Once in a while an event gets me genuinely excited. ComicCon did it. My first CES. This year's NewFronts. Now there's OpenCo (Oct. 9-11 in San Francisco). Here's a short list of the over 100 companies hosting in-house innovation sessions this year: Wired, Google, SFMOMA, SV Angel, IDEO, Jawbone, TCHO Chocolate, 99designs. And the two-day "event" is unusual: we go to the actual companies, pub crawl-style.
A boss once gave me the book "Steal Like an Artist," the premise is that the best original thinking actually stems from surrounding yourself with fresh, creative, and unusual ideas. I've always valued originality, but didn't appreciate that external sources can be the catalyst for the best original work.
The goal of OpenCo is to stimulate conversation around the innovations taking place in tech, art, music, and more. (Think of it as answering the question: Where will the next big ideas come from?) The attendees will range from marketers to investors to enthusiasts. The founders of the event are the respected Brian Monahan and John Battelle.
We'll be tweeting our way through the event. So watch @bethanysimpson and @martifunk between Oct. 9-11 for highlights, pics, and more.
Note: if you're attending, pick your sessions asap! According to John they're filling up quickly. (No surprise, there were over 2000 attendees last year.) Here's what he posted:
OpenCo San Francisco Opens Free General Admission - Sign Up Now Before Your Favorite Companies Fill Up
Last year the first ever OpenCo festival launched in San Francisco, and since then, the event has gone on a world tour of New York, London, and Detroit. On Oct. 10 and 11th, the "inside out" conference returns to its roots in San Francisco.
OpenCo is a unique event concept - instead of going to a stuffy ballroom and hearing innovative founders talk at you, you go to the founder's offices and talk with them in an intimate setting. More than 130 companies literally open their doors to attendees, who pick their schedules based on their own interests. It's a wonderful way to get our of your routine and go see the modern working city.
This Tuesday, OpenCo opens its schedule picker to the general public. That means anyone can sign up and pick their favorite companies to visit. But space is limited - only so many folks can fit into the headquarters of Dropbox, or ACT, Eventbrite or SV Angel. Once a company's dance card is full, you've missed out. So register to attend and listen to presentations by HostCos such as Bloomberg, Code for America, Twitter, Liquidspace, Eventbrite, and many more. These sessions fill up fast. Check out the schedule and pick your sessions today!
OpenCo kicks off on Wednesday night with a VIP Plenary featuring Mayor Ed Lee, noted VC Ron Conway, airbnb founder Brian Chesky, Walmart.com CEO Neil Ashe, and many more. If you'd like to come, you need to buy a VIP ticket, which you can purchase here.
Come support the culture of innovation that makes San Francisco great!
See you there!