Event description

With more new companies filling heretofore unforeseen needs through apps and technology the Bay Area has become a sea of startups. Whether they are the size of Google or just 4 people in a loft, chances are you’ll work in a startup at some point in your design career.

With everything just a flick of a thumb away on your smartphone design has become one of the dominant factors affecting the success of these startups. So how do you get a job in a startup? What should you expect as a designer? And most importantly how do you thrive at a startup?

Topics covered will include:

  • StartUp vs traditional in-house design roles
  • Specializing in a design skill set like UX or product design
  • The trade-off: long hours designing for more responsibility
  • Corporate culture: bicycle racks and free lunches
  • Millennials and baby boomers working together
  • Commuting and telecommuting

11.30am : Doors open for mingling and drinks
Noon-1:30pm: Panel discussion


Audrey Liu, Director of Product Design, Thumbtack
Audrey is currently focused on building a great design team, fostering strong cross-functional collaboration, and building a product experience that delivers on the true needs of Thumbtack’s customers and professionals. Prior to joining Thumbtack, Audrey was Managing Creative Director at SYPartners, a strategic innovation and transformation consultancy based in NY and SF. There she worked with Fortune 50 companies to help them define their mission, vision, and culture. She also designed SYPs first consumer product, Unstuck, and helped to build the product side of the business from the ground up.
Sarah Rutherford Carole, Product Designer, Uber
Sarah is currently on the product design team for Uber and previously worked in a similar role at Homejoy – an app for getting your place professionally cleaned. in that role Sarah was a UX & visual designer on the Homejoy product team. Sarah managed the end to end design process, which included concepting, information architecture, wireframing, visual design, prototyping and user research. As Homejoy’s first designer, Sarah expanded their product into the mobile space with native apps.
Alex Anderson, Creative Lead, Airbnb
Alex is a creative lead in Airbnb’s Art Department, a cross-functional team of writers, designers, photographers, filmmakers, and producers. She works collaboratively to create well-researched and relatable integrated campaigns, as well as community-focused storytelling platforms. Prior to Airbnb, Alex was a Design Lead at Kidrobot, where she brought limited edition art-toys from conception.
Tikva Morowati, UX Lead, Google
Tikva is a UX Lead at Google, where she is leading the agile, user-centered research, design and development of early stage products for the physical world. Prior to that she defined, designed, and launched new mobile products at Facebook and for startups through New York’s new product design shop, Charming Robot. She was also the director and curator at Ignite NYC, prototyped hardware for 5- 7 years in the future at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and made films at Film & Television Production. She can be found on Twitter @tikkers. Photo © Ricky Montalvo.


Amy Stellhorn, Founder Big Monocle
Amy Stellhorn is the CEO of Big Monocle, a creative agency in Silicon Valley. She specialized in strategic, high-level thinking and demonstrated a particular talent for building high-performing teams. Lucky for her, she seems to attract the some of the most adventurous and talented people around.
She has won awards at leading publications throughout the country and across all forms of media, and has lectured and critiqued at universities around the US. Her greatest passion is in applying design thinking beyond marketing to all aspects of life and leadership.