Thank you to everyone who attended the inaugural, sold-out NPR How I Built This Summit with Guy Raz! It was a day of inspiration, information, and connection as more than 600 attendees convened in San Francisco to invest in and build their businesses.

Watch this space for an announcement about next year’s NPR How I Built This Summit with Guy Raz and the chance to get your ticket! The Summit sold out months early this year, so don’t miss out.


Experience NPR’s How I Built This Summit with Guy Raz

October 16, 2018
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
San Francisco, CA

Like NPR's How I Built This with Guy Raz podcast, the inaugural one-day summit brings together a community of big thinkers for a day of stories and activities that can inspire your own venture: business, non-profit, creative, and beyond. 


Discover new ideas by learning from leading entrepreneurs such as Rent the Runway’s Jennifer Hyman, Airbnb’s Joe Gebbia, Lyft’s John Zimmer, Stitch Fix’s Katrina Lake, Lisa Price of Carol’s Daughter and Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry of Method as How I Built This creator and host Guy Raz interviews them on our main stage.


Build the tactical skills you need to make your big ideas happen. You’ll hear from experts who have been there, done that, and built this. With topics ranging from increasing your user acquisition to improving your pitch, a series of concise lessons will give you important takeaways and get you on the right track.

Supported by GoToMeeting


Interact with peers who can relate to what you’re going through in conversations led by experts. You’ll realize you’re far from alone while learning techniques that can help you overcome common challenges.


Connect with fellow business owners during each of your meal breaks, including the Networking lunch.


Premier ticket holders will experience a pre-summit reception and one-on-one mentoring session.

Supported by American Express


How can I connect with other people who are attending the How I Built This Summit?

Great question! We’ve created the How You Built That Facebook group to serve as an online community for the entrepreneurial minded: company founders, lovers of innovation, people who are passionate about creating new ideas and watching them grow. Join here.

Where can I get information about speaking at the 2019 How I Built This Summit?

Please send all speaker requests here.

Where can I get information about sponsoring the 2019 How I Built This Summit?

Please submit all sponsor inquiries here.

I'm a rising entrepreneur and have a product that I'd love to offer to attendees at the How I Built This Summit. Is this an option?

You can send information about your product here and we will contact you about future opportunities if we'd like more information.

Photograph by Kara Frame/NPR

Photograph by Kara Frame/NPR


Creator and Host of How I Built This

The creative force behind How I Built This, Guy Raz is an entrepreneur at heart. As a journalist, storyteller, and creator, he brings to his work a characteristic style that has been honed in the field, on the air, and in top podcasts like TED Radio Hour and Wow In The World.

In addition to essential financial support for the How I Built This Summit, many of the event sponsors are supplementing the talks and sessions curated by NPR staff by bringing in additional participants to share insights and learnings from their time working with our sponsors and/or sponsor customers and clients who are in the midst of their own entrepreneurial journeys. NPR welcomes these additions to the Summit programming and hopes attendees take advantage of these opportunities. NPR has clearly designated any content influenced by a sponsor as “Sponsored Content” so feel free to thank sponsor representatives for their contributions to the How I Built This Summit whenever you see that designation.



Premier Reception

Learn more about Premier tickets.



Registration Opens








Jennifer Hyman of Rent the Runway


Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan of Method




Skills track

The Skills Track will feature subject matter experts delivering concise lessons across the wide range of skills every entrepreneur should develop.

Supported by GOTOMEETING

User Acquisition
With Saar Gur
How are you acquiring users and how much is your cost per acquisition? Increasing users and decreasing cost per acquiring them are key metrics you (and investors) will use to assess your company’s ability to scale. Learn quick tips to do both and how to operate in the new social media environment.

Using Design Thinking to Start and Build Your Business
With Corey Ford
Every business owner must grapple with being both single-minded and open-minded, focused and flexible. It's all in the timing. Learn the principles of design thinking and how to use them to validate and iterate your product and business strategy.

Understanding the Marketing Funnel+Customer Segmentation=Your Growth Strategy
With Melissa Leachman
Whether talking about raising brand awareness or converting that awareness to action, marketing is a critical, and sometimes daunting task. To answer key questions about where, when, how and to whom you should market your business, defining your marketing funnel and delineating your different customer segments will help you build a holistic marketing strategy to drive growth. Marketing expert Melissa Leachman will walk you through both steps and use real-world examples to show the different marketing tactics that follow. This is a sponsored session presented by GoToMeeting.



