We are just three weeks away from the Napa Summit 2015: The Xconomy Retreat on the Economy, Jobs, and Growth. Quite simply, it is my favorite event of the year. Beyond the incredible setting, this exclusive, invitation-only conference features some of the world’s leading innovators and investors in a uniquely intimate format—offering an unprecedented view of some of the key advances that will shape our society for decades to come.
Think Dave McClure of 500 Startups and Scott Sandell of NEA on investing. Computer pioneer Gordon Bell, Siri co-inventor Dag Kittlaus, and Microsoft EVP for technology and research Harry Shum on computing, AI, and more. Long Tail author Chris Anderson on drones. Stephen Quake of Stanford and Jennifer Doudna from UC Berkeley on genomics. And that is just some of the action (more on this below).
We limit this event to under 100 extremely special guests. We are ahead of pace, so if you want to reserve your spot, request your invitation right away. You can do that by writing to us at Napa2015@xconomy.com and telling us a bit about yourself and what you do. (If you are a service provider and would like to sponsor, we still have a few great packages available. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org).
The dates are June 1 and 2. It all starts the evening of Monday, June 1, with a tour, wine tasting, and dinner at the legendary Silver Oak Cellars, home of arguably the best cabernet in California. Then we get down to business in earnest the next day with the summit itself at the nearby Villagio Inn & Spa. You can find all the details on our event page. Registration is $1,495, which includes the dinner at Silver Oak, and breakfast and lunch at Villagio, and we have discounts for startups and government/non-profits (lodging and travel are separate).
We’ve posted the agenda here. But here are some more details about the program to help you make up your mind.
Monday, June 1
Dinner chat with Dave McClure of 500 Startups, one of the most dynamic young investors in Silicon Valley. I will be moderating the conversation. But you can ask him yourself why he spreads his investments across a multitude of companies in a multitude of fields—and countries—and what he thinks the hot new trends are.
Tuesday, June 2
The day starts off with a look at major economic forces and trends in technology, biotech, and in the workplace. After that, we will bring things up close and personal with leaders in genomics, computing, robotics, AI, connected devices, education, and a whole lot more. Here are some of the highlights:
—Capturing Everything: A chat with computer pioneer Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmell, co-founder of Trov, a startup focused on, well, capturing everything. Ask Bell about his LifeBits effort and both of them about how to track everything you own and do.
—Your Genomics Future : A unique session featuring Jennifer Doudna of UC Berkeley and Stephen Quake of Stanford. Yes, we have brought the Bears and the Cardinal together for this incredible conversation. Doudna is a main inventor of Crispr-Cas9 technology that is revolutionizing aspects of biotechnology and medicine by allowing the editing of genes. Here is Xconomy national biotechnology editor Alex Lash’s Q&A with her. And here is a New York Times article about the potential—and the potential worry—of the powerful technology she has helped spread around the world. Both she and microfluidics expert Quake (think precision measurement for biology) have spawned startups. Both are top scientists. This is as powerful a duo as it gets.
—Future of AI with Harry Shum and Dag Kittlaus. You may not know these names, but they are two of the planet’s most knowledgeable experts on the future of computing. Shum, former head of Microsoft’s Beijing research lab and of Bing product development, now oversees all of Microsoft Research worldwide. Kittlaus is one of the inventors of Siri. He and Siri co-founders Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham have a new artificial intelligence startup, Viv Labs. Viv’s moniker is “The Global Brain: Viv radically simplifies the world by providing an intelligent interface to everything.” Sounds good to me.
These are just a few of the plenary sessions. You can find the rest on our agenda page. In addition to the plenary program, we will have special Deep Dives—more in-depth, breakout-type sessions on Connected Cars, The Future of Money (think bitcoin and new payment technologies), and Internet of Things. Deep Dives are smaller group sessions intended to allow more in-depth conversation than plenaries. We do them all back to back so every attendee can go to two of the three.
After the last plenary chat, which will feature NEA partner and chairman of the National Venture Capital Association Scott Sandell, we’ll hold a special wine tasting as is our custom. This year we will be sampling some wines from Ackerman Family Vineyards, owned by venture capitalist Bob Ackerman of Allegis Capital.