My Favorite Companies & Classes to Visit at Next Week’s NewCo Bay Area


Next week’s NewCo Bay Area festival is going to be our most impressive yet, with companies in three major cities — Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco — all opening their doors throughout the week. We also have added a day of “MasterClasses” with tracks taught by experienced practitioners on Design/UX, Marketing, and startup leadership. All of this on top of our Shift Forum, which is most likely going to sell out of tickets by mid to late this week.

If you wanted to, you could fill four full days with nothing but NewCo experiences, and of course, that’s what I’ll be doing. Here’s my lineup of companies I’ll either be visiting, or would visit if I wasn’t running the program at the Forum:

Monday, Feb. 6th — MasterClasses at the St. Regis, San Francisco

10 am: Sandwich Video: Making the Most of Video for your Business (GROWTH MARKETING) — I’ve tried to make video work numerous times in various businesses over the years, and it’s still eluded me (I’m a hopeless word guy). I’m looking forward to learning some tactics and tricks from this session.

11 am: The Hustle: Email Marketing as More Than an Afterthought (GROWTH MARKETING) — I’m an investor in The Hustle, and their email performance is extraordinary. I want to know how they do it!

1:30 pm: Omada Health: Designing with Data (DESIGN) The other classes in this our are full, alas, but that’s OK, because I wanted to know more about how to design with data in any case. And Omada Health is an interesting company, and its director of product design is certainly someone I’d like to know.

2.30 pm: Adstage: Multi-Channel Lead Nurturing: How to Marry Marketing Automation with Social Advertising for B2B (GROWTH MARKETING) — I am also an investor at AdStage, and Sahil, the presenter, is a monster of paid marketing.

3:30 pm: Betabrand: Testing to Campaign Success (GROWTH MARKETING) Who wouldn’t want to learn marketing tricks from one of the Internet’s most successful commerce brands?!

At 4 pm I turn into a pumpkin and run the program at Shift Forum….

Tuesday, February 7th — Oakland Focus

9:30 am: Mamacitas Cafe — I’ve always wanted to visit this special restaurant, which has a model for hiring and female empowerment that is widely praised and copied. Wish I could go: Guardian Training, Oakland City Hall Civic Design Lab.

11:00 am: Natel Energy — I don’t know anything about the company but the description sold me: “Tour Natel Energy’s impressive headquarters — a cavernous airplane hanger on the former Alameda Naval Airbase. Learn how this singular workplace provides ample space to assemble and test the technology the company designs.” I’ve never been to the Naval Airbase. Super cool! Wish I could go: Destiny Arts Center and Jiff.

1:30 pm: Kapor Center for Social Impact — One of the most important institutions in Oakland, run by Mitch and Frieda Kapor. Just a great outfit worth knowing better. Wish I could go: Numi Organic Tea and Global Glimpse.

3 pm: Youth Radio — Another well known Bay Area institution I’ve not had the fortune of seeing. They do impressive work, it’ll be fun to see inside how they do it. Wish I could go: Oakland Digital and Imperfect Foods.

4:30 pm: The Center for Investigative Reporting — Their work has never been more important, given the times in which we find ourselves. Wish I could go: Hack the Hood and Free Range.

5:30 pm: Meetup Oakland @ Woods Bar and Brewery

Wednesday, February 8th — SF Focus

9:30 am: Exygy — If you live in the city, you have to care about the housing crisis. Exygy is working on that problem, and in this session we’ll learn a lot more about it. Wish I could go: Metromile and True Ventures.

11 am: Center for New Music I love music, but I don’t learn as much about it as I’d like to. So I’m taking a flier and checking these guys out. Wish I could go: Compass Family Services and

1:30 pm: AltX — I love the topic — focusing on myths we tell ourselves when managing our own finances. I sure do that! Wish I could go: Casper and Slack Technologies.

3 pm: Reddit. Because, well, Reddit. Wish I could go: DoTheBay and KITE.

4:30 pm: NerdWallet — Because I want to learn what the buzz is on this company. Wish I could go: and Earnest.

6:30 pm: VIP Plenary & Reception @ Automattic Lounge I’ll be interviewing Toni Schneider at this event!

Thursday, February 9th — San Jose and SF Focus

9:30 am: Volta Charging — Because the future is electric. Wish I could go: PayPal and AltSchool.

11 am: and — Of course I want to hear all about this massive shift in Walmart’s strategy! Wish I could go: City of San Jose’s Innovation Team and Ancestry.

1:15 pm: Adobe “Future of Work” Think Tank — This features the Mayor of San Jose!

3:00 pm: Code for America — I love founder Jen Pahlka and want to hear her ideas about how to engage in the age of Trump. Wish I could go: San Jose Museum of Art and Good Karma Bikes.

4:30 pm: LiveRamp — Sure I am on the parent company’s board, but it’s always good to go deeper! Wish I could go: Ripple and Bluxome Street Winery.

5:30 pm: World Affairs Meetup Reception , World Affairs Financial Inclusion Panel

Phew! What a week! I think I’ll take Friday off….see you out there!

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