Support Track sessions will convene a community of trusted peers and advisers to help attendees tackle any challenge that’s thrown their way.

Supported by Yahoo Small Business

Networking for Introverts
With Morra Aarons-Mele
Network, network, network. It’s conventional wisdom that your network brings all good things in business: getting a job, securing funding, finding great hires, and acquiring clients. But what if the idea of networking drains you? Don’t let it be a barrier. Define your networking goals and set parameters that work for you. Learn how to identify a game plan that fits your nature and your business plan.

Unveiling the Secrets of Successful Builders
With Kushagra Shrivastava
Driven by their own creativity and desires to unlock their potential, two small business owners join us to share stories about their own entrepreneurial journeys that go beyond professional endeavors to be personal ones as well. Learn from their struggles, sacrifices, and successes as they launched, built and grew their businesses. This is a sponsored session presented by Yahoo Small Business.


Mentor Track for Premier Ticket Holders

15-minute one-on-one sessions

Supported by American Express


Peer Networking Lunch




The Secret Lives of Entrepreneurs


Lisa Price of Carol's Daughter


John Zimmer of Lyft




Skills Track

The Skills Track will feature subject matter experts delivering concise lessons across the wide range of skills every entrepreneur should develop.

Supported by GOTOMEETING

Perfecting Your Investor Pitch
With Natalia Oberti Noguera
When you pitch investors you have a short window in which to grab their interest. Most investors agree: They only want to see a limited number of slides with some very specific issues addressed, and THAT'S IT. Learn what should be in your pitch (and why).

Learn the Lingo: Common Financial and Investment Terms
With Carolina Huaranca Mendoza
Whether reviewing a term sheet or preparing for your next board meeting, you have to know your numbers and your terms cold. Understand how to speak the same language as your business stakeholders.

Which Funding Routes Are Right for Your Business?
With Mariam Naficy and Mandela SH Dixon
Venture capital is only one of many routes to funding your business's growth. Learn about VC and other funding routes, and how to determine which routes are best for your business at its current stage.


Support Track

Support Track sessions will convene a community of trusted peers and advisers to help attendees tackle any challenge that’s thrown their way.

Supported by Yahoo Small Business

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome (and Other Entrepreneurial Anxieties)
Moderated by Ellen Petry Leanse with Cheryl Contee and Anil Dash
As a founder of a company, you wear a lot of hats and bear a lot of responsibility. You're likely working outside your educational or experiential wheelhouse, so it's not unusual for entrepreneurs to feel like an imposter in the room. This workshop will be a place to talk about this and other anxieties as an entrepreneur. Learn tactics to know-what-you-don’t-know (and fix it), and also coping mechanisms to manage stress, recognize unhealthy behaviors, and silence the naysaying voices in your head that don't serve you or your business.

Building Great Culture from the Get-Go
Moderated by Fritz Desir with Sadie Lincoln and Larissa Shapiro

You're building your company from the ground up, and one of your most important roles is establishing company culture. As a manager or team leader you set the tone for your team, and managers are one of the main reasons people go or stay in a job. Don't be the company or manager that people warn each other about. This session will focus on building a great culture from the get-go and on defining the explicit and implicit messages that will help get you there. Learn how to do a great job at both creating and communicating the culture you want.


Mentor Track for Premier Ticket HoldeRS

15-minute one-on-one sessions

Supported by American Express




Katrina Lake of Stitch Fix


Joe Gebbia of Airbnb


Closing Remarks

Speakers and schedule are subject to change.


Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
700 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94103

If you have any special accessibility needs or to request an accommodation at the venue, please let us know by contacting us at hibtsummit@npr.org by September 30, 2018.


We want to bring the How I Built This spirit to every part of the Summit, even the gift bag. So, we’ve hand-curated a bag filled with products made by listeners you’ve heard about in our “How You Built That” segment at the end of every episode.

 Thank you to our gift bag contributors:



Want to hear more about the How I Built This Summit, exciting things that the How I Built This team is working on and upcoming NPR Presents events? Sign up for our mailing list for this and other information from NPR and NPR member stations.


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We’re creating a new place for the How I Built This community to congregate, celebrate, and commiserate. Join the How You Built That community group on Facebook to connect with innovators and business owners around the world. It’s a place where you can exchange ideas, advice, and encouragement with fellow builders. We hope to see you there!

Excited about the summit? Follow the conversation with #HIBTSummit.