Founder Summit 2020

Founder Summit 2020

We’re throwing a summit for founders, co-hosted with our friends at SureSwift Capital, March 13-15, 2020 in Mexico City. It will be focused on building relationships and spending quality time with other founders—like a well-done company retreat but for 150+ incredible people building companies. It’s invite only, and we already expect it to sell out. You can start the process to join us here.

Does the startup world need another conference?

We didn’t want to start a conference just for the sake of it, so we asked every founder we knew what they would want us to create for an annual in-real-life experience. Here’s what we heard:

1/ Remote work is the future, but it needs to be paired with more opportunities to build connections, have spontaneous discussions, and form lasting friendships in real life…. particularly with other founders going through similar challenges.

2/ Conferences can be great, but most people don’t go for the powerpoint presentations. Earnest Capital and SureSwift are built on questioning the status quo. So we wanted to create something that will look nothing like a traditional conference1. Think of it as an incredible team retreat, just with 150 or so other founders, focused on interaction and curated experiences, with plenty of flexibility and breathing room to meet, chat, and have fun with a great group of founders.

Oh… and the whole thing will be in Mexico City, so the food, culture, and energy is going to blow your mind.

Who is it for?

Earnest founders and mentors will be there and 150+ other like-minded founders building profitable, sustainable, calm, remote companies.

We’re not dogmatic about what you call yourself: Bootstrappers, indie hackers, makers, builders, and entrepreneurs are all welcome (and yes, you can even come if you raised some venture capital).

The event will be invite only and space limited, not because we want to be snooty about it, but because we want the experience to live up to your expectations and ours.

Non-founders can absolutely come too, but we’ll keep space extremely limited with a strong focus on founders.

This event will feel “VIP,” but you don’t have to be a famous and successful founder (yet) to attend. We want a great mix of folks from early-stage makers to operators running large, successful companies. If you don’t feel you have anything to learn from spending time with solo founders still doing it all themselves, or folks thinking about how to take their team from 100 to 250 employees, you probably won’t enjoy this, but if that sounds energizing and rewarding, you are welcome.

Mmmm, tamales

What will you actually do?

It’s our first one of these, so we’re making it up as we go and just creating the event we would want to attend. Here’s a general idea of how you’ll spend your three days.

Masterminds and small coaching sessions: Facilitated small group discussions with world-class experts on building incredible products, hiring a remote team and creating a sustainable culture.

Will these workshops be in a bland conference room you ask? No, they’re going to be on boats, floating down the Xochimilco canals with the occasional mariachi band floating by.

Live podcast episodes: we’re bringing some of the best interviewers in our space to record live episodes with extensive Q&A.

Getting outside and doing stuff with founders: A luchador match, yoga & guided meditation in Chapultepec park, mezcal & taco tastings, or learn to cook your own mole and then eat it with your new (and old) founder friends.

Activities will be “choose your own adventure” style and we’ll make sure there’s plenty of communal work space if you just want to nerd out for a few hours somewhere with power outlets and coffee.

Daytime activities may be broken up in smaller groups, but there will be epic group dinners and evening events for everybody.

Vision quests aren’t on the official agenda, but you’re free to structure your own experience.

What you won’t do is:

  • Listen to endless sales pitches. The summit will be a strictly enforced pitch-free event.
  • Sit quietly and answer emails while pretending to listen to an hour-long powerpoint presentation.
  • Pay for a famous founder’s vacation. We don’t pay speaking fees and there won’t be any formal line between speakers and attendees. Everybody will be there for the same reason.

Why Mexico City?

Honestly, why not? The food is amazing. It’s a high energy city with a vibrant tech/startup scene. The conference will be centered around the lush, walkable restaurants and cafe-packed neighborhoods of Condesa, Roma, and Polanco.

Raise your prices!

Mexico City also offers really good value. So the venues will be exceptional for the price. We’ll provide a hotel block, but if you want to bring the family and book a 3-bedroom Airbnb with a terrace, you’ll find tons of excellent and affordable options.

There are direct flights from most major cities in the US ranging from 2 hours (Houston) to 5 hours (Seattle or NYC).

How to join us?

Tickets will be US$1,4952 (Early Bird pricing is TBD) for three days including all workshops, experiences, meals, mezcal & margaritas. We’re not a conference company and aren’t trying to make a profit here. Our goal is to put every dollar we can into making the experience ?.

We expect to allocate most of the tickets by December 1 so please register soon to keep your FOMO in check.

Note: to be 100% clear, the invite process is about helping us make sure we get a nice balanced group of folks of different experience levels and perspectives. Don’t stress about it.

Or sign up for updates, announcements, and ticket info below:

Misc & FAQ

Can I bring my spouse, partner, +1?

Absolutely. Many of the activities will be plus-one-friendly and we’ll provide plenty of good resources for enjoying the city during the summit. Please indicate on your questionnaire whether you intend to bring a +1.

What if I’m a founder who can’t afford it?

We will make a number of scholarships available. Please fill out the main form and then follow up with us separately.

Can I sponsor this?

Yes, there are a limited number of sponsorship opportunities primarily focused on funding the scholarships mentioned above. Please reach out here.

  1. I know what you’re thinking and no we’re not going to call it an “unconference”

  2. Way out of your bootstrapper budget?Fill out the form anyway and let us know how we can make it work