreal, Canada and tries to mitigate chronic ADD by writing about far too many things at Solve For Interesting.

Patrick Vlaskovits

patvPatrick is an entrepreneur, mentor and author. He has founded two startups, serves as CMO at Drumbi and co-wrote The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development: A Cheat Sheet to The Four Steps to the Epiphany. Patrick organizes the Los Angeles Lean Startup Meetup and Twiistup. Patrick holds a Master’s in Economics with an emphasis in finance and econometrics from UC Santa Barbara.

A frequent writer and speaker at events like SXSW and Lean Startup Machine, his writing on debunking the origin of Henry Ford’s “faster horses” has been featured on Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal blog and The Browser. Patrick tweets @pv and blogs vlaskovits.com. In addition to his consulting and thought leadership around The Lean Entrepreneur, Patrick advises early-stage companies including Drumbi (where he acts as CMO), Chromatik, and a variety of startups involved with 500 Startups and The Lean Startup Machine.

Ben Yoskovitz

benyoskovitz300x275Ben is a serial entrepreneur with 15+ years experience in web businesses. He started his first company in 1996 while completing university. In 2007 he co-founded Standout Jobs, a B2B software company in the recruitment space. The company raised $1.8M from venture and angel investors. In 2010 after exiting Standout Jobs, Ben co-founded startup accelerator Year One Labs, which informed much of his thinking for Lean Analytics.

Ben has been blogging since 2006. The “Instigator Blog” is recognized as one of the top blogs on startups and entrepreneurship. Ben is also an active mentor to numerous startups and accelerator programs. He regularly speaks at startup conferences and events, including the Michigan Lean Startup Conference, Internet Marketing Conference, etc. Ben is VP of Product at GoInstant, a startup developing co-browsing technology for shared web experiences that was acquired by Salesforce.com in 2012.

We hope you can join us. We’re running the event at a loss—the fee pretty much covers the venue, A/V, and the books—and seating is limited. We promise it’ll be a day of insight and access to some of the most forward-thinking minds in entrepreneurship.

So buy a ticket now, and we’ll see you in a few months!

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